Minneapolis releases final 2040 plan draft after incorporating public input

The city of Minneapolis released the final draft of its Minneapolis 2040 final plan Friday after making changes following public input sessions this summer.

The changes included clarification of some jargon and acronyms in the document, a reduction of the number of allowable units on a single-family lots to three, a limit on the height of buildings in high-frequency transit corridors and more strategies to create and sustain affordable housing in the city.

The city intends the comprehensive planning document to be a guide for the city’s development through the next 20 years.

Next, the Planning Commission and City Council will review it Oct. 29 and Nov. 12 respectively, seeking more input this fall. Eventually, the city hopes to adopt it in December should everything be approved on time.

The document can be seen in its entirety at minneapolis2040.com.

Here are the highlights of the changes as outlined by the city of Minneapolis:

  • The updated draft plan addresses many comments that expressed a lack of clarity in the first draft. The final draft attempts to clarify these provisions, define terms and better organize some sections to create a more understandable document. For example, the City clarified the definition of the acronym AMI (Area Median Income), which was used several times throughout the plan without explanation.
  • It reduces the number of units allowable on a single-family lot to three following further analysis. These multi-unit buildings will need to fit within the setback, height, massing, and other requirements of single-family homes. The plan also recommends increasing design quality standards when the zoning code is updated. This change to the draft plan acknowledges physical constraints identified during the public comment period, while still accommodating the need for increased housing choice throughout the city.
  • It addresses concerns raised about building heights along main high-frequency transit corridors. Two major changes include revisions for the areas north of Lowry Avenue and south of 38th Street. The plan was changed from allowing up to six-story buildings on main commercial corridors to allowing only four-story buildings. A major change was also made for the side of interior streets adjacent to those transit corridors (essentially buildings across the alley). The change will now allow two-and-half story buildings and not three stories as previously proposed.
  • It responds to the need for more detail in the affordable housing chapter, which now is edited to align with citywide efforts to develop a strategic plan to create more affordable housing. The chapter now includes an enhanced narrative outlining the need for both additional housing supply and affordable housing, more definitions, and additional charts and action steps pertaining to affordable housing production, preservation and homelessness issues.