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Forward 2040: About the Comprehensive Plan

What is Forward 2040?

Forward 2040 is the City's latest process for updating it's comprehensive plan.

What is a comprehensive plan?

A comprehensive plan sets the 20-year vision through a set of goals and policies that guide future land uses and investments in City services such as parks, community facilities, transportation and sewer and water systems. 

What must be included in a comprehensive plan?

The Metropolitan Council sets the basic requirements for what must be included in comprehensive plans.  As in previous years, Bloomington’s comprehensive plan update must address seven Plan Elements: land use, transportation water resources, parks, housing, and implementation.  For this round of updates the Metropolitan Council is recommending, but not requiring, cities to also address economic competiveness and resiliency and sustainability.

Comprehensive plans must be consistent with Thrive MSP 2040, the vision to guide development in the region over the next 30 years.  Comprehensive plans must also align with the Metropolitan Council’s regional system and policy plans. The system plans outline regional policy regarding: transportation, water resources, parks and open space, and housing. The system plans are updated after each decennial census to address projected growth in population, households, and jobs in the metro area.

To help cities with this process the Metropolitan Council sends cities and counties a customized document called a ‘system statement.’ The system statement shows how the Council’s policy plans affect each community. Bloomington’s system statement can be found on the Metropolitan Council’s website.

For more information on comprehensive planning requirements check out the Metropolitan Council’s Local Planning Handbook site.

Why are we updating it now?

Minnesota law requires that all cities, counties, and townships within the seven-county metropolitan region must update their comprehensive plan every ten years. Bloomington’s last comprehensive plan was updated in 2008.

The Plan also needs updating, because Bloomington is changing. While our population has remained relatively stable since 1970, we’ve become much more diverse and added thousands of new jobs. And we expect to grow even more: By 2040, the Metropolitan Council predicts that Bloomington will have 6,000 additional residents and 17,000 additional jobs.

What was included in the last comprehensive plan?

Bloomington’s Comprehensive Plan 2008 can be found on the city’s website.

What did the last comprehensive plan accomplish?

Map showing the three Bloomington Districts

The focus of the 2008 Comprehensive Plan was to plan for and guide growth to the City’s three development districts: Normandale Lake, Penn American and South Loop. Since the plan was adopted approximately 80 percent of Bloomington’s new development has occurred in these three areas. This concentration of development reflects the Comprehensive Plan goals to promote walkable, transit oriented, and sustainable development within the City.