See more of the story

Edina leaders expressed some skepticism last week about the city's use of "planned unit development" zoning, which allows developers to skirt certain rules, saying Edina gives developers more control than surrounding cities.

During a public hearing on a development that would tear down an Eden Avenue office building and replace it with 136 apartments, City Council members asked about the city's use of PUD zoning. PUDs can let developers get around rules like setbacks or height limits that exist in a zoning district, by writing special rules that apply to one property instead of requiring a developer to seek variances.

"Other communities set parameters for just how much the rules can be bent and be flexible; we don't do that," Council Member Julie Risser said. "It really is advantaging a developer significantly."

Mayor Jim Hovland said he thinks the city needs to use PUDs to hold developers to their stated affordable housing and sustainability promises.