One of the more ambitious rezoning proposals in years will arrive at the Minneapolis City Council on Thursday as city planners try to adapt development to fresh plans for greater housing density and less industrial zoning in the Midtown Greenway-Lake Street corridor.

The proposal originally would have rezoned more than half of the properties in a band that's generally three blocks wide. It stretches for more than 5 miles across the city, with spurs north and south along Hennepin and Lyndale avenues.

That staff proposal for rezoning more than 1,700 properties was trimmed to almost 1,300 by the Planning Commission in December, in response to neighborhood concerns about density. Now it hits the council's zoning committee at a 9:30 a.m. meeting. Rezoning proposed west of Lyndale Avenue will be considered first. The more easterly area will be taken up in subsequent meetings.

The original proposal would have increased potential density for nearly three-quarters of the residential properties to be rezoned, while cutting potential density for the rest.

A common proposal was for areas zoned for single-family or duplex housing to go to the next higher residential category, which allows heights of 2-1/2 stories and 29 units per acre. But a planning staff analysis showed that small lot sizes and other regulatory barriers will keep most owners of existing single-family or duplex houses from converting their existing buildings by adding one or two units.

Population density likely would increase along the popular Midtown Greenway, a former railroad-turned-bike-hike corridor one block off Lake Street for much of its length. One major reason for installing recreational paths was to spur redevelopment in blighted areas along the corridor. The proposal would raise residential zoning for some parcels, while rezoning some industrial parcels to residential.

But a nonprofit organization of greenway backers has asked for additional protections, expressing concern that shade from taller housing developments and added advertising from commercial development could hurt recreational use of paths. Neither planning staff nor the commission was convinced that a special zone along the greenway to deal with those concerns was needed because of other zoning protections.

The zoning proposals arise from six smaller planning studies adopted by the city in recent years. The Metropolitan Council also has encouraged population growth in such areas. Zoning changes are needed to make sure that development conforms with adopted city plans, according to Amanda Arnold, a city community planner.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438