Minneapolis 2040 Lawsuit Update


The Minnesota Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the Minneapolis 2040 lawsuit on
October 13th at 10:40am. Oral arguments will be limited to the parties involved, the City of
Minneapolis, and Smart Growth Minneapolis, et al.

The brief time for arguments and questions means that neither the parties nor the judges will be
able to fully explore all aspects of the case, but it may give an idea as to how the judges may be
approaching the case and how they may rule on it.

In its appeal the City of Minneapolis has raised three main questions:

  1. Was the district court in error in denying the City’s motion for summary judgment since
    the plaintiffs have not shown that the 2040 Plan would cause pollution, impairment, or
    destruction of natural resources in violation of Minnesota’s Environmental Rights Act?
  2. Was the district court in error when basing its decision on a hypothetical complete build-
    out of the 2040 plan, which is not likely to occur for decades, if ever?
  3. Was the district court in error when it issued a broad injunction, halting actions in matters
    not related to the litigation?

While the hearing will be open to the public, there is not a reason for supporters to show up
beyond an interest in hearing the arguments of the parties and the questions of the judges.

A recording of the hearing should be available the next day, October 14.


Within 90 days of October 13th, the court will issue a written opinion. The opinion will be
published in the court’s case management system, and can be found by searching for case
number A22-0852.

If the Court of Appeals finds in favor of the City (yay), then the case would likely return to the
District Court for reconsideration using the legal standard that the Court of Appeals articulates.
However, if the Court of Appeals finds in favor of the respondents (not yay), it is likely that the
District Court’s decision would be affirmed and there would be no need for the District Court to
reconsider anything.

That said, the losing party at the Court of Appeals is almost certain to appeal to the Minnesota
Supreme Court. During an appeal to the Supreme Court, the status quo would persist, which
means the 2040 Plan would remain in force until the lawsuit is completely resolved. Ultimately,
we will have to wait until the appeals are over to have a better sense of the ramifications of the
2040 lawsuit.

"The Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan is pro-housing and pro-climate. We're defending it."