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The revised draft of Minneapolis 2040 was released in Fall 2018 for consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council.  Read more about how to comment on the revised draft plan.

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation

The regulatory framework and resources needed to implement the policies of Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan are in place. This structure includes a regional framework as provided by state statute, Metropolitan Council policy, as well as City policies, programs, and budgetary and regulatory tools.

This implementation chapter provides an overview of how the comprehensive plan is implemented throughout the City Enterprise in policy, regulation, process, and programming as required by the Metropolitan Council.

The implementation chapter includes the following sections:

  • The Regional Framework: Thrive MSP 2040 – An overview of the shared vision to guide growth of the region over the next 30 years.
  • Implementation Timeline—An overview of primary implementation strategies, sequencing, and lead departments or agencies that are responsible for implementation of elements of the comprehensive plan.
  • Official Controls—Official controls are ordinances, regulations, fiscal devices, and other strategies used to implement the comprehensive plan.
  • Capital Improvement Program—The City of Minneapolis five-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is a list of funded projects that maintain and improve city infrastructure. This section provides an overview of the process and how projects are funded.
  • Housing Implementation Program—The Housing Implementation Program outlines the official controls, fiscal tools, and programs the City could use to implement the policies to meet existing and projected housing needs, and comprehensive plan goals.
  • Consistency Between Plan and Local Controls—This section outlines how the City of Minneapolis will work to ensure consistency between its official local controls and the comprehensive plan.

This chapter also includes a description of City of Minneapolis resources, including budgets, fiscal tools, regulations, and plans. Additional information and resources within this chapter can be found in the Appendix.  

The Regional Framework: Thrive MSP 2040

The regional framework is established in state statute and regional policy as administered by the Metropolitan Council as part of the Metropolitan Land Planning Act (§473). Thrive MSP 2040 is the shared vision for the region that will guide growth over the next 30 years, addressing long-range comprehensive plan issues such as housing, transportation, wastewater treatment, parks, and water resources. Cities, counties, and townships within the seven-county metropolitan region must prepare a comprehensive plan and update the plan every ten years.

Three criteria are used to evaluate this plan within the regional context:

  • Conformance—The plan is evaluated on how it conforms to all metropolitan system policy plans for transportation, water resources, parks, and housing.
  • Consistency—The plan is evaluated on how it addresses every major statutory requirement and regional policies as outlined in Thrive MSP 2040 and system plans.
  • Compatibility— The plan is evaluated on its compatibility with neighboring and affected jurisdictions and governmental units.

The comprehensive plan must demonstrate “The Three C’s” on a local level as outlined in Thrive MSP 2040.  This chapter will outline action steps the City will take to align City programs, policies, budgets, and initiatives and department business plans with the policies contained in this plan.

The comprehensive plan is also intended to work with the City’s Strategic Plan and Racial Equity Action Plan to provide policy direction to the City over a ten-to-twenty-year period. Although the Strategic Plan is intended to reflect the priorities and cover the duration of the current administration’s term, elected officials’ support is necessary to champion and implement policies, adopt regulatory changes, and provide allocations for programming and resources.  

Implementation Timeline

The City alone cannot implement the policies in the comprehensive plan. This will require collaboration enterprise-wide, and partnerships with external agencies and institutions to work towards comprehensive plan goals. The City will be responsible for collaborating with local, County, and State agencies to implement various elements of the plan.

Citywide topical plans will be integral to the implementation of comprehensive plan policies for housing, parks, transportation, and site-specific plans such as development projects. Topical plans and the lead department or agency responsible for carrying out the plan are identified later in the implementation chapter.

The table below highlights strategies and the timeframe for implementation for each comprehensive plan topic. Each topic identifies the primary implementation strategy, when the action is expected to be completed, and the lead City department or agency responsible for implementing that strategy.

It is important to note that these timeframes are meant to describe the general sequencing of strategies, and may be completed anytime within that timeframe. However, official controls will be brought into consistency as required by timelines set by state statue.

Table of Primary Implementation Strategies by Topic

Short-term – (0 to 5 years)

Medium-term – (5 to 10 years)

Long-term – (10 or more years)

Timeline

Primary Implementation Strategies

Lead City Departments and Key Partner Agencies

Topic: Land Use & Built Form

Policies and maps guiding the location and design of new housing, workplaces, retail establishments, and other development.

Short-term

Zoning and subdivision ordinances – Continue to enforce existing ordinances. However, the City will embark on a rezoning study to bring existing ordinances into consistency with adopted land use & built form maps, and plan policies.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
    • Development Services
    • Long Range Planning

Short-term

Development review process – Continue to use the development review process to ensure projects are consistent with the comprehensive plan and other City plans and ordinances. 

  • CPED - Development Services
  • Public Works Department
  • Regulatory Services

Long-term

Retrofit and design of energy efficient buildings - Continue to develop programs and strategies to retrofit buildings to be energy efficient. This includes incremental regulatory changes to advance energy efficient design and operations of buildings.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • City Coordinator’s Office

Topic: Transportation

Policies supporting a multimodal transportation network that prioritizes walking, biking, and transit.

Short-term

Update Transportation Action Plan – The City will update its Transportation Action Plan to implement the transportation policies to achieve the goals articulated in the comprehensive plan. This includes multi-agency coordination to develop a multimodal transportation network to ensure compatibility with adjacent land uses.

  • Public Works Department
  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Health Department
  • Hennepin County
  • Metropolitan Council
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)

Short-term

Capital improvements program funding process – The funding of street reconstruction and maintenance prioritizes equity considerations in transportation programming as outlined in the 20 Year Street Funding Plan. The City will continue to review, prioritize, and fund capital projects that are consistent with and implement the comprehensive plan. This includes adhering to the City’s Complete Streets policy, investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and coordinating investments with partnering agencies to support and develop a multimodal transportation network.

