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Given the daily bombardment of digital information, it’s easy to overlook— and increasingly difficult to spot—seemingly minor news with major consequences for communities. Often related to changes in governance, proposals fly under the radar because they appear boring, wonky, or hyper-local. In fact, these are the issues most likely to impact your comfort, convenience, or pocketbook. When something does rise to the level of public discussion, it’s usually camouflaged with positive sound bites that mask unstated effects on people’s day-to-day lives.

Meanwhile, unsuspecting homeowners and community members—who may not be paying attention or grasping the potential impact—assume their representatives or others in opposition will handle the problem or that the legislation or regulation will never pass. They don’t fully recognize the vast power of legislative and bureaucratic maneuvering that pushes changes through without a direct, up-or-down vote. Only after the new law or ordinance gets approved do they feel the bite and wonder, “How the heck did THAT happen?”


To shine a light on obscure dynamics, MasterWerks constantly reviews and filters information that may affect our clients. The goal of “Vantage Point” alerts is to raise awareness of pending issues and advance opportunities for you to make your voice heard when it counts. We believe everyone needs to think about new ideas and proposals—not only their immediate objectives and benefits but their longer-term consequences, both intended and unintended—and the net effects of those changes for ourselves and our communities.

Vantage Point alerts are archived in this section.
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May, 2024

Regulatory Update:

Edina Approves Accessory Dwelling Ordinance, Demonstrating Leadership with a More Affordable Housing Policy Initiative


Although the proposed statewide “Missing Middle” Omnibus Housing bill was tabled in the Minnesota State Legislature this past month, the City of Edina has moved forward on its own. Displaying real leadership, the city council has approved an ordinance that conditionally permits one Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) to be built on any lot with a single-family home, assuming it’s appropriate to that purpose. ...

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March, 2024

Legislative Priority Alert:

Omnibus Zoning Bill Overrides City Authority, Radically Increasing Density by Dictating Statewide Affordable Housing Standards


Although there’s no question that Minnesota needs more affordable housing solutions, the “Missing Middle Housing” bill (SF 1370/HF 1667) currently steamrolling through the Senate merits more scrutiny and public discussion—in MasterWerks’ opinion, a lot more!


If passed, this omnibus zoning bill (combining four bills previously introduced in the state legislature) would supersede all city zoning and land use authority throughout Minnesota, including ...

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March, 2024

Regulatory Alert: Proposed Licensing Requirements for Minnesota Painters


New regulations in the building trade tend to fly under the public radar, but SF 3554, a proposed bill now working its way through the Minnesota State Legislature, should be catching people’s attention and sparking debate. ...

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December 2023

Edina Is Considering a New 0.5% Tax on Home Sales Above $500,000.

News about this potential tax increase on home sales—under discussion as of today—just came to our attention. We want to make sure it’s on your radar, too, because if passed, there will be significant financial implications for both sellers and buyers within Edina’s city limits.


The City Council’s intention is to better fund Edina’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund by imposing a 0.5% tax on homes sold over $500K. (For your reference, of the 435 homes sold through the MLS in Edina in 2023, the average sale price was $1,025,673, which would translate to a tax of $5,128 under the proposed update.)


Although the larger objective of this prospective tax increase may be laudatory, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In our current tight, competitive market, a significant increase in sales tax may very well translate into higher sales prices.


Whatever your thoughts may be about this proposed tax increase, we encourage active citizen engagement by contacting your City Council members and expressing your opinion before it’s too late.

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