The Min­ne­ap­olis 2040 plan is con­sid­ered a sweep­ing pol­icy man­i­fes­to of what the fu­ture of hous­ing, trans­por­ta­tion, arts and cul­ture, and ra­cial equi­ty should look like in Min­ne­so­ta’s larg­est city.

Min­ne­ap­olis City Council mem­bers voted last month to move for­ward on the plan af­ter get­ting ap­prov­al from the Metropolitan Council, the plan­ning a­gen­cy re­spon­sible for over­see­ing its im­ple­men­ta­tion. While the 2040 plan goes into ef­fect Jan. 1, the coun­cil is still put­ting into place many of its ele­ments.

Here are some of the ma­jor things to watch:


This pro­vi­sion of the 2040 plan has garn­ered na­tion­al at­ten­tion for el­imi­nat­ing sin­gle-fam­i­ly zon­ing to al­low du­plex­es and triplexes.

Council Pres­i­dent Lisa Bender said the pol­icy change is “a big shift phil­o­soph­i­cal­ly” but she does not ex­pect du­plex and tri­plex con­ver­sions to pop up in neighborhoods right away. Costs and the build­ing size con­straints will be a like­ly bar­ri­er for many prop­er­ty own­ers. But she said the city is an­tic­i­pa­ting see­ing these chan­ges in ex­ist­ing old­er homes around the city.

“I think this change will help in­crease the hous­ing op­tions in all neighborhoods,” Bender said. “I think it will get us to a place where il­legal units are be­com­ing le­gal­ized and there­fore licensed and in­spect­ed, which is a good thing be­cause we want peo­ple in safe and licensed hous­ing.”

Timeline: Ex­pect­ed to go into ef­fect Jan. 1., af­ter fi­nal ap­prov­al this week.

Inclusionary zon­ing

City Council mem­bers are fol­low­ing guid­ance from a con­sult­ing firm that Min­ne­ap­olis should re­quire de­vel­op­ers to set a­side 10% to 20% of new units for low­er-in­come ten­ants. The coun­cil sees it as a way to add to the af­ford­a­ble hous­ing stock in Min­ne­ap­olis and would fol­low sim­i­lar poli­cies in Bloom­ing­ton, Brook­lyn Park, Golden Valley, Edina and St. Louis Park.

While de­vel­op­ers would re­ceive some sub­si­dies, de­vel­op­er groups have ex­press­ed frus­tra­tion with the pol­icy and that it would sty­mie hous­ing pro­duc­tion. Council mem­bers ad­opt­ed an in­ter­im inclusionary zon­ing pol­icy in De­cem­ber, but this would supersede it.

Timeline: Public hear­ing be­fore the Planning Commission Nov. 18.

‘Com­muni­ty clus­ters’

In an ef­fort to mit­i­gate the city’s ris­ing home­less and un­sta­ble hous­ing popu­la­tions, the coun­cil is look­ing to bol­ster guide­lines for “in­ten­tion­al com­muni­ty clus­ters”: a set of small­er homes and a com­mon house on a lot that of­fers sup­port­ive space for mar­gin­al­ized popu­la­tions like the home­less, peo­ple liv­ing with ad­dic­tion and peo­ple with little or no sta­ble em­ploy­ment. The rule would al­low the min­i­mum room sizes for these homes and regu­lat­ing re­quire­ments for a shared bath, lav­a­to­ry, kitch­en fa­cili­ties and ac­cess for resi­dents to safe­ly store their be­long­ings.

Timeline: The coun­cil is ex­pect­ed to dis­cuss this Nov. 14, with po­ten­tial for a­dop­tion as soon as Nov. 30.

Re­zon­ing study

The 2040 plan also calls for dens­er de­vel­op­ment along ma­jor streets in Min­ne­ap­olis to en­cour­age walk­ing and trans­it use in­stead of driv­ing. This will re­quire up­dates to the city’s zon­ing code, which will hap­pen in phases over the next sev­er­al years.

Timeline: Mid to late summer 2020.