  • Public Works Department
  • Hennepin County
  • Metropolitan Council

Short-term

Operations and maintenance –Continue to fund and complete projects that aligns with city priorities and comprehensive plan policies. This includes improvements and maintenance to traffic operations, streets, bridges, City-owned facilities, and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

  • Public Works Department
  • Hennepin County
  • Metropolitan Council

Long-term

Aviation – Continue to work to ensure the City has an active role in ongoing work on regional airport planning. 

  • CPED – Long Range Planning
  • Metropolitan Airports Commission

Long-term

Environmental impacts of transportation – The City will work to encourage bicycle and transit use to reduce environmental impacts created from single-occupancy trips. The progress made on achieving climate action goals in the comprehensive plan will be tracked and measured as part of City climate goals. 

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Public Works Department
  • Health Department
  • City Coordinator’s Office

Topic: Housing

Policies guiding housing supply, choice, maintenance, quality, and affordability.

Short-term

Grant and loan programs – Implement comprehensive plan policies for housing through a portfolio of housing grant and loan programs, with focus on affordability, choice, and quality.

  • CPED – Housing

 

Short-term

Regulatory framework – Continue to enforce existing ordinances, and make incremental changes as needed to implement comprehensive plan policies. 

  • CPED – Housing
  • Regulatory Services
  • Health Department

Short-term

Inspections and healthy homes–  The City will proactively address health hazards in housing through the use of inspections to ensure compliance with existing plans and ordinances, as well as programs that will help identify and remediate health hazards in existing homes.

  • CPED – Housing
  • Regulatory Services
  • Health Department

Medium-term

Comprehensive housing investments – The City will coordinate enterprise-wide when making investments such as housing projects, workforce development, or public health strategies in order to implement the comprehensive plan goals and policies.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Police Department
  • Regulatory Services
  • Health Department
  • Public Works Department

Medium-term

Affordable housing production and preservation– Meet or exceed regional affordable housing goals for the city by supporting the development of a diversity of housing types, sizes, levels of affordability, and locations through the utilization of City programs and public and private funding sources.

  • CPED – Housing

Long-term

Mixed-income housing development – Continue to refine policies, programs, and regulations to develop mixed-income housing throughout the city for ownership and rental housing. The City will continue to expand partnerships with local organizations and agencies to implement the comprehensive plan goals and policies.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA)
  • Minnesota Housing

 

Topic: Economic Competitiveness

Policies guiding the economic competitiveness of our city and region, focusing on the city’s workforce, businesses, production areas, and Downtown.

Short-term

Technical assistance, grant, and loan programs – Continue to use and expand the portfolio of tools and programs linked to economic competitiveness goals. The City will develop strategies to increase the diversity of participants in utilizing City resources in order to meet comprehensive plan goals.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)

 

Medium-term

Community partnerships – Build strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with community organizations, public agencies, and institutions to meet economic competitiveness goals, with a focus on communities that have experienced disinvestment.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Local, County, and State agencies
  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Service providers
  • Higher education institutions and vocational schools

Long-term

Coordinated development strategy – Coordinate the development and investments of housing, businesses, and public infrastructure in geographic areas most in need of reinvestment among City departments and external agencies.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA)
  • Public Works Department
  • Hennepin County
  • Metropolitan Council
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)

Topic: Public Services and Facilities

Policies guiding the siting of publicly-owned buildings, planning for public facility needs, public safety, and inspections and licensing.

Short-term

Capital improvements program funding process – Continue to review, prioritize, and fund capital projects that are consistent with and implement the comprehensive plan, including improvements to City-owned buildings and infrastructure.

  • Public Works Department
  • Finance Department
  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Fire Department
  • Police Department
  • Health Department
  • Regulatory Services

Short-term

Service provision – Continue to provide high quality City services to the community, including but not limited to public safety, water, sanitation, and health.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Public Works Department
  • Regulatory Services
  • Health Department
  • Fire Department
  • Police Department
  • Communications Department

Short-term

Operations and maintenance – Continue to fund and complete projects with a goal of improving the current level of service for City-maintained infrastructure, including water, wastewater, and transportation facilities.

  • Public Works Department
  • Regulatory Services
  • Health Department
  • Fire Department
  • Police Department
  • Communications Department

Medium-term

Partnerships – Build partnerships with local, County, and State agencies to ensure implementation of comprehensive plan policies and goals. 

  • Public Works Department
  • Health Department
  • Fire Department
  • Police Department
  • Regulatory Services
  • Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Hennepin County
  • Metropolitan Council
  • State of Minnesota

Topic: Environmental Systems

Policies guiding management of environmental systems and impacts, including city operations, water resources, waste management and recycling, air quality, brownfields cleanup, and energy.

Short-term

Water resources – Continue to fund and implement programs per the management plan to maintain and improve sanitary sewer and stormwater infrastructure, and protect water resources in the city.

  • Public Works Department

Short-term

Service provision – Continue to provide high quality city services to the community, including but not limited to public safety, water, sanitation, and health.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Public Works Department
  • Regulatory Services
  • Health Department
  • Fire Department
  • Police Department
  • Communications Department

Short-term

Technical assistance, grant, and loan programs – Continue to use and expand the portfolio of tools and programs linked to economic competitiveness goals such as grants for brownfield cleanups.

  • CPED - Economic Development

Long-term

Retrofit and design of energy efficient buildings - Continue to develop programs and strategies to retrofit buildings to be energy efficient. This includes incremental regulatory changes to advance energy efficient design and operations of buildings.

