Free Land In Duluth, Minnesota

Free Land In Duluth, Minnesota

Could Tiny Homes Be A Solution For Their Narrow Lots?

Written By Janet Thome

Mayor Emily Larson unveiled an initiative last Friday as part of the Rebuild Duluth plan that was  originally announced in April and  is calling on builders, developers and citizens of Duluth to create  innovative ideas for sustainable and affordable housing for a total of 19 lots on 13 sites.The sites are near public transportation.

The City and the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA) have identified several vacant, developable  lots throughout the city that will be available for the development of affordable housing. The purpose of this program is to build a collective knowledge of creative/innovative design and construction methodologies for infill housing in Duluth and identify how to simplify the development of affordable housing.

Free Land For The Most Innovative Ideas

If you can display an achievable idea that aligns with the goals of this program and you are selected for inclusion in the program, the lot will be available for free.

Priority consideration will be awarded to applicants who pursue development of narrow lots. Additionally, attention to detail and production of descriptive concepts that achieve the goals identified in this program will be considered more favorably.

Rebuild Duluth

There are challenges with the lots such as soil conditions and the width of the lots which are only 17′ to 25′  wide.

Rebuild Duluth Lots

Tiny Homes Could Be A Solution

Tiny homes could be a solution and the city is open to have that discussion. Duluth is becoming very tiny home friendly.

Note: I spoke to the city and they would possibly  be open to tiny homes on wheels, but there might be a requirement to remove the wheels. Please do your own personal research and due diligence.

A solution could be a transformable trailer foundation by Cubist Engineering.

Transformable Trailer Foundations

Transformable Trailer foundations are built of solid steel, the foundation is strong enough to support the heaviest structures in any conditions with no additional site prep necessary. The wheels and hitch mean simple delivery—they  can just tow the building right up to its final home. The building can be kept mobile or remove just a handful of bolts to drop the axle and hitch and set the building flat on any surface: concrete, gravel, dirt or grass.

Cubist can also  attach  leveling “lunar landing legs” to set it on on uneven ground.

The whole foundation is insulated and sealed underneath, as well as hot-dipped galvanized, a process that chemically binds the zinc finish to the metal so your foundation won’t rust or degrade for decades.

Cubist Engineering

Duluth Is In A Housing Crisis

Duluth is in an affordable housing crisis and they are desiring to increase density. The city is  willing to relax some requirements and regulations. The parcels, valued at approximately $5,000 to $15,000, are being provided by the The city and the Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA)

Requirements: Selected Winners Will Be Notified By Feb. 2020

Final approval and transfer of land to occur in the following months. They will have until Dec. 31, 2021, to complete construction

  • Innovative Idea
  • Floorplan
  • Budget
  • Timeline To Be Completed
  • Affordable Housing Solution
  • Sustainable
  • Must be hooked up to utilities
  • Submit Application By Jan. 2nd, 2019
  • They will have until Dec. 31, 2021 to complete construction or ownership of the land will revert back to DEDA.


An informational meeting is also planned for Dec. 2, with details to be announced.

Rebuild Duluth

Tiny Homes In Duluth

The City of Duluth Planning & Development is proposing zoning ordinance changes related to tiny homes, as well as the subjects of tree preservation, distillery/craft breweries, and temporary structures and shipping containers.

NEW (9/4/19)! A zoning code change is being proposed to address tiny homes.  The amended language will provide clarity related to Fixed In Place (FIP) tiny homes and Tiny Homes on Wheels (THOW).  The Planning Commission will review the language at the September 10, 2019, Planning Commission meeting.  Additional changes are being recommended for shipping containers/temporary structures, tree preservation, and craft distilleries. More information.

Duluth Planning And Development

Minnesota Tiny Home News

Minnesota Tiny Home News

Duluth Proposes Tiny House Zoning Changes Sept. 9th, 2019

City staff has now drafted proposed language changes in the zoning ordinance that would designate Tiny Houses as fixed in place permanent dwellings while Tiny Houses on Wheels would be temporary buildings similar to recreational vehicles or travel trailers.

The amendments will go before the Planning Commission this week and the City Council in October.

Article Source KDAL News

Duluth may open door for tiny houses Sept 6th, 2019

At present all dwellings built in Duluth must be at least 20 feet wide, but that requirement could be dropped. On Tuesday, Planning Commission members will consider a proposal that would loosen the code, potentially allowing “tiny houses” into Duluth’s mix of residential options.

The change could significantly expand local housing opportunities, said Adam Fulton, interim director of Duluth’s planning and development division.

Article Source Duluth News Tribune

Minnesotans still seek affordable housing but are unsure tiny house trend is the answer Sept. 2nd, 2019

The predicted tiny house boom in Minnesota has been just that — tiny.

“To date, no one (in Minnesota) has responded to the tiny house market in any sort of viable, reasonable or comprehensive way,” said Jay Nord, general contractor at Singular Inc., and an affordable housing advocate.

Article Source Twin Cities Pioneer Press

CITY OF DULUTH PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE Notice is hereby given that the Duluth Planning Commission will have a meeting and conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, starting at 5:00 PM August 23rd, 2019

PL 19-107 UDC Text Amendment Related to Tiny Houses and Small Lot Development

PL 19-108 UDC Text Amendment Related to Accessory Structures, Tree Preservation,

Craft Brewing and Distilleries, Temporary Structures and Shipping Containers

Article Source Duluth News Tribune

Four-house development receives commission OK July 20th, 2019

What was first going to be a tiny home village of rental properties has now transitioned into a small home village of single family homes that requires a conditional use permit (CUP) recommended by the Pipestone Planning Commission, with final consideration before the Pipestone City Council.

Article Source Pipestone County Star

How Minneapolis Freed Itself From the Stranglehold of Single-Family Homes July 11th, 2019

Thanks in part to activists like Flisrand and Edwards, Minneapolis just did away with the rules that gave single-family homes a stranglehold on nearly three-quarters of the city. In December, Neighbors for More Neighbors, the group co-founded by Flisrand and Edwards about two years ago to address Minneapolis’ affordable housing crisis, won a victory unseen in any other major American city. The city council approved the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan, which declares the city’s intent to abolish single-family-home zoning and allow duplexes and triplexes to be built anywhere in the city.

Minneapolis’ new comprehensive plan has drawn praise from divergent political quarters—both Housing Secretary Ben Carson, who visited Minneapolis recently, and the New York Times editorial page. And cities and states with their own growth-driven housing crises are looking to Minneapolis for clues on how to navigate the political shoals inherent in any debate over development and growth. In June, Oregon’s Legislature followed Minneapolis’ lead, approving a bill to end single-family zoning in large cities.

Article Source Politico Magazine

Duluth Considers Tiny Home Zoning Changes June 25th, 2019

Many people consider things like tiny homes or shipping containers turned into houses as ways to live with a smaller footprint. The city of Duluth is considering changes to zoning for those types of houses.

Article Source WDIO ABC