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The 38th Street and Chicago Avenue Small Area / Corridor Framework Plan

With Focus on Chicago, Bloomington, and 4th Avenue Business Nodes

The purpose of the 38th Street and Chicago Avenue Small Area / Corridor Framework Plan is to support the ongoing improvement and revitalization of the area of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue by proposing specific policies and strategies to guide its evolution.

This work was initiated by area residents, business owners, and other community leaders in early 2004. It has since advanced through several phases of refinement under the direct guidance of residents and neighborhood organizations. This work has been supported, financed, and adopted by the four neighborhood organizations around 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, and by other business and civic organizations in the area.

The Powderhorn Park, Bancroft, Bryant, and Central neighborhoods worked with Community Design Group to organize the planning process and draft the plan document. The City Council adopted the plan as City policy on March 21, 2008.

Click the links below to review the plan:

Full Document (Large download – 15 MB)

Plan Sections:

Cover page and Executive Summary
Section I: Vision, purpose, and background

Section II: Proposed policy changes

Section III: Tools for implementation

Section IV: Public Participation

Section V: Appendix

Rezoning Study

One step in achieving the long-range vision for 38th and Chicago is adjusting the regulatory framework for the area. Zoning of property is the most important part of that framework. The rezoning study made changes to the zoning of property in the area of 38th and Chicago so that what can be built corresponds as closely as possible to what is called for in the 38th Street and Chicago Avenue Small Area / Corridor Framework Plan.

The 38th Street and Chicago Avenue Small Area / Corridor Framework Plan outlines a vision for the improvement and revitalization of the area, including filling vacant storefronts and encouraging redevelopment of underutilized land into mixed-use buildings with both housing and retail. The plan also emphasizes the importance of making the area an attractive place for pedestrians by ensuring that new buildings are built in a way that encourages walking. Toward that end, the City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) recommended that the City Council apply a Pedestrian Oriented (PO) Overlay District at 38th and Chicago. The PO district prohibits the establishment of new auto-oriented uses such as gas stations and drive-throughs that make an area less attractive for walking. It also holds new development to a standard of design that makes the street environment more pleasant through requirements such as additional windows facing the street and ensuring that parking lots do not dominate the landscape.

CPED also recommended some changes to the primary or "base" zoning, which regulates allowed land uses (retail, housing, etc), size and setbacks of buildings, the number of housing units that can be built, and so on. The purpose of these changes is to ensure that zoning is consistent with the development and revitalization goals of the 38th Street and Chicago Avenue Small Area/Corridor Framework Plan as well as the policies of the city’s comprehensive plan. Previously, not all properties within the boundaries of the Neighborhood Commercial Node as outlined in the city’s comprehensive plan had zoning that allows commercial uses. The changes expand the C1 zoning district to five properties in order to allow for future redevelopment as called for in the plan and to allow more flexibility for properties that have existing commercial buildings on residentially-zoned lots.

The Minneapolis City Council adopted the zoning changes on December 17, 2010

For the most up-to-date zoning information, see the current zoning maps.

Zoning Information

38th and Chicago Rezoning Study Frequently Asked Questions
Comparison of Zoning Districts at 38th and Chicago
Zoning District Descriptions
City of Minneapolis Zoning Administration

Questions should be directed to:

Paul Mogush, Principal City Planner
Community Planning and Economic Development
250 South Fourth Street, Room 110
Minneapolis, MN 55415

[email protected]

Last updated Nov 1, 2016



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