  • CPED - Development Services
  • City Coordinator’s Office

Long-term

Environmental impacts of transportation – The City will work to encourage bicycle and transit use to reduce environmental impacts created from single-occupancy trips. The progress made on achieving climate action goals in the comprehensive plan will be tracked and measured as part of City climate goals. 

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Public Works Department
  • Health Department
  • City Coordinator’s Office

Topic: Parks and Open Space

Policies addressing existing open spaces and parks in Minneapolis, and those that could be created in the future to enhance quality of life and to improve accessibility.

Short-term

Zoning and subdivision ordinances – Continue to enforce existing ordinances. However, the City will embark on a rezoning study to bring existing ordinances into consistency with adopted land use and built form maps, and plan policies. The City will continue to coordinate with the MPRB to identify opportunities for new parks and open space to meet comprehensive plan goals.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
    • Development Services
    • Long Range Planning
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB)
  • Public Works Department

Short-term

Park Board operations – Continue to work with the MPRB regarding maintaining and expansion of the park system and its services, consistent with both the city’s and the MPRB’s comprehensive plans.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • Public Works Department

Short-term

Operations and maintenance – Continue to fund and complete projects that maintain or improve the parks and open space system, in partnership with the MPRB. The City will continue to improve equitable access to new and existing parks through projects that are consistent with comprehensive plan policies.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
  • Public Works Department

Topic: Heritage Preservation

Policies guiding the protection and reuse of culturally significant features of the built and natural environment, including buildings, districts, landscapes, and other historic resources.

Short-term

Historic preservation ordinance – Continue to enforce existing ordinance, and make incremental changes as needed to respond to changing conditions and further implement comprehensive plan policies. 

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

Short-term

Historic design guidelines –Continue to enforce existing standards, and make incremental changes as needed to ensure design guidelines are tailored to protect the criteria of significance for which a resource is designated.  

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

Medium-term

Identify and evaluate historic resources – Continue to complete historic surveys and context studies throughout the city as needed to provide a comprehensive view of historical resources. As information becomes available, continue to designate resources for designation recommended from studies.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

Medium-term

Development review process – Continue to use the development review process to ensure projects are consistent with the comprehensive plan and other City plans and ordinances. 

  • CPED – Development Services
  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)

Topic: Arts and Culture

Policies guiding the contributions of arts and culture to a vibrant and livable city.

Short-term

Capital improvements program – Continue to review, prioritize and fund capital projects that are consistent with and implement the comprehensive plan, including public art projects.

  • CPED – Long Range Planning
  • Public Works Department
  • City Coordinator’s Office

Short-term

Regulations for arts and creative spaces – Continue to enforce existing ordinances. However, the City will embark on a rezoning study to bring existing ordinances into consistency with adopted land use and built form maps, and plan policies. Additional strategies will require coordination with the City Coordinator’s Office, and community partnerships to implement comprehensive plan policies.

  • CPED - Long Range Planning
  • City Coordinator’s Office

Medium-term

Public art program – Continue to implement the City’s vision for public art.

  • CPED - Long Range Planning
  • City Coordinator’s Office

Topic: Public Health

Policies on health topics related to the built environment, including active living, environmental health, food and nutrition, health and human services, social cohesion, and mental health.

Short-term

Zoning and subdivision ordinances – Continue to enforce existing ordinances. However, the City will embark on a rezoning study to make sure that existing ordinances is consisted with adopted future land use and built form maps, and plan policies.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)

Topic: Technology and Innovation

Guidance on advancing the use of technology to improve City services and on fostering technology-based economic development.

Short-term

Digital access and literacy – Continue to facilitate digital literacy and access to technological tools for residents through collaborations with institutions and partnering organizations.

  • Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED)
  • Information Technology Department
  • Communications Department

Short-term

Technology in the enterprise – Continue to improve and invest in technology to make City services and information accessible to all.

  • City Clerk’s Office
  • Information Technology Department
  • Communications Department

Official Controls

In this section, official controls refer to ordinances, fiscal devices, and other strategies used to implement the comprehensive plan. Thrive MSP 2040 encourages communities in the region to explore and use a variety of innovative ordinances and other official controls to implement their comprehensive plans. Minneapolis does that through its code of ordinances.

Zoning Ordinance

The land use and built form guidance of the comprehensive plan are implemented through a local zoning ordinance. The City’s existing zoning ordinance will require significant revisions to bring into consistency with the comprehensive plan. As part of the regional framework, Thrive MSP 2040 uses community designations to help cities and townships target policy development when updating their comprehensive plans. Minneapolis has a community designation of Urban Center as identified in Thrive MSP 2040.

Below are the land use policies for the community designation ‘Urban Center’ from Thrive MSP 2040:

  • Plan for forecasted population and household growth at average densities of at least 20 units per acre for new development and redevelopment. Target opportunities for more intensive development near regional transit investments at densities and in a manner articulated in the 2040 Transportation Policy Plan.
  • Identify areas for redevelopment, particularly areas that are well-served by transportation options and nearby amenities and that contribute to better proximity between jobs and housing.
  • Identify opportunities for land assembly to prepare sites that will attract future private reinvestment, especially in Areas of Concentrated Poverty and Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty.
  • In collaboration with other regional partners, lead major redevelopment efforts, such as at the former Ford Plant site.
  • Lead detailed land use planning efforts around regional transit stations and other regional investments.
  • Plan for and program local infrastructure needs (for example, roads, sidewalks, sewer, water, surface water), including those needed for future growth and to implement local comprehensive plans.
  • Recognize opportunities for urban agriculture and small-scale food production.

For a detailed description of how the comprehensive plan policies and land use guidance meets the Urban Center land use policies see the Appendix.

