Comp 2040 public comment period ends soon

 Community members gathered at 800 West Broadway and at New Rules on Lowry Ave  on July 17 for two separate discussions on the Comp 2040 plan.  Photo by Cirien Saadeh

Community members gathered at 800 West Broadway and at New Rules on Lowry Ave  on July 17 for two separate discussions on the Comp 2040 plan. Photo by Cirien Saadeh

By Cirien Saadeh | Staff Reporter

The final stretch of the 100-day public comment period on the City of Minneapolis’ Comprehensive 2040 draft plan will come to an end on July 22. All Minneapolis residents have been urged by City officials to review the draft plan and respond. According to Ward 4 Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham, the 2040 plan offers an incredible opportunity for the Northside to come together and build political power.

Minneapolis 2040 is a 265 - page draft comprehensive planning document for the City of Minneapolis that is intended to shape the city’s future. The plan is divvied up into several goals and topics including land use, transportation, housing, and environmental systems, and more, as well as 100 proposed policies. According to the plan’s website, the document is intended to be a guide for how the City of Minneapolis can create equitable housing, jobs, and investment for the next ten years. 

Though he believes in its potential, Cunningham isn’t entirely supportive of the plan. He worries that its one-size-fits-all approach to affordable housing and equity issues may hurt the Northside.

“I am not satisfied with the current draft of the 2040 plan because I think that  the policies need to go much deeper into racial and geographic equity. There are downtown specific policies as it is an economic engine, but there are no policies that are Northside specific, from the opposite side of that, right? We need to talk about the disparities and the disinvestment,” said Cunningham. “The policies will say things like, ‘not all areas of the city have been invested in the same way.’ But can you just say North Minneapolis and actually put that out there and be specific about how is the city going to undo old harms.”

Cunningham is not the only one concerned about the 2040 draft plan. The Old Highland Neighborhood Association in Ward 5 recently shared a letter with the Minneapolis City Council expressing their concerns about the 2040 draft’s affordable housing plan and other aspects of the draft plan.

“We are opposed to more density in the Old Highland neighborhood. We understand the need for more housing in the City, particularly for low-income families/individuals. We can anticipate why this proposed density increase may especially impact Old Highland as we are both close to downtown and on the #5 bus route, but it is wrong for many reasons. We believe that the City needs to take a balanced approach in addressing housing needs, applying proposed new policies differently based on current available data on each impacted neighborhood,” they wrote.

 At the Ward 5 meeting about the 2040 plan at the 800 W Broadway building, community members asked questions related to zoning and business development. The meeting was attended by approximately 100 people.  Photo by Cirien Saadeh

At the Ward 5 meeting about the 2040 plan at the 800 W Broadway building, community members asked questions related to zoning and business development. The meeting was attended by approximately 100 people. Photo by Cirien Saadeh

 

Community members gathered in Ward 5 on July 17 for two separate meetings on the 2040 draft plan. The office of Ward 5 City Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison hosted a meeting at the 800 W Broadway building. The meeting was attended by nearly 100 people and was standing room only, though only about half of the participants were from North Minneapolis. New Rules also hosted a discussion on the 2040 draft plan with representatives from the Office of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED). During both meetings, community members spoke up about their concerns and confusion related to the plan and planning process. City officials urged community members to continue sharing their thoughts online in order to ensure that the City of Minneapolis hears a diverse array of voices as continued 2040 planning occurs.

“There are gaps. We don’t get that unless you talk to us,” said Brey Golding, one of the Minneapolis city planners present at New Rules’ community discussion.  

Public comment on the 2040 draft plan will be accepted until July 22 at https://minneapolis2040.com/. Councilmember Cunningham says that after the public comment period is over Northsiders should continue to reach out as he can include their thoughts in his continued advocacy and work on the plan.

Cirien Saadeh