From here on out, Minneapolis will deny any proposals to build new drive-thrus in the city. Voted on at an August 8, 2019, City Council meeting, the decision expands on previous rulings that had covered 17 of the 23 zoning districts and will now apply to all 23. 

In 2018, the Minneapolis City Council approved the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The diverse and complex plan for the city's future includes goals such as a clean environment, climate change resilience, a high-quality physical environment, safe and connected people, and "complete neighborhoods," which aims to give residents access to employment, retail, healthy food, and parks all within reach of walking, biking, and public transportation.

As part of the steps toward the goal of a better quality of life, the plan also suggested limiting automobile usage, including denying any new proposals to build drive-thrus. The city had already slowly been implementing this ban, as 17 of 23 zoning districts had put a stop to new drive-thrus. This vote now covers the entire city. 

The drive-thru ban isn't specific to restaurants, either. It includes food, banks, ATMs, or any other drive-thru facility where business transactions can take place. The ruling specifically says businesses are allowed to designate a parking space for picking up and dropping off goods, however.

The Minnesota City Council believes limiting drive-thrus will make the city safer, less noisy, and less toxic thanks to less idling fumes. Existing drive-thrus and all proposals for new drive-thrus submitted before the decision are exempt from the ordinance. For more info and quotes on the ruling, visit MPRNews or the Star Tribune.


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