The City’s zoning districts include several main categories which are listed below.  In addition are overlay zoning districts within the city that either provide more flexibility or impose additional restrictions to the underlying zoning district. A more complete account of this, and zoning maps, can be found in the Appendix.

  • Residence districts - The residence districts are established to preserve and enhance quality of living in residential neighborhoods, to regulate structures and uses which may affect the character or desirability of residential areas, to encourage a variety of dwelling types and locations and a range of population densities consistent with the comprehensive plan, and to ensure adequate light, air, privacy and open space.

Zoning districts include R1 and R1A, which are single-family, and R2, R2B, and R3, which are small-scale multi-family. R4, R5, and R6 districts permits multi-family developments.

  • Office residence districts – The office residence districts are established to provide an environment of mixed residential, office, institutional, and where appropriate, small scale retail sales and service uses designed to serve the immediate surroundings. These office residence districts may serve as small to medium scale mixed use areas within neighborhoods, as higher density transitions between downtown and residential neighborhoods, or as freestanding institutions and employment centers throughout the city.

Zoning districts OR1, OR2, and OR3 are mixed use districts, which allows a range from low-scale commercial to major institutional uses.   

  • Commercial districts – The commercial districts are established to provide a range of goods and services for city residents, to promote employment opportunities and the adaptive reuse of existing commercial buildings, and to maintain and improve compatibility with surrounding areas. In addition to commercial uses, residential uses, institutional and public uses, parking facilities, limited production and processing and public services and utilities are allowed.

Zoning districts C1, C2, C3A, C3S, an C4 are mixed use districts.  They allow a range of commercial uses from neighborhood to large scale, and also accommodate residential uses.

  • Downtown districts – The downtown districts are established to provide a range of retail, entertainment, office, employment, residential, institutional and governmental activities of citywide and regional significance. The regulations recognize the unique qualities of downtown as the business and cultural center of the region, as a community of high-density residential choices, and as a place where the combined environment attracts businesses, workers, shoppers, visitors, tourists, and residents.

Zoning districts B4, B4S, B4C, and B4N which are used just in Downtown Minneapolis. They are mixed use districts, which allow much higher densities and heights than allowed elsewhere in the city.

  • Industrial districts – The industrial districts are established to provide locations for industrial land uses engaged in production, processing, assembly, manufacturing, packaging, wholesaling, warehousing or distribution of goods and materials. Regulations for the industrial districts are established to promote industrial development and to maintain and improve compatibility with surrounding areas. In addition to industrial uses, limited commercial uses, parking facilities, institutional and public uses and public services and utilities are allowed.

Industrial zoning districts are I1, I2, and I3. While some commercial uses are allowed, residential uses generally are not (without an overlay district).

  • Overlay districts – Overlay districts are a series of districts that provide more specific guidance in designated areas throughout the city. Parcels within these districts are subject to the provisions in the primary zoning district and the overlay district.

Overlay zoning districts include Pedestrian Oriented Overlay District, Linden Hills Overlay District, Industrial Living Overlay District, Transitional Parking Overlay District, Shoreland Overlay District, Floodplain Overlay District, Mississippi River Critical Area Overlay District, Downtown Parking Overlay District, Downtown Housing Overlay District, Downtown Height Overlay District, Nicollet Mall Overlay District, Harmon Area Overlay District, Airport Overlay District, University Area Overlay District, and Downtown Shelter Overlay District.

Land Subdivision Ordinance

Chapter 598 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances establishes land subdivision regulations for the City of Minneapolis, which are designed to facilitate and implement the subdivision and re-subdivision of land, and implement the policies of the comprehensive plan and zoning regulations. At this time, no major changes to the land subdivision ordinances are needed to ensure the ordinance is consistent with the comprehensive plan.

Heritage Preservation Ordinance

Heritage Preservation Regulations are established within Chapter 599 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances, as authorized by state law M.S. 138.71 through 138.75, Minnesota Historic District Act of 1971 and M.S. 471.193, Municipal Heritage Preservation. The Heritage Preservation Ordinance establishes the Heritage Preservation Commission to have the authority to survey historic resources, designate historic resources, and review alterations to designated properties. One of the purposes of the Heritage Preservation Ordinance is to implement the policies of the comprehensive plan.

In addition to the Heritage Preservation Ordinance, preservation policies are implemented through historic surveys and context studies, historic design guidelines, and the participation of preservation staff in the development review process. Historic surveys and context studies identify and evaluate properties and resources that should be designated historic. As authorized in the Heritage Preservation Ordinance, Heritage Preservation Design Guidelines are used in the review of alterations to designate properties, new construction in historic districts, and signage. CPED staff work with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for federal and state review, including the Section 106 process and environmental reviews.

Fiscal Tools

The City of Minneapolis uses a full range of available fiscal tools to support the City and comprehensive plan goals. These include property tax, special assessments, tax increment financing (TIF), fees and charges, bonding, and state and federal aid. The City’s annual budget document provides a comprehensive look at how these fiscal tools are being used and for what purpose.

More information on fiscal tools related to housing can be found in the Housing Implementation Program section.

Water Treatment and Distribution

Chapter 509 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances contains regulations governing the city’s water treatment and distribution system.  These services are provided by Public Works Water Treatment & Distribution Services (WTDS) which is responsible for the supply, treatment and distribution of water in the city.

More information about the City’s Water Resource Management Plan can be found in the Appendix.

Surface Water and Sewers

Chapter 52 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances regulates erosion and sediment control for land disturbing activities. Chapter 54 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances regulates stormwater management for development and redevelopment activities. Chapter 510 governs the operation of the city’s stormwater utility. Chapter 511 regulates sewers and sewage disposal. These regulations are implemented and enforced through the City’s Public Works Department, in cooperation with other city, county, regional, and state partners.

