The Minneapolis City Council has officially approved a resolution that will ban the construction of all new drive-through windows within city limits.
The intent of the resolution is to cut down on carbon emissions produced by idling cars. It was passed unanimously at Thursday’s City Council meeting.
The resolution was born out of a report issued in May by the City Planning Commission, which recommended city council “expand the prohibition of new drive-through facilities to all zoning districts.”
“A text amendment that specifically addresses regulations is timely given the number of proposals for new drive-through facilities that have been considered by the City Planning Commission in the last few years and the undesirable impacts these uses have,” the report stated, as The Minnesota Sun reported. “Said impacts include noise, extended idling, proliferation of curb cuts, conflicts with pedestrians, and traffic generation.”
The planning commission said in its report that there are currently seven pending proposals to build new drive-through windows for businesses such as banks, pharmacies, coffee shops, and fast-food restaurants—all of which will be grandfathered in, since the ban only applies to proposals submitted after the ordinance passed.
City Council President Lisa Bender announced the passage of the resolution on Twitter Thursday night.
“Responding to our constituents’ concerns about their impacts on neighbors, pedestrian safety and building design, Minneapolis will no longer allow new drive throughs,” she said.
Responding to our constituents’ concerns about their impacts on neighbors, pedestrian safety and building design, Minneapolis will no longer allow new drive throughs.
— Lisa Bender (@lisabendermpls) August 8, 2019
Council member Andrea Jenkins noted that the council isn’t “closing any current drive-throughs, but rather regulating where new ones can occur.”
“So I just want to make sure that we are recognizing all parts of our community and really trying to make sure that everyone has access in the city of Minneapolis,” Jenkins told MPR News.
However, the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities submitted a letter to the council last week saying it “strongly opposes the proposed prohibition” as it “is currently written.”
The organization said it had concerns “about the ordinance’s lack of accessibility language and how the ordinance negatively impacts the lives of the disability community.”
“MACOPD does not oppose the entire ordinance or the effort to ban future development of drive-through facilities. However, without direct accessibility language incorporated into the currently proposed ordinance, the current proposed language of the ordinance may have a disparate effect on people with disabilities who may rely on drive-through access to receive goods and services,” the letter said.
According to the Associated Press, Minneapolis is the first city of its size in the country to ban new drive-through windows.
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