Residents weigh in on Minneapolis 2040 draft plan

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The City of Minneapolis’ 2040 comprehensive plan is currently in draft form, but many residents are concerned it could dramatically change their neighborhoods.

The public had a chance to speak out at a listening session at James Ballentine VFW Post 246 Wednesday night. City leaders plan to update the draft with residents’ feedback.

“It becomes even more important to make sure we preserve and expand the public spaces, the greenspaces,” said one resident.

The 2040 plan is designed to guide the city’s growth over the next few decades with a goal to address housing, transportation, equity, sustainability and more. Since Minneapolis is comprised of more than 50 percent renters, and the population is expected to grow to 500,000 residents by 2030, the Minneapolis’ Director of Long-range Planning Heather Worthington views the 2040 plan as a chance to try to reverse both housing and employment disparities.

“We as people of privilege, especially white people of privilege, think about it as an opportunity to right some wrongs and to do better by all parts of the community long-term,” said Worthington.

In 2010, Minneapolis led the nation with the widest unemployment disparity between blacks and whites. Worthington says that gap continues to grow. That’s why the plan also includes an effort to largely invest in areas subject to disinvestment, like north Minneapolis. However, some residents have criticized the 2040 plan’s proposed rezoning changes, which would allow four-plexes to be built anywhere citywide.

"It’s a draft and the whole point of this exercise is that we get a better document out of it,” said Worthington. “I’d really like it if people could think about it in a lens of opportunity and what they want to see for the future of the city, and less through that lens of fear.”

Residents can comment on the draft through July 22. Those comments will be used to help the City Planning Commission and City Council when considering the final revised plan later this year. To view the full draft, click here.