One of the primary concerns related to city and regional water resources is negative impacts from urban stormwater runoff. The City of Minneapolis enforces ordinances designed to minimize negative stormwater rate, volume, and pollutant impacts:

  • Requiring erosion control for new developments, housing projects, and other land disturbing activities to reduce the amount of soil and contaminants leaving construction sites
  • Requiring long-term stormwater management for new developments to manage stormwater on-site and minimize adverse effects of stormwater volume, rate, and contaminants on water resources
  • Controlling the application of pesticides by licensing applicators and restricting the sale and use of fertilizers containing phosphorus
  • Controlling hazardous spills and enforcing regulations that prohibit illegal dumping and improper disposal into the storm drain system
  • Preventing violations of non-stormwater discharges (industrial by-products that are clean or treated prior to discharge) by reviewing permit applications and renewals, and investigating complaints against existing permits
  • Requiring removal of roof rainleader and other clearwater connections from the sanitary sewer system to eliminate Combined Sewer Overflows.

More information about the City’s Water Resource Management Plan can be found in the Appendix.

Critical Area Plan

The purpose of the Critical Area Plan is to implement Minnesota Rules Chapter 6106, and ensure that the City’s land use and regulatory framework protects the natural resources in the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCAA). The MRCCA contains many significant natural and cultural resources, including: scenic views, water, navigational capabilities, geology and soils, vegetation, minerals, flora and fauna, cultural and historic resources, and land and water based recreational resources.

Local units of government are required to adopt critical area plans and regulations that comply with state rules, and shall permit development in the corridor only in accordance with those adopted plans and regulations.

The purposes of the state’s Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area designation are to:

  • protect and preserve a unique and valuable state and regional resource for the benefit of the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens for the state, region, and nation;
  • prevent and mitigate irreversible damage to this state, regional, and national resource;
  • preserve and enhance the corridor’s natural, aesthetic, cultural, and historic values for the public use;
  • protect and preserve the river as an essential element in the national, state, and regional transportation, sewer and water, and recreational systems; and
  • protect and preserve the biological and ecological functions of the corridor.

The City of Minneapolis’ Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area Plan can be found in the Appendix.

Capital Improvement Program

Overview of Process

The City has a five-year capital improvement program (CIP). Annually, City departments and independent boards and commissions prepare new and/or modify existing capital improvement proposals. The Finance Department, CPED Long Range Planning Division, and the Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee (CLIC) review the capital improvement proposals.

The Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee is a citizen advisory committee to the Mayor and City Council. The committee is authorized to have 33 appointed members, composed of two members per Council Ward and seven at-large members appointed by the Mayor. The committee elects a Chair and Vice Chair and divides into two programmatic task forces with approximately an equal number of members in each. Each task force elects a Chair and Vice Chair. Collectively, these six elected members form the Executive Committee and represent CLIC in meetings with the Mayor and City Council.

The two task forces are commonly referred to as “Transportation” and “Human Development”. The task forces receive and review all Capital Budget Requests (CBRs) for their program areas as submitted by the various City departments and independent boards and commissions. During two all-day meetings, employees who prepared the CBRs formally present their needs and offer explanations for their requests. Task force members then rate all proposals using a rating system with several specific criteria and create a numerical rating for each project. Highest rated priorities are then balanced against available resources by year to arrive at a cohesive five-year capital improvement program recommendation to the Mayor.

The Mayor takes the CLIC recommendations into consideration when preparing the proposed budget that is submitted to the City Council. Finally, the City Council modifies and adopts its capital improvement program.

Areas Funded by CIP

Funding through the City’s CIP supports City policies as established in the comprehensive plan, including the statutory requirements for funding transportation, wastewater, water supply, and parks and open space facilities. Included in the 2018-2022 CIP budget are funds for:

  • Municipal Building Commission (City facilities)
  • Park Board (parks and open space)
  • Public grounds and facilities
  • Public Works, including:
  • Street paving
  • Sidewalks
  • Bridges
  • Traffic control and street lighting
  • Bike and pedestrian projects
  • Sanitary sewer
  • Storm Sewers
  • Water infrastructure

Miscellaneous other projects, including:

  • Public art

A full version of the 2018-2022 CIP can be found in the Appendix. More information on annual budgets can be found on the City Finance Department’s website.

Housing Implementation Program

The comprehensive plan is required to have a housing implementation program that identifies official controls, programs and fiscal tools the City will use to implement its housing goals and policies. The following section includes information on programs and tools the City could use to meet its existing and projected housing needs, identifies the tools that will address the three levels of affordability, and the circumstances in which the tools would be utilized.

The Metropolitan Council has recognized the regional need for the increased availability of affordable housing. In order to ensure an equitable distribution of affordable housing throughout the region and to meet a region-wide goal of 37,900 newly constructed affordable housing units, the Council set targets for each municipality to achieve between 2021 and 2030 as identified in the region’s 2040 Housing Policy Plan. The City of Minneapolis’ share of this overall goal is 3,499 new affordable housing units.

The allocation of these goals by jurisdiction was determined by two factors:

  • Ratio of low-wage jobs to low-wage workers
  • Existing affordable housing

A breakdown of the City’s affordable housing need allocation can be found in Appendix.

Affordable Housing Programs and Fiscal Devices

Housing policy implementation at the City of Minneapolis is primarily managed through Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) – Housing Policy & Development Division. The Housing Policy & Development Division administers a number of programs for the development and preservation of affordable and mixed-income rental and ownership housing. The City’s funds and programs are targeted to meet City housing priorities, which includes preserving affordable housing in the city. The City will continue to partner with public agencies, and the private-sector to meet the City’s affordable housing need allocations and comprehensive plan goals.  

