Community Planning & Economic Development

Planning and Zoning
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Very High Density Comprehensive Plan Amendment

The City of Minneapolis is bringing forward an amendment to the comprehensive plan regarding guidance for very high density development. This is being done in response to a May 2015 City Council direction "to direct Community Planning & Economic Development staff to pursue a comprehensive plan amendment to resolve the existing inconsistency in residential density ranges for the very high density category of land use, and to more accurately reflect the City’s goals for growth and achievable density limits for that category.”

This amendment clarifies a differentiated approach to the upper limit for very high density areas, which are directed by the plan to be allowed in designated Growth Centers and Activity Centers. The existing limit of 200 dwelling units per acre is affirmed for most Activity Centers citywide. However, for all Growth Centers and those Activity Centers in and around the Downtown Core and other central areas of the city, the upper limit is increased to 800 dwelling units per acre. This reflects the fact that the market has recently responded with projects significantly higher than 200 units per acre that are otherwise consistent with all City policy and plans for growth and development.

Approvals of these highest density projects will still be subject to the City’s full development review and approval process, and are dependent on context, capacity of public facilities, small area plan guidance, and many other factors. Though it is not anticipated that a large number of projects will meet this standard, it is deemed necessary to be responsive to the market and to City intent to sustainably grow the city. This topic will be more fully and comprehensively addressed in the pending full comprehensive plan update to be completed by 2018.

This amendment was approved for submittal by the City Council on February 12, 2016, and is currently being reviewed by the Metropolitan Council.

Proposed comprehensive plan amendment (pdf)

Link to citywide map of Growth Centers and Activity Centers (pdf)

Small area plans covering impacted area (pdf)

Last updated Oct 29, 2018



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