Home>The Latest>Land Use Rezoning in Minneapolis

Land Use Rezoning in Minneapolis

By Ansha Zaman, Apr 18, 2023

Minneapolis Land Use Rezoning

Currently, Minneapolis is undergoing a major update to its zoning regulations as required by state law. When the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive plan passed in 2018, it set out a vision of a City in which “all communities can fully thrive regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, country of origin, religion, or zip code having eliminated deep-rooted disparities in wealth, opportunity, housing, safety, and health”. As required by state law, the City is updating its zoning rules to match the vision, goals and policy set out in the Minneapolis 2040 plan

In 2020, the city changed its rules about the height and shape of buildings which are called built form regulations. Now, Minneapolis is updating the part of the zoning code that guides where development for specific types of uses will be allowed.  The proposed land use rezoning will affect how our neighborhoods will grow and change in the future. As such it’s crucial that this growth achieves the vision of thriving communities set out in the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. 

CEED, along with partners submitted the following recommendations to the City Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) Department to urge the City to take proactive steps to protect the health and safety of the most under resourced communities through this zoning process: 

  •  Create a buffer zone between production and residential districts. Setting at least a quarter mile buffer zone between residential zoning districts and production and processing zoning districts would limit the exposure of residents to harmful industrial emissions
  • Prohibit any high-impact and moderate-impact production and processing use  which may impact human health. Restricting any new moderate impact or high-impact production and processing would be a crucial step in ensuring that new facilities do not add to the existing pollution burden of the City. 
  • Prohibit utility use in which power is generated from municipal waste to energy facilities or other power sources that add to the pollution burden of the City. The largest MSW facility in the state is located in downtown Minneapolis and over the last decade has cost North Minneapolis residents their safety and health. As such operating any MSW facility should be prohibited and should not be a permitted or a conditional use under any of the zoning districts. 
  • Limit any change or expansion of existing polluting facilities in the Green Zones. The new draft code grandfathers in many polluting facilities and allows for their continued operation. There should be increased inspection of existing industries in the Green Zones and in other environmental justice areas in the City that contribute to public health harms to ensure that they are not allowed to expand or modify their operations. Eventually these facilities should be phased out and existing uses should comply with the underlying zoning code restrictions.

Ways to Get Involved!

  • As part of the adoption process for the proposed land use regulations, a Planning Commission Public Hearing is scheduled to take place on April 24th. Attend the hearing with your neighbors, friends, fellow Minneapolis residents to stay informed. 
  • Write to your City Council member with any concerns or questions you may have regarding the proposed regulations.

Related Posts

Minnesota’s SF 4 Bill: Decoding the 100% Clean Energy Commitment and What it Means for Environmental Justice Communities

Last week, Minnesota signed into law Senate bill SF 4, establishing an ambitious goal to achieve 100% clean energy by...

Incineration in Minnesota: The Environmental Justice Fight Against Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC)

Back in December of 2022, CEED's Natalya Arevalo connected with Akira Yano, a local organizer with the MNEJT. They talked...

Bringing Green Zones to Minneapolis

First Steps to Green Zones in Minneapolis The Environmental Justice Working Group to the 2013 Minneapolis Climate Action Plan (MCAP)…