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Why do I see new developments with lots smaller than 5 acres?

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

I am a strong proponent of maintaining the 5-acre minimum lot size requirement in Columbus because it keeps the majority of residential areas rural and peaceful—that is a unique characteristic of our City and why people decide to live here in the first place.


The varying lot sizes you see within some areas of Columbus are due to:


1. Rural Residential District—This zoning applies to the majority of Columbus residences. It features private water and septic, with a 5-acre minimum. For some developments, the previous Mayor and Council amended this ordinance to “lot averaging”, for example in Thurnbeck Preserve. It was intended to balance the upland to wetland space and maximize the number of houses within the development. Some lots will be bigger and some will be smaller, but the average size is equal to 5.


2. Freeway Business/High-Density District — This zoning area (which includes Preiner Preserve and the St. Clair Lakes neighborhood) has municipal water and sewer. This classification has been established by the Met Council and as a City, we are obligated to adhere to their requirements. These limited higher density areas contribute significantly to City tax revenues, reducing the burden on 5-acre residents.

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