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A parade of building contractors and material suppliers formed at the podium during last week’s meeting of the Minneapolis Planning Commission. Without exception, they expressed their displeasure at the city’s proposed regulations of building materials. There was specific disgruntlement about restrictions on exterior insulation finishing systems, commonly called EIFS (pronounced “eefs”), aka “synthetic stucco” made of materials like foam. Instead, city policies favor traditional materials like wood, brick, and glass.
The regulations clash with two urgent crises facing Minneapolis around housing: building in walkable, transit-friendly areas to address climate change, and reducing the ongoing housing shortage with new supply. In light of these problems, Minneapolis should be on an emergency footing.