Keeping Country Club . . . Country Club

My law-practicing days (in the early ’90’s) are fading fast, but I do recall a basic principle about constitutional (vs. unconstitutional) zoning restrictions: general rules with a strong public policy component work, overly specific ones don’t.

So, cities that don’t want Wal-Mart’s can’t simply pass an ordinance saying, “no Wal-Mart’s.” Rather, they have to pass an ordinance prohibiting “retail buildings bigger than 200,000 square feet within city limits.”

What makes me think of this is various local cities’ efforts to control tear-down’s, and specficially, McMansion’s.

The city’s goal may very well be to ban tacky, lot-devouring McMansion’s. However, for legal reasons, the city’s tack has to be more general.

Like, “no tear-downs of historically significant, pre-1944 residential structures in the Country Club neighborhood” (my paraphrase).

That’s how Edina does it, anyways.

Is it effective?

Take a drive through Country Club, and you’ll have your answer.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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