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Plan to scale back 2040 plan fails in Minneapolis

November 27, 2018

A last-ditch effort to scale back the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan went down to defeat on the City Council Monday, but many other details of the development blueprint are still at play.

City Council Member Linea Palmisano, a vocal critic of how the plan seeks to increase density, proposed allowing duplexes, instead of triplexes, in areas now restricted to single-family homes.

It would be a further departure from the 2040 density guidelines, which were scaled back by planners earlier this year from fourplexes to triplexes citywide.

Council President Lisa Bender on Monday defended the triplex proposal as the most gentle, incremental, moderate approach that we could take to increasing housing options in our city.

The amendment failed on a voice vote, with a large majority of council members opposed. It was further evidence that the most controversial piece of the plan is likely to succeed in the final vote.

The exchange took place at a special meeting Monday that focused mostly on last-minute details introduced by council members. The meeting lasted more than three hours, and council members only addressed a fraction of about 150 amendments to the plan on the agenda, which some on the council had not been able to review until the meeting started.

The high volume of amendments forced them to schedule another meeting Wednesday in order to meet the Dec. 7 deadline to vote.

Some of the amendments focused on minor textual changes or single-word edits to the comprehensive plan, which is the road map for how the city will address issues such as affordability, racial disparity and climate change over the next two decades.

Minneapolis planning staff have been working on the plan for years, and its gone through a turbulent period of public debate since the first draft debuted in March.

At the meeting Monday, some council members expressed frustration over the number of last-minute changes so close to the final vote.

Did you just take like every idea you have on affordable housing and toss it into the Comp Plan? Council Member Lisa Goodman asked Council Member Cam Gordon during the meeting, saying some of the amendments were not feasible and only added to the workload of overburdened staff.

Wednesdays meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. After that, the council will have another opportunity offer changes at a Committee of the Whole meeting next week before the final Friday vote. The council will start working next year on implementing the plan into policy.

Andy Mannix 612-673-4036

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