Minneapolis residents sound off in last 2040 Plan public comment hearing

Emotions ran high Wednesday night as Minneapolis residents gave their opinions on the controversial 2040 Plan for the growing city.

The meeting was the last chance for the public to speak directly to the City Council about how the plan should be implemented across the city when it comes to housing disparities, transportation issues and the designs of buildings and streets.

Over the last few weeks of meetings, some neighborhoods have become pitted against each other. City Councilman Phillipe Cunningham, who represents most of the north side, drew criticism after sending a series of tweets Tuesday.

“People from SW actually have the audacity to be flooding [council members’] inboxes with ‘stop the 2040 plan,’” he said in one tweet.

He went on to tweet, "SW folks do us a favor and do NOT show up to the Comp Plan public hearing and say this to the Northside [council members’] faces or else we're going to have some words. Spread the word to your book club."

"I don't belong to a book club, I took a half a day off to get here,” said one woman from southwest Minneapolis. “I'm not independently wealthy, so please stop tweeting your opinions, you're an elected official."

Many people living in southwest Minneapolis are concerned zoning changes could drastically transform the landscape of their neighborhoods with more multi-family housing added.

"Channel 9 had a feature how investment funds scoop up affordable housing on the north side, if you haven't had a chance to watch it please take a second to do so,” said a man from southwest Minneapolis.

Younger residents and those concerned with climate change and the environment support the plan. They say it's crucial to take action now, like creating energy efficient buildings, re-designing streets that encourage more walking and biking and phasing out fossil fuel vehicles.

"I just think it's really important for young people because right now we're facing a climate change catastrophe come 10, 20 years and I think it's great that the city is doing something right now to fix that," said MacKenzie Nelson, a Minneapolis resident.

About 130 people spoke at the meeting.

The next step for the 2040 Plan is for the City Council to make amendments. In December, they will make a final decision on whether to incorporate the plan throughout Minneapolis.