Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

City adds density in 2040 plan to fit more people, more businesses

Posted on 28 May 2018 by calvin

Comments being accepted online and in person until July 22 regarding draft Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
In the next 20 years, the city of Minneapolis is planning for more. More houses. More businesses. More transit. And more demand to be in the city.

To make room for this, the city’s updated comprehensive plan increases density in just about every area of the city.
Residential districts with single-family bungalows could have up to four dwelling units in the future under the new Interior 1 district.

Well-traveled routes such as Cedar Ave. S., 28th Ave. S., 34th Ave. S., 42nd Ave. S., 38th St. E., 42nd St. E., and 50th St. E. will support business buildings along the entire stretch of up to four stories tall.

The Transit Districts 10, 15 and 20 along Hiawatha will allow buildings that are 10, 15 and 20 stories—with minimum height restrictions of 2, 4, and 6 stories—in order to best take advantage of the access to transit, jobs, and goods and services provided by the proximity to a METRO transit station.

Residents gathered at Northrop Elementary on May 15 to learn more about the draft Minneapolis 2040 plan. The meeting was jointly hosted by the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA) and the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association (SENA).

“We’re glad that you’re here today because your voice does make a difference,” stated NENA Executive Director Becky Timm.

Ward 12 Councilmember Andrew Johnson agreed. “We have a real opportunity here to make some pretty wide, substantial and impactful policy changes. We need more eyes on it. We need more input,” he said.

Three main themes
Minneapolis Principal Project Coordinator Paul Mogush stated, “We’ve made an effort to make this a plan that reflects the values of the people of Minneapolis.”

Photo right: Residents gathered at Northrop Elementary on May 15 to learn more about the draft Minneapolis 2040 plan. Comments are being accepted on the interactive online plan until July 22. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

The draft plan is the result of 50 meetings over the past two years, involving residents, business owners, developers and others with interest in the future of Minneapolis. It incorporates thousands of comments.

Three central themes guide the plan that goes above and beyond typical comprehensive plans, according to Mogush.

“Housing is extremely important. We’re staring down an affordable housing crisis,” Mogush said, both of type and affordability.

Second is racial equality. “We have substantial disparities,” pointed out Mogush, in income, education, and health.
The third is dealing with climate change. The city’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050.

Photo left: Minneapolis Principal Project Coordinator Paul Mogush stated, “We’ve made an effort to make this a plan that reflects the values of the people of Minneapolis.” He was joined by fellow panelists South Area planning staff member Joe Bernard, Ward 11 Council Member Jeremy Schroeder and Ward 12 Council Member Andrew Johnson. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Interactive website
The draft plan is a website that is entirely interactive, observed Mogush. It is designed to be navigated by what is relevant to each user and is arranged both by topic and the city’s 14 goals.

On the website is the Future Land Use Map that shows the types of uses allowed on a given parcel according to 12 categories. It works in conjunction with the Built Form District Map that shows the scale of development for every parcel in the city broken up into 13 districts.

Comments are being collected at public meetings, as well as online, through July 22. Feedback will be taken into consideration as city staff member revise the plan for city council consideration.

As the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger is being delivered, an interactive open house is set for Thur., May 31, 5:30-8pm, at Powderhorn Recreation Center, 3400 S. 15th Ave. It is the last of five open houses spread throughout the city in May.

Comments can also be made at minneapolis2040.com or shared on Twitter: #Mpls2040 @Mpls2040.

“Please continue to share your thoughts and ideas,” urged SENA Executive Director Candace Miller Lopez.

Fourteen goals
In 2017, the City Council adopted 14 goals divided into ten topic areas. These draft policies include:
• Increasing the supply and diversity of housing in all Minneapolis neighborhoods, including small-scale multi-family buildings
• Committing to the production and preservation of affordable housing and to limiting housing displacement
• Enhancing transportation options and reducing air pollution from transportation
• Prohibiting new heavy industrial uses while preserving land for quality living-wage production and processing jobs
• Supporting businesses by making it easier to have commercial uses near transit
• Supporting entrepreneurship particularly in communities of color
• Supporting the arts and creative economy
• Supporting workers through living wages and workplace protections
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy-efficient buildings.

Concern about 4-plexes
The change from R1 Single Family to Interior District 1 has generated more comments than any other by residents concerned about single-family homes being torn down and 4-plexes built in their place, and this was discussed during the May 15 town hall meeting.

Photo right: Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association (SENA) and Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA) Executive Directors Candace Miller Lopez (left) and Becky Timm welcome attendees to a meeting on the comprehensive plan at Northrop Elementary on May 15. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

One resident with an 18-year-old son was in favor of the change to provide affordable housing. Another was against it, fearing the loss of the character that drew them to the neighborhood in the first place.

One woman suggested limiting the taller structures to the north sides of each block to avoid blocking the sunlight coming in from south windows, which is highly needed in the winter months.

Ward 11 Council member Jeremy Schroeder, also the chair of the city’s zoning and planning commission, stated, “You can’t make a lot cheaper, but you can make a lot smaller.”

He remarked that there are options to the 4-plex, which include accessory dwelling units.

According to the draft plan, new buildings in the Interior 1 district should be primarily small-scale residential structures on traditional size city lots with up to four dwelling units, including single-family, duplex, 3-unit, 4-unit, and accessory dwelling unit building types. Building heights should be 1 to 2.5 stories.

South Area planning staff member Joe Bernard pointed out that these structures will be limited to the scale of the single-family home requirements that the city currently has as far as setbacks, height, and yard requirements.

However, once the comprehensive plan is approved, the city will need to update its zoning ordinances to match it, and this may change.

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