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Minutes/Edina City Council/November 20,2007 <br /> 1. Definition of building height should be amended to measure height from the existing ground <br /> elevation as opposed to the proposed ground elevation. <br /> The Planning Commission agreed with the Massing Task Force in eliminating the previous <br /> recommendation for measuring height from the average elevation from around the home. The <br /> reasons were as follows: <br /> • Lots that contain slopes would be penalized by the proposed amendment. The height <br /> requirement would be more restrictive for a sloping lot than a flat lot. <br /> • The massing issue was more about the street elevation and building separation between <br /> houses from side to side; and not about the rear yard elevation. The separation between <br /> homes in the rear yards was greater given rear yard setbacks. <br /> • Edina's current height regulations were in keeping with other similar sized cities in the <br /> Metro area. <br /> • The two zoning ordinance changes regarding increased side yard setbacks for narrow lots, <br /> and low floor elevation for new homes may result in reducing the height of new homes. <br /> • The new ordinance should be monitored over the next year to determine its effectiveness. <br /> If it was not working to reduce height, additional changes could be considered then. <br /> 2. The Planning Commission and Task Force further recommended that when a home was to be <br /> rebuilt after a tear down, the first floor elevation of the new home may not be more than one- <br /> foot above the first floor elevation of the home that was torn down. This was a change from <br /> the current regulation that prevents the low floor or basement elevation from being raised <br /> more than one foot. <br /> Mr. Teague said it was believed that holding the first floor elevation at the same level as the <br /> previous home would ensure that new homes would be more in character with adjacent homes <br /> from the ground level. If a new home wanted taller ceilings in the basement than the previous <br /> home, to do so, they would have to dig down deeper in order to meet a similar first floor <br /> elevation with the previous home. He explained under the current regulation, the low floor of a <br /> new home could be elevated by one foot. If a new home builder wanted to increase the basement <br /> ceiling by 2-3 feet, and they added one foot to the elevation, the result would be a first floor <br /> elevation increase of 3-4 feet from the previous home, which the Task Force believed would not <br /> be in character with the adjacent homes. <br /> Mr. Teague added the City Council had recommended that a "rebuilt home' be specifically <br /> defined in the ordinance, however, defining a rebuilt home can be problematic. He said within <br /> the Country Club District, a rebuilt home was defined as: "The physical alteration of a home, <br /> such that 50% or more of the surface area of all exterior walls, in the aggregate, are removed." <br /> Rebuilt homes within the District that meet this definition require a Certificate of <br /> Appropriateness from the Heritage Preservation Board. Mr. Teague said this definition can be <br /> difficult at times to enforce based on construction plans that were submitted with a building <br /> permit. In addition, often times more demolition occurs once construction begins. <br /> Page 2 <br />