Below is description of public programs and fiscal devices that could be used by the City to meet the existing and projected housing needs as identified in the comprehensive plan:

Table of City programs and fiscal devices for housing policy implementation

City Resources

Summary

Multifamily Housing: 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits

~$1.2 million/year via sub-allocator formula based on population. Available on an annual competitive basis to provide private equity financing for affordable and mixed income rental projects, both new construction and preservation. Awarded based on adherence to published Qualified Allocation Plan. LIHTCs typically provide a 70% subsidy for projects.

Multifamily Housing: Affordable Housing Trust Fund

~$10 million per year via City budget. Available on an annual competitive basis (pipeline for any unallocated funds) to provide gap financing for affordable and mixed income rental projects, both new construction and preservation. Funding is typically provided as a low/no interest deferred loan. $25k/affordable unit maximum subsidy.

Multifamily Housing: Housing Revenue Bonds / 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits

~$50 million/year via entitlement issuer formula based on population. Available on a pipeline basis (project must meet threshold scoring) to provide private capital for financing affordable and mixed income rental projects (currently), both new construction and preservation.  HRBs are paired with an allocation of 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which typically provide a 30% subsidy for projects.

Multifamily Housing: Pass Through Grants

CPED staff manages a large portfolio of grant funds on behalf of our funding partners at DEED, Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council. These grant funds are associated with specific programs and range in utilization from environmental investigation and clean up to grants directly associated with new construction of affordable and mixed income housing.

Multifamily Housing: Tax Increment Financing

Provides for use of Tax Increment Financing to support affordable housing development.

NOAH Preservation: 4D Program

4d status offers a lower property tax classification to apartment owners who have at least 20 percent of their units affordable at 60 percent of area median income, as evidenced by a recorded declaration of land use restrictions.

NOAH Preservation: Small and Medium Multifamily Program & NOAH Preservation Fund

Strategies to assist with acquisition and preservation of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing.

Single-family Housing: Minneapolis Homes Development Assistance

The program is designed to create new construction housing opportunities on City-owned vacant lots, includes incentives for direct development by a homebuyer and creation of Long-term affordable housing.

Single-family Housing: Minneapolis Homes: Build/Rehab

The program is designed to redevelop vacant buildings and vacant lots suitable for 1-4 unit residential development.

Single-family Housing: Home Ownership Works

The program supports the development of owner-occupied housing that is sold to homebuyers whose income is at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). 

Single-family Housing: Homebuyer Assistance Program

There are a variety of programs designed to assist Minneapolis homebuyers with down payment and closing costs toward the purchase of their new home.

Single-family Housing: Home Improvement Programs

The program supports the rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing that is owned by homeowners whose income is at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). 

Inclusionary Housing Policy

Affordable housing is required for rental and ownership housing for residential new development projects that receive city funding or are located on city-owned land. There is a proposal to expand the policy to cover more development in 2019.

More information about housing fiscal tools and resources can be found on the City’s CPED Housing Policy and Development Division website.

Unified Housing Policy

The Unified Housing Policy states the City’s general policy principles with the intent to clarify and streamline City’s housing policies and practices. It was first adopted by City Council in 2004. In 2017, the City Council adopted RCA-2017-01247, an updated Unified Housing Policy, to align with City priorities, and codify its existing practices around City-assisted projects. The unified policy addresses topics such as affordable housing, single room occupancy (SROs) units, senior housing, and housing needs for people experiencing homelessness.  This policy has been adopted to be interpreted as consistent with the comprehensive plan, and any future updates to this policy will be amended to be consistent with comprehensive plan policies.

Official Controls

The purpose of this section is to describe the official controls to implement the housing policies of the comprehensive plan. This includes relevant official controls and processes for the construction and renovation of housing projects, and enforcement of the housing maintenance code. This section should serve only as an overview of the City of Minneapolis’ regulatory frameworks, and applicants seeking regulatory guidance on construction and renovation projects should contact appropriate City staff.

The City’s zoning and land subdivision ordinances are the primary tools the City uses to implement comprehensive plan policies. The zoning ordinance will require significant changes to bring it into consistency with the comprehensive plan. Existing zoning and land subdivision ordinances will be brought into consistency after adoption of the plan.

To ensure the safety, health, and livability of the community, the City requires permits and licenses for development, construction, and renovation activities. The City enforces national and international codes adopted by the State of Minnesota. These include the State Building Code and State Plumbing Code. Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) – Development Services is the department primarily responsible for these activities, including administering the zoning ordinance, review of site plans, granting construction and renovation permits, and enforcing building and construction codes.

After the construction and occupancy of buildings, additional enforcement will be necessary to maintain healthy homes in the community. Housing regulations are addressed in the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances. Housing inspections and enforcement of the housing maintenance code is the responsibility of the Department of Regulatory Services, in partnership with the Health Department which provides support and resources to address health hazards related to housing. Regulations and housing programs related to maintenance of healthy homes will continue to be developed to implement the comprehensive plan policies.

Consistency Between Plan and Local Controls

The 1995 amendments to the Metropolitan Land Planning Act require that official local controls be consistent with the community’s comprehensive plan. Communities may not adopt any new official controls that conflict with the comprehensive plan, or permit activity in conflict with metropolitan system plans. Local controls will be brought into conformance with the comprehensive plan as the City’s zoning and land subdivision ordinances and maps are updated in accordance with the document. 

