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).

I interpret these two maps to mean there is general City Council agreement on what the map will look like in every Ward besides 13.

In Lisa Goodman’s Ward 7, the swanky neighborhoods near light rail stations have seen further reductions in how many people will be allowed to live there in coming decades. This is on top of significant reductions that were made between the first and second draft, published in September. Most outrageous: the idea that 2.5-story triplexes are the best we can do around a light rail station in the super-swanky Kenwood neighborhood.

Proposed changes around Prospect Park light rail station in Ward 2.

In Cam Gordon’s Ward 2, parts of the area around the light rail station in Prospect Park have been reduced from allowing up to 10-story apartment buildings to allowing a range from 2.5 to 4 stories.

In a failed attempt to gut the provision of the plan that would allow triplexes in all parts of the city, Palmisano put forward an amendment to add an indirect homesteading requirement. She tried to do this by attaching it to the city’s accessory dwelling unit ordinance, which allows an additional unit to be added to owner-occupied single-family homes and duplexes. Palmisano’s amendment was voted down.

Ward 3 Council Member Steve Fletcher responded by saying if a homestead requirement was the goal, she should address that concern directly, rather than indirectly using the ADU ordinance. Lisa Goodman explained that her opposition to triplexes had more to do with density levels than requiring owner-occupancy. Palmisano modified her amendment to simply reduce the density from triplexes to duplexes. This also failed.

(It is notable that Lisa Goodman is not on the same page with Palmisano, furthering my theory that Lisa Goodman is secretly in cahoots with Wedge LIVE).

In addition to the maps and land-use particulars, the council worked part of the way through a slew of text amendments to the comp plan. You can view the list here. On ADUs, Cam Gordon is proposing to eliminate the aforementioned owner-occupancy requirement. And Ward 8’s Andrea Jenkins has added amendment text on expanding programs that promote ownership of small multifamily buildings (like triplexes), particularly in communities of color.

Because there wasn’t enough time to work through all the amendments on Monday, another Council mark-up session has been scheduled for 9:30 am on Wednesday. A final vote on the plan is scheduled for December 7.