Minneapolis to Begin Environmental Review in Response to 2040 Plan Lawsuit

After environmental groups sought to stop the city’s ambitious comprehensive plan, Minneapolis is looking for ways to resume its implementation.

1 minute read

May 18, 2023, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

After a contentious lawsuit challenging the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan, the city has commissioned an environmental review, reports Susan Du in the Star Tribune. In the lawsuit, environmental groups argued that an environmental review of the plan should be required before its approval, while city officials maintained that the groups could challenge individual projects they deemed harmful.

Smart Growth Minneapolis and Minnesota Citizens for the Protection of Migratory Birds claimed the 2040 Plan, designed to eliminate single-family zoning in favor of developing more housing, would pollute the air and public waters while reducing permeable land and wildlife habitat. Challenging individual projects wouldn't address the cumulative effects of the plan, the groups argued.” Meanwhile, “[Minneapolis Mayor] Frey and city staffers lobbied the Legislature this spring to change state law by exempting municipal comprehensive plans from environmental review, and were joined by city officials from St. Paul and Hopkins.”

PeggySue Imihy, president of the Minnesota chapter of the American Planning Association, supported the plan, saying “If local governments lose the ability to increase density and urban centers, the result would include further dispersed development patterns that would have far more negative environmental impacts than the full build out of any comprehensive plan.”

The implementation of Minneapolis 2040 was halted by a judge last June, but was tentatively allowed to proceed a month later.

Monday, May 15, 2023 in Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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