Click here to read the Minnesota Court of Appeals opinion about rental housing limits in the City of Winona.
Word is going around of meetings and discussions in our city government about possible limits on rental housing in North Minneapolis, something home owners in our troubled neighborhood have asked for, lobbied for, BEGGED FOR the last couple decades. For the longest time, it seemed impossible because...
...of a widespread assumption by our elected officials that the courts would find such limits unconstitutional. And this wasn't an assumption without basis, no, not at all.
However, some months ago the City of Winona fought for limits on rental density and WON. Click here for a news article. I notice the lawyer who fought the case for Winona is named George Hoff. He is no known relation to this blogger but would I hug him close to my bosom if I should happen to meet him?
This case has excited and energized a number of people involved in North Minneapolis neighborhood issues, who have long seen limits on rental density as the most effective solution to neglectful absentee landlords who are the lynchpin to almost all of our neighborhood crime issues.
However, the Winona case is not over. Currently, it's being appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Also, the long list of organizations writing amicus briefs is impressive; and the majority are pushing hard for a libertarian, laissez faire approach to regulating the rental market...which is what we already have in North Minneapolis, and every day we live that nightmare of stampeding capitalism.
I would like to ask my fellow libertarians: How is it that a radical ideal of personal liberty somehow translates into vigorously defending the very worst in our society? Pimps, pornographers, drug couriers, neglectful landlords, arms dealers...all these defended in the name of ultimate capitalistic freedom by my radical libertarian brethren.
Sigh. This is one of the many reasons I fell out of love with libertarian author Ayn Rand after a passionate affair in my 20s.
The Winona case, if it's upheld by the Minnesota State Supreme Court, says that rental property limits of THIRTY PERCENT are constitutional.
What a dream world we'd have in North Minneapolis if we could roll back the rental tidal wave to a mere 30 percent. Yes, one presumes it would take a long time and there would be a lot of "grandfathered" rentals.
But, over time...
We could have ourselves a decent neighborhood.