Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Minneapolis 2040 Charts and Maps

Some charts and maps to consider as we close in on the comment deadline for the draft of the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan. You have until July 22 to comment at minneapolis2040.com!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Minneapolis 2040 Deadline Roundup


There's just one week left in the comment period for the draft Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan! Concerned residents assured me it would be shoved down our throats, but I'm not sure my throat could handle a lengthier process.

Leave your comments at minneapolis2040.com until July 22. The city will spend a few months synthesizing that feedback into a new draft to be released in late September.

Below I have compiled the latest news on the comprehensive plan, including two presentations to City Council committees earlier this week.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Beyond Apocalyptic Yard Signs


It’s a maddening time lately, with political actors denying obvious truths and using scare tactics to sidestep honest dialogue. In any debate about change, political winds favor the side with the simple message: NO. It's easy to fearmonger, deceive, and put words on lawn signs that conjure impending annihilation.

I like to think Minneapolis is better than that. In Minneapolis we recognize real problems and act to solve them. We recognize that housing is in short supply and unacceptably expensive for too many of our neighbors. We recognize that climate change is real, and is driven by lifestyles made necessary by our region's sprawling, auto-oriented development patterns. We recognize that nobody should have opportunity limited by the fact they can’t afford to live in the right neighborhood.

To foster an honest conversation about the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, let’s focus on this widely recognized fact: Minneapolis doesn’t have enough homes. MPR reports that the fabled “starter home” is disappearing from the Twin Cities due to a combination of factors: “land, laws, labor, and lumber.” For the sake of conversation, here's a few examples of things affecting the cost housing:
  • Energy efficiency standards substantially add to the cost of a new home
  • Land on which to build new homes is made more expensive because of growth boundaries
  • Restrictions in zoning codes all across the Twin Cities prevent building “twin homes” (or fourplexes, or apartments, or anything that’s not a single-family home) that share a wall and sell for much less than an equivalent single-family home 
  • Car parking requirements add to the cost of every unit of housing, especially when it’s a massive parking structure
If we can agree to the facts (that these things affect the cost of housing), then -- and only then -- we can move to what should come next: an actual conversation about what we value.