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TOD Studies and Projects

Current TOD studies

Transit-Oriented Development and Zoning in Cities with High-Frequency Transit

Building on the 2021 Comprehensive Land Use Planning in High Frequency Transit Corridors report, this study explores the relationship between transit oriented development (TOD) and zoning codes in 20 cities with high frequency transit lines in the Twin Cities region. First, this analysis compares the planned density along high frequency transit lines with the actual current zoning codes of each city. Differences in zoning codes are compared to levels of qualifying transit oriented development to better understand the impact of zoning on TOD. Finally, the study brings together this analysis with interviews with city planners and developers actively working on TOD in the region, discussing the challenges of building TOD, and contextualizing zoning as a piece of the puzzle.

View the full report

Land Value Tax Report - 2021

A bill (HF 338) under consideration by the Minnesota Legislature would permit Minnesota cities to establish land value tax districts. The bill would allow cities to shift property taxes from improvements (buildings) to land while maintaining tax revenue from the subject district. This white paper summarizes the anticipated impacts of a land value tax and examines local case studies utilizing sample districts in transit served areas in Minneapolis, Hopkins, Brooklyn Center, Coon Rapids, Maplewood, Woodbury, Cottage Grove and Cedar Grove.

In each of these case studies, the land value tax was implemented using the methodology proposed by the Minnesota legislature. We made the following observations from these case studies:

  1. A land value tax would incentivize a more productive use of vacant and under-developed parcels.
    1. Taxes increase most on underutilized parcels.
    2. Taxes decrease most on parcels with a high ratio of building value to total value (total value = land value + building value).
  2.  A land value tax encourages a more efficient use of public infrastructure investments.
    1. Land value is highest near high quality public infrastructure and amenities.
  3. The land value tax could improve equity.
    1. In Case Study #1, property taxes generally decrease in areas of concentrated poverty.
    2. The land value tax paired with the Minneapolis affordable housing policy could have the effect of encouraging the development of new affordable housing.

View the full report

Current Development Projects

Development Opportunities on Metropolitan Council Land

The TOD Office completed a development site prioritization process on all properties owned by the Metropolitan Council located within a half-mile of transitways. Top priority sites were identified by applying the four Metropolitan Council TOD Policy Goals and by coordinating with cities and counties along the transitways. Click here for a downloadable map of these sites. The TOD Office also welcomes developer inquiries on any sites owned by the Metropolitan Council.

MN United MLS Stadium and surrounding mixed-use development

Construction is complete on the new Major League Soccer stadium on land owned by Metro Transit at 400 Snelling Avenue North in St. Paul. Metro Transit made the site available for the stadium through a long-term ground lease to the City of St. Paul. Work is underway to facilitate additional development surrounding the stadium, all of which will be served by the METRO Green Line, A Line rapid bus and local bus service.

More information is available on the City of St. Paul website.

METRO Blue Line and METRO Green Line extension projects

The TOD and Land Use staff at the METRO Blue Line and METRO Green Line extension project offices connect the design, engineering and construction efforts of the LRT alignment with each city and county’s planning, budget and policy development within the half-mile station areas. This collaborative, ongoing work fosters TOD along the project alignments and ensures that TOD projects will meet city land use approvals and be a financial success. It also increases ridership and revenues for the transit agency and fiscal and social benefits for the city and county.

More information on these projects can be found here:

Metropolitan Council METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT)

Hennepin County Southwest LRT Community Works

Metropolitan Council – METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau)

Hennepin County Bottineau LRT Community Works