Other Approaches to Implementation

While the tools listed above are important, there are many other approaches to implementation of policy in the city. These are described below:

City Council strategic planning—The City Council periodically reviews City progress and sets goals for upcoming years regarding top priorities. While the goals are more narrowly focused than the scope of the comprehensive plan and reflect priorities for near-term implementation, they are consistent with the overall comprehensive plan policy direction, and were developed utilizing the community engagement and policy statements included in the comprehensive plan.

In 2018, the City embarked on a new process of establishing strategic priorities coupled with racial equity planning known as the Strategic and Racial Equity Action Plan (S-REAP). However, it should be noted that these are the goals of the current administration, and they may change in future years. The strategic priorities will result in department planning for near-term implementation. In addition to this the City will develop an enterprise-wide strategy of measuring progress on achieving comprehensive plan goals in conjunction with the outcomes of the City Council strategic planning.

This planning process will include an engagement process led by the City Coordinator’s Office to develop goals and metrics for the strategic priorities, followed by the development of tactical strategies for implementation by City departments in early 2019.  More information about department tactical strategies can be found in the department planning section.

Annual budget—The City’s annual budget process integrates information from citywide priority setting, capital improvements program, annual infrastructure operation and maintenance costs, and departmental review processes to establish annual resource allocations. Budgetary priorities are reviewed for consistency with comprehensive plan policy.

Department planning—City departments are responsible for producing department business plans that provide an overview of their strategies that will guide their work to meet the City Council’s strategic priorities. These plans are linked to funding in the City’s budgetary process, which lead to allocation of resources and funding for programs to implement City priorities. These plans are produced after the adoption of the City Council’s strategic priorities, which typically occurs every four years. Department plans are an opportunity to advance comprehensive plan policies.

An additional component to the department plans is tracking department performance. Measures that capture department progress toward meeting City priorities will be developed upon the completion of the City’s strategic and racial equity action planning process. Department performance by budget program area will continue to be tracked by the City Coordinator’s Office through Results Minneapolis. 

Interdepartmental and Enterprise-wide coordination— The comprehensive plan provides topical and goal-oriented strategies to ensure that complex policy and programmatic changes are coordinated interdepartmentally and throughout the Enterprise. The City will continue to coordinate among departments for the development of programs, and guide decisionmakers in order to implement comprehensive plan policies.

Topical and small area plans— The comprehensive plan was informed by the guidance of adopted small area plans, and was updated where necessary to be consistent with the application of the comprehensive plan goals and policies citywide.  Below is an overview of how aspects of small area plans have been incorporated:

  • Future land use and built form: The comprehensive plan updates this guidance for the entire city in service to the comprehensive plan goals. This new guidance is informed by the guidance of the small area plans, and updated where necessary to be consistent with the application of comprehensive plan goals and policies citywide. The comprehensive plan will be used to guide future land use and built form guidance in areas covered by past small area plans.
  • Urban design policies: The comprehensive plan includes urban design policies intended to shape the design of new buildings. This guidance is informed by the design guidance of small area plans, and applies to all new development in the city. The comprehensive plan will be used to guide urban design in areas covered by past small area plans.
  • Capital improvements: Capital improvement projects that are identified in small area plans and that are yet to be implemented will be evaluated as part of the 2019 update to Access Minneapolis, the City’s Transportation Action Plan.
  • Community development strategies: The comprehensive plan updates Housing and Economic Competitiveness policies aimed at achieving the plan’s goals and policies. These are informed by the body of work in the last decade of small area plans. Stakeholders are encouraged to continue with community development strategies identified in small area plans that are yet to be completed and contribute to implementation of the comprehensive plan goals and policies.

More information about small area plans and details on how each plan is incorporated into the comprehensive plan can be found in the Appendix.

Adopted plans that were used to inform the comprehensive plan planning process include:

  • Minneapolis Climate Action Plan (2013) – The intent of the plan is to provide a roadmap for the City of Minneapolis with a comprehensive set of strategies that the City can undertake to meet its emissions reduction goals. The plan incorporates strategies to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area Plan —The Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) is a land corridor along the Mississippi River in the 7-county metro area where there are special land use regulations that guide development activity. Local governments in the corridor, including Minneapolis, must complete a MRCCA plan that complies with state rules (MR 6106.0010 – 6106.0180). The purpose of this document is to fulfill that requirement, and ensure that the City’s land use and regulatory framework protects the MRCCA’s resources.

The City of Minneapolis’ Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area Plan can be found in the Appendix.

Upcoming planning processes in other departments include:

  • Transportation Action Plan - In 2018, the City of Minneapolis Public Works Department launched its planning process to update the City’s ten-year Transportation Action Plan. The purpose of the Transportation Action Plan is to identify specific actions to implement the transportation goals and policies articulated in the comprehensive plan.
  • Minneapolis Local Surface Water Management Plan - The City’s Public Works Department developed the local water plan as required by state statues. The purpose of this plan is to provide a comprehensive plan for water management to protect water resources in the city. This plan details water resource goals, implementation, operations and maintenance practices, in accordance with applicable policies and regulations.

