Judge blocks implementation of Minneapolis 2040, citing lack of environmental review

Environmentalists have used the power of the legal system to once again protect the car-centric status quo of single-family zoning.

A Hennepin County judge halted implementation of the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan on June 15, according to a report by Minnesota Public Radio.

Judge Joseph Klein’s decision “made it clear that the city had failed to address environmental concerns raised by groups in court,” according to the article. “The city’s expert,” he wrote, “did not ‘specifically address, or purport to refute in any degree of detail, the many detailed assertions advanced by the plaintiffs’ such as the effects of the increase traffic and noise, loss of green space, effects on air and water quality, and stress on existing infrastructure,” according to the article.

The Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan was one of the first citywide plans to ban single-family zoning entirely — largely for environmental reasons due to the emissions and land-consuming effects of resulting sprawling development. exclusion zoning. Protecting single-family zoning under the guise of environmental concerns is a familiar narrative across the country. The same judge launched an environmental lawsuit against the plan in 2040, paving the way for final passage.

One of the groups behind the lawsuit, Smart Growth Minneapolis, appears to be misapplying the term smart growth, as it is commonly used to argue for planning reforms that promote urban infill and mixed-use density. to allow less vehicle travel and alternative modes of transport.

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