Minneapolis 2040 Plan draws criticism from council member, residents

You may or may not have heard of the Minneapolis 2040 Plan, but it’s drawing a lot of criticism. The comprehensive plan is required by the Metropolitan Council every 10 years. Currently in draft form, critics are concerned zoning changes could drastically transform neighborhoods. 

Overall goals of the 2040 plan include reducing economic, housing, safety and health disparities across the city, while adding affordable housing. 

“We are not against any sort of affordable housing or development,” said Chad Nauta, a resident of southwest Minneapolis. “If I worked in the city I'd want to look at what's is working in neighborhoods that are growing and thriving and try to emulate that elsewhere.”

The draft process has been underway since 2016 with a public comment period, which has been active from March 22 to July 22. As time goes by, criticism for this first of two drafts is increasing. As part of the draft zoning for single family homes citywide, a change would to allow up to four units to be built or four-plexes, while using existing set back requirements. 

“I mean it's kinda unrealistic in a lot of places in our ward - like you think of the kind of fireproofing requirements,” said Minneapolis City Council Member Linea Palmisano, who represents the 13th ward in the southwest corner of the city. 

Council member Palmisano sent out a letter to everyone in her ward, voicing her concerns about  proposed changes to interior streets, while not addressing why transit corridors aren't being developed with different types of housing. Most of all, she's urging homeowners to voice their concerns before the second draft this fall. 

“I don’t want residents to first take notice of this in one or two years time when their property is being rezoned,” said Palmisano. “I want them to weigh in now. And I want the second draft. And what finally gets adopted to reflect that.”

Nauta plans to do just that.

“We're at the point is this going to be worth it?" said Nauta. "All this work and effort and money we’re putting into this house to revive it. If they start bulldozing and putting fourplexes around, I don’t think we’d want to live here anymore, which seems the opposite of what the city is trying to do."

The full 300 page draft report can be found here: https://minneapolis2040.com/

Residents are urged to submit comments and concerns before July 22. In addition to emailing Minneapolis City Council members you can email: 2040@minneapolismn.gov.