City boards and commissions—The City of Minneapolis has more than 50 commissions and advisory boards. These boards and commissions, composed of citizen volunteers, who are appointed by an elected official or an open appointment process, advise the city on current issues and assist the city in policy development and administration of services. These boards and commissions include:

  • City Planning Commission - The City of Minneapolis Planning Commission is charged with long-range planning for the city and is responsible for advising the City Council on matters of development, zoning, and capital improvements. It is a citizen's committee that works with Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) on the development of plans and the review of development applications.
  • Heritage Preservation Commission - The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of our heritage. The HPC serves as a citizen advisory body to the Minneapolis City Council, preserving historically and architecturally significant buildings, districts and sites while allowing modifications for contemporary use.
  • Zoning Board of Adjustment - The Zoning Board of Adjustment hears matters of zoning variances, zoning appeals, and the establishment of legal nonconforming rights. It is a citizen's committee that works with the staff of the CPED Development Services.
  • Minneapolis Advisory Committee on Housing - Advise the Mayor, City Council, and City departments on a wide range of issues related to housing, including but not limited to: city housing policy, homelessness and housing instability, fair housing development, rental licensing, accessibility, maintenance and health and sustainability. The committee is intended to reflect the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic and gender diversity of Minneapolis residents most affected by the current housing environment, which has low vacancy rates, a shortage of available affordable rentals, and a large disparity in homeownership rates between white households and households of color.
  • Special service districts - Special service districts are defined areas within the city where special services are rendered. State law mandates the creation of advisory boards through city ordinance for each special service district to advise the city on services within the district.
  • Watershed management organizations - Watershed districts are local, special-purpose units of government that work to solve and prevent water-related problems. The boundaries of each district follow those of a natural watershed and consist of land in which all water flows to one outlet.

The City works closely with each of these, some of which have their own budgetary and planning processes, to ensure that important citywide policies are being implemented. For an exhaustive list of commissions and advisory boards, visit the Minneapolis Boards, Commissions, and Advisory Committees website.  

Intergovernmental coordination –  In order to implement the comprehensive plan, the City must coordinate with various governmental agencies that have jurisdiction outside the control of the City of Minneapolis. It is crucial understand the priorities of each agency as each have unique roles and responsibilities such as landownership, maintenance and operations of public infrastructure, and have governing bodies responsible for making decisions around budgets and programming. Active relationship building and coordination with various jurisdictions is important to implementing comprehensive plan policies.

In Minneapolis, the public schools are under the jurisdiction of Minneapolis Public Schools, and the parkland is owned and maintained by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board. Both governing agencies commonly conduct their own planning process and policies to guide their decision-making and investments. Additionally, certain streets and highways are under the jurisdiction of and maintained by different governing bodies such as Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Another unique relationship the City has is with the University of Minnesota. They have their own governing body and are responsible for many of their public facilities and infrastructure, even though they are within the city limits. The University conducts their own planning efforts that falls under their own jurisdiction which include, but are not limited to land use, transportation, and their own critical area plan.

To ensure consistency between planning efforts, the City will continue to convene meetings with neighboring jurisdictions and coordinate efforts that align with City goals.

Partnering with the private sector – The City will continue to partner with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations as a strategy to addressing complex issues. The City can leverage limited resources and tap expertise on specific topics. The City will continue to identify and strengthen these partnerships to further shared goals for the public good.

Intergovernmental relations—Part of implementing a plan is an assessment of any regulatory barriers or fiscal constraints that would limit the ability to achieve an objective. The City’s legislative agenda addresses priority issues at the regional, state, and federal levels. The agenda, which is reviewed annually and implemented continually, is coordinated through the City’s Intergovernmental Relations Department. There is regular communication between federal, state, and local levels regarding issues that have an impact on the city.

Implementation Challenges

One important consideration when proceeding with implementation of a plan is identifying potential obstacles which the City must address in order to implement the plan. These challenges have been identified across the various City departments, and are summarized below, along with a brief description of how the comprehensive plan addresses these issues:

  • Existing and Deepening Disparities—According to a report issued by the Economic Policy Institute in 2010, Minneapolis led the nation in having the widest unemployment disparity between African-American and white residents. These disparities also exist in nearly every other measurable social aspect, including of economic, housing, safety and health outcomes, between people of color and indigenous people compared with white people.

To achieve the goal of reduced disparities, the City of Minneapolis will work to undo the legacy that remains from racially discriminatory housing policies by increasing access to opportunity through a greater diversity of housing types, especially in areas that lack housing options as a result of discriminatory housing policy. The City will invest in education, skills training, small business support and other support systems to help residents access opportunities to gain and retain well-paying employment that allows them to grow as individuals.

  • Climate change - Climate change is a defining challenge of this decade and even this century. The overwhelming scientific consensus holds that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are destabilizing the earth’s climate and that human activity is the primary driver of these emissions.

To achieve the goal of climate change resilience, the City of Minneapolis will strive to substantially increase the energy efficiency of buildings, improve the city’s multimodal transportation network, and invest in energy systems resilience.

Small Area Plans

With the work of the planning process to update the comprehensive plan, the adopted small area plans were used to inform the comprehensive plan. This took into account land use and built form guidance in order to bring it into consistency with the comprehensive plan goals, as well as gathering urban design policies from topical and small area plans and applying it citywide for all new development.

Capital improvement projects that were identified in small area plans will be evaluated as part of the update of the City’s Transportation Action Plan which has kicked off as of Fall 2018.

With the adoption of the comprehensive plan, the intent and purpose of the plan is to provide clear and concise land use, built form, and policy guidance for growth and development over the next ten years. The comprehensive plan maps are intended to be the primary document that provides guidance on land use and built form. Changes or revisions to the land use and built form guidance will be made to the maps adopted in the comprehensive plan.

However, it should be noted that additional district-wide planning will be necessary in geographic areas where a coordinated development approach is required among different entities and agencies to implement the comprehensive plan goals and policies. In these cases, City staff will lead a coordinated planning effort to advance the plan goals, prioritizing these efforts in geographic areas that have experienced disinvestment.

Amending the Plan

During the life of the comprehensive plan, it may become necessary to amend the document. There are various reasons to amend the comprehensive plan such as changes to land use guidance, text changes to a policy, or new information that makes it necessary to make changes to implement the comprehensive plan policies.

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