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Continued: Teardown and tribulation: Living next door

  • Article by: DAVID BANKS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 14, 2014 - 5:49 PM

Like I said earlier, I’m not sure about the wisdom of a moratorium. Timing matters in property decisions, and for some prospective sellers or buyers, the city’s move changes the rules in the middle of the game. But the discussion is important.

Some of the distress around teardowns relates to the lack of communication with neighbors. I can attest, after fruitless attempts to reach the contractor. Other objections are to the “McMansions” that follow. I don’t think the new house next to mine qualifies as that. It does feel a bit like having someone lean in too close during conversation. But I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I hear that the new neighbors are very nice. I might even realize a boost in property value should I sell anytime soon.

Before all this began, but while the project was pending, I happened to tour an open house a few blocks away. (I’m always curious.) There I met a developer, and I asked if he knew anything about the plans next door to me. He didn’t, other than to say that he’d looked at the lot and had found it troublesome. Then we talked momentarily about my house, a midcentury rambler with several unique qualities of which I’m rather fond.

I could have sworn I saw the glint of guillotine steel in his eye.


David Banks is at

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  • A teardown site in southwest Minneapolis (not the one referenced in this article). Calling it the most urgent issue in her southwest ward, new City Council member Linea Palmisano engineered an immediate moratorium on the demolition and construction of single-family homes in five neighborhoods.

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