You may have heard some chatter about the Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan (“Comp Plan”). Here’s a quick primer on what it is, what is happening, and why it matters:
What is the Comp Plan
Every ten years, the City of Minneapolis develops and releases a Comp Plan. This is a massive document (300+ pages!) that functions as a guide for how the city will approach policy and projects over the coming years. It covers everything from housing, land use and transportation, and job access, to things like arts & culture, parks, and technology (here’s the full list of topics). The City has branded their effort on this recent plan as Minneapolis 2040.
How is the Comp Plan created?
It takes years. City staff have been working on this version since 2016. During the process, they meet with neighborhoods, community organizations, leaders, and the general public to make sure they are addressing the needs of the City. They also get a lot of input from elected officials, particularly the mayor and the City Council.
Once the draft is released, they get input all over again, and make adjustments before finalizing the document — which is voted on by the full City Council.
Why does it matter?
This document is the “roadmap” for the City’s work for the foreseeable future. As the City makes decisions on other important things, including zoning, approvals on specific projects, and changes to ordinances, these decisions will need to be aligned with the Comp Plan. It reflects, for example, the need to intentionally direct jobs and housing to areas served by public transit: suburbanization of blue-collar jobs has meant that more families are forced to commute farther for work, often by car. Reversing this trend would save people time and keep money in pockets. Contributing to a high-quality urban design that supports these goals also means access to parks, groceries, schools, and benefits public health and safety.
What’s happening now?
In March of 2018, the City released the Minneapolis 2040 Comp Plan for public feedback. There will be 3 months or so for feedback both online and in-person, at which point City staff will revise the document and submit a final version to the City Council. The City Council will likely hold a public hearing on the document before they vote to adopt the Comp Plan and/or recommend changes to it.
What can I do?
Neighbors for More Neighbors is excited for a strong Comp Plan, and one that addresses our housing shortage and housing affordability head-on by, for example, allowing four-plexes everywhere as of right. We’ll be reviewing the plan, providing our input, and talking to elected officials about our thoughts. Want to participate? Stay tuned for opportunities to volunteer & action alerts on the Comp Plan by subscribing to our mailing list. Look for our Comp Plan review soon.