ACTION: Support Parking Reform in Minneapolis

With Minneapolis 2040, the City of Minneapolis committed to eliminating car parking minimum requirements city-wide. We need you to speak up, as the City now considers this change, because it will reduce disparities, make new homes more affordable, and help our city become more climate resilient. 

Currently, the city requires that builders provide minimum numbers of off-street car parking spaces for residents of multifamily buildings and for customers of commercial buildings in most of the city. This encourages car travel, car traffic and sprawl and adds to the cost of new homes.

The proposed changes are forward-thinking — they: eliminate car parking minimum requirements, apply car parking maximums for a lot of new buildings, increase bike parking requirements, increase requirements for showers and bike storage, require EV infrastructure in new car parking spaces, and reduce loading requirements to make grocery stores more feasible in some buildings. They will also create a travel demand management system that will require larger new buildings to incorporate transportation management strategies like increased bike storage, providing limited car parking, or pedestrian realm improvements.

And as always, there is room for improvement. A new maximum limit on the number of bedrooms per home in Interior 1 and Interior 2 zones in the University Area (Como, Prospect Park) has been proposed to replace the car parking requirement. The car parking requirement in the UA Overlay was previously a mechanism to limit the number of bedrooms per unit, which will limit the ability to add homes to these areas. 

How to help:

  • Sign up to testify at the Planning Commission Monday, April 12th at 4:30pm. (For the online form, select Board or Commission under Meeting Type and select Zoning Code under Agenda Item.)
  • Using the talking points below, send the Minneapolis City Planning Commission and your City Council Member an email (contact info below) or leave a voicemail by 4/12 in support of the current parking reform ordinances.

Talking points 

  • Requiring any unneeded $10,000-$40,000 parking spaces makes it difficult to build affordable housing, and Minneapolis has an acute shortage of affordable homes. This new ordinance will help bring rents and costs of new homes down.
  • So-called “free” car parking is expensive. Requiring people who don’t own cars to subsidize car transportation for car owners doesn’t make sense, when the data shows low-income people and BIPOC are less likely to own a car. This is one step to reducing wealth and racial disparities.
  • Research shows that so-called “free” car parking increases driving. It also increases traffic-related air pollution, which is worst in historically disinvested and redlined neighborhoods. 
  • We have limited land in Minneapolis, and when we use that land for parking, we can’t use it for homes or grocery stores or parks. Requiring unneeded car parking makes neighborhoods less walkable and impedes our ability to create more complete neighborhoods
  • The new Travel Demand Management strategy points system will make it easier for residents of new buildings to bike, walk, and use transit for transportation, which will help Minneapolis reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality
  • Parking lots are ugly.

University Overlay Talking Points

  • Neighborhoods shouldn’t be allowed to opt-out of density amidst a housing crisis, and we should not be creating new barriers to housing access.
  • Historically, more people lived in each home in this area than they do now.
  • The University Area has some of the best transportation access in the city, and we welcome more people having the opportunity to live there.


And real quick!:

Mark your calendar for our April Member Social, Thurs 4/15 at 5:30pm! We’ll continue our conversation about tenant’s rights, housing stability, and rent stabilization. Register here!

Check out the city election candidate housing questionnaire N4MN facilitated with our fellow housing advocacy partners, and participate in caucuses in April! (The DFL is the only party holding caucuses this year.) 

Send your public comment on parking reform to Joe Bernard and your City Councilmember:

Joe Bernard (Manager of Code Development, City Planning Department)

Find your city council member here:

Kevin Reich (Northeast, Ward 1) (612) 673-220

Cam Gordon (Ward 2, Author of Policy change) (612) 673-2202

Steve Fletcher (Downtown, Ward 3) 612-673-2203

Phillipe Cunningham (North, Ward 4) (612) 673-2204

Jeremiah Ellison (North, west of downtown, Ward 5) 612-673-2205

Jamal Osman (South of Downtown, Ward 6) 612-673-2206

Lisa Goodman (West-Mid, Ward 7) 612-673-2207

Andrea Jenkins (Along 35W, Ward 8) 612-673-2208

Alondra Cano (Central, Ward 9) 612-673-2209

Lisa Bender (Lakes Area,Ward 10) 612-673-2210

Jeremy Schroeder (South,Ward 11) 612-673-2211

Andrew Johnson (Minnehaha Falls area,Ward 12) 612-673-2212

Linea Palmisano (Southwest, Ward 13) 612-673-2213