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Meet the guy who wants to change the way Minneapolis elects city council members

Tom Basting hadn’t given much thought to Minneapolis city politics until the summer of 2018. That’s when he started going to meetings to learn about Minneapolis 2040, which was also around the time the policy proposal — part of the city’s requirement to update its comprehensive plan every 10 years — began becoming politically contentious.


Basting’s interest in the topic took hold fast. He often deals with land-use and environmental regulations in his day job as an attorney with Briggs and Morgan, one of the state’s largest law firms, and he began sharing his opinion of the 2040 plan with neighbors and city staff. Of particular interest, he said, was how the plan’s call for more density could impact natural resources. “You can’t increase density without increasing impermeable surfaces, and that means more runoff, more pollution — all kinds of issues,” he said.


Basting, age 56, thought the city needed to do more study of the issue, and he used all sorts of methods to share that opinion: he wrote letters to public officials; he shared his thoughts online; he showed up at neighborhood meetings.


Not that it mattered much in the end. In December, the City Council finalized Minneapolis 2040 by a 12-1 vote, making Minneapolis the first major U.S. city to allow multifamily housing on lots everywhere and eliminate single-family zoning, a move celebrated by those who see increased density as key to the city’s housing shortage.


Read entire article HERE.


"Meet the guy who wants to change the way Minneapolis elects city council members"; by Jessica Lee; MINNPOST; May 3, 2019

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