April Legisative Update

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The Minnesota REALTORS® Association is working with the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (“BATC”) and the Builders Association of Minnesota (“BAM”) in support of a bill that Rep. Nash-R, Waconia and Sen. Franzen-DFL, Edina have introduced. The bill would add a notice and hearing requirement before a municipal government could pass a housing-related interim ordinance. https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=House&f=HF2585&ssn=0&y=2016

State law grants cities and towns the authority to pass interim ordinances for planning-related matters. Interim ordinances are temporary (up to one-year), require that the city/town council undertake a study on the planning issue in question, and can be enacted without a public notice and hearing. An example of an interim ordinance would be if a city or town council passed and “emergency” moratorium on new construction in a particular ward or neighborhood.

REALTORS® respect the authority that cities and towns have been granted to protect the planning process and the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens. Unfortunately, a growing number of cities and towns have embraced emergency moratoria as a means to address non-emergency land-use issues, such as rental housing and residential design standards.

REALTORS® and Builders believe that using interim ordinances in this manner violates due process and runs contrary to the original intent of statute.

Interim ordinances can be harmful to property owners and can also be a burden to small businesses, the construction trades, and future residents of the city/town that enacted a housing-related moratorium.

Last month, REALTORS® from around the state came to St. Paul for the Minnesota REALTORS’® Legislative Impact Day. In addition to hearing from some great keynote speakers, REALTORS® met with their elected officials. A number of our members spoke about the interim ordinance/moratorium issue with their legislators and did a great job sharing their experiences and illustrating the economic and emotional pain that surprise moratoria can have on homeowners and aspiring homeowners. Legislators appreciate hearing “real world” stories from their constituents. As the name implies, your presence truly does have an impact on how REALTOR® and homeowner issues are viewed and addressed at the Capitol. Thank you to all who attended!

REALTORS® believe the best way to address housing-related issues is through open dialogue, where all interested parties can provide feedback to governing bodies regarding potential policies. The Minnesota REALTORS® Association in supporting House File 2585/Senate File 2694 because we believe it would add a much needed level of transparency and dues process to how housing-related interim ordinances are enacted.

This bill does not seek to strip municipal governments of their ability to enact interim ordinances or moratoria. What it WILL do is add daylight and dialogue to the front end of the process. By providing notice and opportunity for a hearing, municipal governments will be able to hear all perspectives and be in a position to make a more informed decision.

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PaulPaul Eger – Vice President, Governmental Affairs

peger@mnrealtor.com

 

 

RyanRyan Hamilton, JD – Associate Legal Counsel

rhamilton@mnrealtor.com

 

 

Find more articles like this in the MN REALTORS® Monthly RESOURCE

The Minnesota REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.

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