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The 2020 legislative session is in full swing and housing has emerged as a top tier issue. A press conference was held earlier this week announcing a series of proposals aimed at ‘Legalizing the American Dream’ of homeownership. Legislative committees began hearing these, and other housing related bills throughout the week.
Housing First Minnesota’s Advocacy Team was joined by several members at the press conference and in testimony before committees this past week: Daryl Doehr (Marvin Windows), Tony Wiener (Cardinal Homes), Samantha Grose (Oak and Arrow Homes), Jason Myrlie (J. Carsten Remodeling), John Rask (M/I Homes), and Tom Wiener (Cardinal Homes).
The Housing First Minnesota Board of Directors has adopted four guiding principles for our 2020 policy work:
Many bills advanced this week impact some or all of the 2020 guiding principles.
For real-time bill tracking follow us on Twitter @HFMNAdvocacy
SF 3795 (Sen. Draheim, R-Madison Lake) – Modifying the Annual Building Permit Fee Report. Housing First Minnesota SUPPORTS
This bill proposes to modify the annual reporting threshold for cities and towns that collect building-related fees from $5,000 to $7,000. It also requires that the administrative overhead costs related to inspections be itemized on the report. Finally, the bill would require that a list of common definitions for all categories of construction be included and the fees collected for each be included. Action: The bill was heard and passed out of the Senate Jobs Committee and now will move onto the Senate Government Operations Committee.
SF 3791 (Sen. Koran, R-Isanti) – Window Fall Protection Device – Single Family Exemption. Housing First Minnesota SUPPORTS
This bill, which proposes to exempt single family homes from the window fall protection device mandate, was introduced by Sen. Koran as a common-sense affordability measure. Under the proposal, window fall prevention devices would become a consumer choice and not a code requirement. The code requirement would remain in effect for multi-family structures. Housing First Minnesota testified in support of the measure. Action: The bill was heard and passed out of the Senate Ag & Housing Committee and now will move on to the Senate Jobs Committee.
HF 2296 (Rep. Tabke, DFL-Shakopee) – Creation of Off-Site Street Impact Fees. Housing First Minnesota OPPOSES
This bill proposes to create new authority for local governments to require the payment of off-site street impact fees for new developments, including housing and other business expansions. A small number of cities were previously using the fee, but were halted when the Minnesota Supreme Court struck them down in the Harstad v. Woodbury case. Housing First Minnesota opposed the legislation, which creates a new housing affordability road-block. Action: The bill was heard and passed out of the House Subcommittee on Local Government and now will move onto the House Government Operations Committee.
SF 3886 (Sen Draheim, R-Madison Lake) – Limiting Zoning Mandates and PUDs. Housing First Minnesota SUPPORTS
This bill proposes to limit local governments ability to mandate aesthetic features and garage sizes through its zoning or PUD processes. The bill also limits requirements in a PUD, prohibiting any terms that exceed the building code, while requiring that PUDs be made available 7 days prior to official action taken on the agreement. Action: The bill was heard and passed out of the Senate Ag & Housing Committee and now will move onto the Senate Local Government Committee.
SF 3793 (Sen. Koran, R-Isanti) – Requiring Square-Footage Based Calculation for Permit Fees. Housing First Minnesota SUPPORTS
This bill proposes to modify the current system of project valuation for the establishment of building permit fees, and to replace with a square-footage basis. Concerns have arisen that the valuation approach has led to permit inflation and over-charging for building permit fees. Research from publicly available data on permit fees revealed several cities collecting large surpluses in permit related revenue. The bill alsos required several transparency measures where a local government would be required to publish building permit data on its website, and also make permit data publicly available. Action: The bill was heard and passed out of the Senate Ag & Housing Committee and now will move onto the Senate Jobs Committee.
SF 3796 (Sen. Koran, R-Isanti) – Allowing for Private Building Inspectors. Housing First Minnesota SUPPORTS
This bill prohibits a city requirement for use of designated building officials for inspections. It also allows for civil action against municipalities for negligent construction authorization. Action: The bill was amended, heard and passed out of the Senate Ag & Housing Committee and now will move onto the Senate Jobs Committee.
We Need Your Support! Join Us at the Capitol
Help us to advance the favorable initiatives highlighted above and enhance homeownership opportunities by joining us on March 23 for Housing Day at the Capitol. This year’s event will feature a pump-up rally in the Capitol rotunda before we head off to meet with our legislators. Make a difference, speak up for the future of homeownership! Early bird pricing ends Monday! Register here>>