Minneapolis 2040 development plan is voted through by city council

It'll now be submitted to the Metropolitan Council.
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A plan setting guidelines for the growth and development in Minneapolis over the next 20 years has been voted through the city council.

Council members passed the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan by a vote of 12-1 on Friday, with Linea Palmisano (Ward 13 – southwest Minneapolis) the only "nay" vote.

The plan covers a whole manner of policies aiming to improve racial equity, boost jobs, combat climate change, and improve the quality of life across socioeconomic groups in the city.

But it's proven to be a controversial plan mainly because of its efforts to increase access to affordable housing.

Under the proposed plan, planning rules would be loosened to allow land currently zoned for single-family homes to be used for triplexes, as well as larger multi-unit properties on transit routes and in more commercial neighborhoods.

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Speaking at Friday's meeting, the Star Tribune reports council president Lisa Bender said the plan is the first step in fighting the city's previously "discriminatory" housing policies and combat climate change.

Supporters see the higher-density housing as a way of increasing access to affordable rental properties as well as boosting transit use, reducing reliance on polluting cars.

But opponents fear it would lead to developers buying up single-family homes across the city and throwing up larger, multi-unit homes in their place.

Three organizations opposing the plan, Smart Growth Minneapolis, Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis, and the Minnesota Citizens for the Protection of Migratory Birds, sought a restraining order to prevent Friday's vote, saying not enough studies have been done to examine the environmental impact of the plan.

However, a judge rejected this on Thursday, allowing Friday's vote to go ahead.

KSTP reports that the plan will now go to the Metropolitan Council, which will spend at least four months reviewing it before sending it back to the council for a final vote.

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