What is the Comp Plan?
Every ten years, the City of Minneapolis develops and releases a Comp Plan. This is a massive document (300+ pages!) that functions as a guide for how the city will approach policy and projects over the coming years. It covers everything from housing, land use and transportation, and job access, to things like arts & culture, parks, and technology (here’s the full list of topics). The City has branded their effort on this recent plan as Minneapolis 2040.
How is the Comp Plan created?
It takes years. City staff have been working on this version since 2016. During the process, they meet with neighborhoods, community organizations, leaders, and the general public to make sure they are addressing the needs of the City. They also get a lot of input from elected officials, particularly the mayor and the City Council.
Once the draft is released, they get input all over again, and make adjustments before finalizing the document — which is voted on by the full City Council.
Why does it matter?
This document is the “roadmap” for the City’s work for the foreseeable future. As the City makes decisions on other important things, including zoning, approvals on specific projects, and changes to ordinances, these decisions will need to be aligned with the Comp Plan. It reflects, for example, the need to intentionally direct jobs and housing to areas served by public transit: suburbanization of blue-collar jobs has meant that more families are forced to commute farther for work, often by car. Reversing this trend would save people time and keep money in pockets. Contributing to a high-quality urban design that supports these goals also means access to parks, groceries, schools, and benefits public health and safety.
What’s happening now?
In March of 2018, the City released the Minneapolis 2040 Comp Plan for public feedback. There will be three months or so for feedback both online and in-person, at which point City staff will revise the document and submit a final version to the City Council. The City Council will likely hold a public hearing on the document before they vote to adopt the Comp Plan and/or recommend changes to it.
What can I do?
There are a couple of ways to get involved: There are a number of organizations who are working to review, highlight, and encourage comments on specific elements of the Comp Plan. For example, Neighbors for More Neighbors is focusing on those pieces of the plan that address the housing shortage and housing affordability head-on (e.g. by allowing four-plexes everywhere as of right). The City will be hosting a number of open houses in May to hear community feedback on the Comp Plan. And of course, you can also review the plan yourself and provide personal feedback at the Minneapolis 2040 Comp Plan website.