The Whole Story on Minneapolis 2040

We’re being flooded with national takes about what happened in our city last week. Esquire magazine is writing about zoning in Minneapolis. The New York Times says the city has taken a “bold move to address its affordable-housing crisis and confront a history of racist housing practices.” Coastal elites are saying we’ve made “zoning history,” becoming the first major American city to abolish single-family zoning — and the third major US city to eliminate minimum parking requirements. Or, maybe we haven’t done anything very radical at all: Minneapolis is just “welcoming back historic, modest housing types: duplexes and triplexes.” 

The truth about what happened last week is that it was six years in the making. How did we get here? Who is responsible? Where will we park? Like nearly all stories worth telling, this one begins in the Wedge neighborhood of Minneapolis.

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Wedge LIVE prevails in legal action

The legal effort to defend Wedge LIVE from Carol Becker has ended in victory. In a settlement reached late Monday, and fully executed yesterday, Becker has acknowledged my ownership of the name “Wedge LIVE.” Additionally, Becker has agreed that she will “never assert any claim to these marks in the future.” Other details of the settlement agreement must be kept confidential.

As a result, I have dismissed my lawsuit against Becker that was previously pending in Hennepin County District Court.

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Judge denies request to delay Mpls 2040 vote

After a morning hearing, Hennepin County district court Judge Joseph R. Klein took a few hours to decide not to delay a vote on the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan. He denied a request for a temporary restraining order from an anti-2040 group recently formed under the name Smart Growth Minneapolis. The group has been planning a legal action to stop the plan for months.

The City Council’s final vote on the plan will happen tomorrow as scheduled. The lawsuit may still go forward. Continue reading “Judge denies request to delay Mpls 2040 vote”

Police divestment a focus of Minneapolis budget hearing

At yesterday’s 2019 budget hearing a large contingent of folks showed up to Minneapolis City Hall to ask the City Council to divest 5% from police, and invest in community instead. Among them was Wedge resident Andrew Beeman:

“I’m also a public health worker. I can tell you an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Let’s think about some of that preventative work we can do.”

Mayor Frey’s budget provides $40 million in funding for affordable housing programs. It also includes a 2.8% increase in funding for the police department, for a total of $184.5 million. The Mayor has proposed a total budget for 2019 of $1.55 billion. The City Council will amend and vote on Mayor Frey’s proposed 2019 budget next week. Continue reading “Police divestment a focus of Minneapolis budget hearing”

Minneapolis City Council starts amending 2040 plan

After years of staff planning and public outreach, the Minneapolis City Council met yesterday for the first time to publicly debate changes to the city’s long-range comprehensive plan called Minneapolis 2040.

If you’re someone who thinks revisions to the plan should be moving in the direction of allowing more people to live near billion dollar transit investments, the most distressing proposed changes are to the built form maps that will guide next year’s rezoning process. After a morning mark-up session to amend the plan, two maps were published on the city’s website outlining proposed changes (the maps were removed almost immediately, but preserved by #wedgileaks).

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Minneapolis 2040: The Final Countdown

I can tell that things are coming down to the wire with the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan because people from Southwest Minneapolis are signing up for brand new Twitter accounts in order to send me unhappy messages.

Last Wednesday was the final public hearing for the 2040 plan. An impressive number of people turned out to support: more homes in all parts of the city; a greater diversity of housing types; and a sustainable city where more people can drive less by living closer to daily destinations. Opponents expressed concerns like nobody knows this is happening/we need more time/your plan is divisive/we’ve been treated unfairly. Continue reading “Minneapolis 2040: The Final Countdown”