A2Council Meeting Summaries

Month: July 2023

Airport Advisory Committee: July 19, 2023

This is a recording I made of a Zoom audio meeting held on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 by the Ann Arbor Airport Advisory Committee. Video was not made available.

Topics discussed included:

Current Airport Advisory Committee members are listed on the City’s website: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/fleet-facility/Airport/pages/airportadvisory.aspx

  • Greg Farris, Chair
  • Melanie McNicholas, Vice-Chair
  • Fred Hall
  • Kelly Burris
  • Rosemary ‘Nel’ Faulkner
  • Mark Perry
  • Theresa Whiting (this term expired on May 31, 2023)
  • Erica Briggs, City Council Representative
  • Chris Watson, City Council Representative
  • Jan Godek, Lodi Township Representative
  • Matthew Harshberger, Pittsfield Township Representative
  • Matthew Kulhanek, Airport Manager

This is the Legistar link for this meeting: https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=1067713&GUID=03272162-4270-4CF4-B766-A921BA58CE3C

Ann Arbor City Planning Commission: July 18, 2023

This meeting was held in person at City Hall.

Commissioner Sauve was absent

APPROVED: 3945 – 3957 South State Site Plan and Special Exception Use. A proposal to reduce the size of the existing building at 3949-3957 South State by 1,384 square feet and add a drive through lane along the rear of the building. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A staff-initiated proposal to vacate one block of East Mosley Street between the Ann Arbor Railroad Tracks and South Fifth Avenue. The road exists only on paper and bisects the parcels at 202 and 214 East Madison Street. (Legistar)

  • The staff report explains: “At the request of the University of Michigan, staff has initiated a street vacation for a segment of East Mosley Street that was never constructed. The East Mosley Street segment bisects the former Fingerle Lumber Company parcels and runs between the Ann Arbor Railroad tracks and South Fifth Avenue. The University now owns the adjacent parcels and wishes to unite the north and south halves of their property to allow future development.”

APPROVED: Planning Commission officer appointments

  • Chair – Wonwoo Lee
  • Vice Chair – Ellie Abrons
  • Secretary – Donnell Wyche

A nomination to elect Lisa Sauve as Chair failed in a 3-4 vote.

APPROVED: Planning Commission committee assignments:

  • Master Plan Review: Clarke, Disch, Hammerschmidt, Lee, Sauve, Wyche
  • Ordinance Revisions: Abrons, Hammerschmidt, Mills, Sauve
  • Environmental Commission: Disch
  • Transportation: Lee
  • Zoning Board of Appeals: Clarke (will need to be approved by City Council)

APPROVED: Proposed changes to the Planning Commission bylaws (link to proposal). These changes will be reviewed by City staff and will be on the August 15, 2023 Planning Commission meeting agenda for approval. Changes to voting requirements will require an ordinance change approved by City Council.

The meeting minutes summarize the proposed changes:

  • The investigation of alternative ethics, conflicts of interest and recusal language as discussed and directed
  • The modification of section 5.2 one from him or herself to themselves.
  • The removal of the proposed change to section 8.3 the time for a developer petition at the discretion of the chair
  • Modification of all votes from 6 to 5, where, appropriate by law.

Legistar and Video Links

Legistar: https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=1069317&GUID=991E1119-46D8-44BB-9FCD-4D6C9F1AA944

YouTube: https://youtu.be/2KXOSVrjUa4

CTN Video: https://ctnvideo.a2gov.org/CablecastPublicSite/show/8592

Meeting Length: 1h 53m

Ann Arbor City Council: July 17, 2023

This Ann Arbor City Council meeting was held in person at City Hall. Members of the public can participate in public hearings and public comment either in person or via phone.

CM Ghazi Edwin was absent

A2Council Update Video

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

In Council comments, Mayor Taylor spoke about a five-day trip to Tuebingen, Germany, organized by the City. Nine people flew to Ann Arbor’s sister city to engage in conversation about climate action. According to the MLive article, “Joining Taylor and his wife on the trip were Council Members Travis Radina and Lisa Disch, Sustainability Director Missy Stults, Housing Commission Director Jennifer Hall, Community Services Administrator Derek Delacourt, City Engineer Nick Hutchinson and the Community Action Network’s Derrick Miller.”

REMOVED From Agenda: A resolution directing that $6,200,000 be transferred from the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to the City’s General Fund, to purchase the City-owned property at 350 S. Fifth (the “Y Lot”). The City paid $5.2 million for this property in 2018. Staff confirmed that approximately $5 million is needed to relieve debt attached to it. Staff confirmed a plan to use the additional funds (~$1 million) from the Housing Commission for “other initiatives.” (Legistar)

APPROVED: Rezoning petition for the 1140 Broadway “Beekman on Broadway” development. The existing C1A/R Campus Business Residential With Conditions zoning designation is amended, lifting the requirement that a future building conform to a site plan previously approved. In 2018, the 6.4 acre property was rezoned from PUD (Planned Unit Development) to C1A/R with conditions, including a site plan that would attach to the zoning designation. The development at 1140 Broadway is comprised of three buildings, two of which are already built. The amended conditional zoning will apply to the third building and “enable significantly more dwelling units to be constructed within approximately the same approved building mass.” (Legistar)

APPROVED: New site plan for 999 Maiden Lane, which is part of the 1140 Broadway “Beekman on Broadway” development. The plan is for a 1.4 acre building site with a proposed 180,200 square foot building, 7-stories tall. The new site plan adds 119 dwelling units, a change from 617 (prior site plan) to 736 (new site plan). Parking is removed and a swimming pool added. (Legistar)

The transportation impact analysis (TIA) included with the updated site plan used a 2017 assessment, based on 617 units from the original site plan. A staff report dated May 2, 2023 (link) explained that a professional engineer must confirm that this TIA is still valid, or the developer must provide an updated plan. A staff report date June 3, 2023 (link) attached to the site plan resolution before City Council recommended an updated multimodal transportation impact analysis (MTIA) be performed, but the developer “refused to provide an updated MTIA for the site”.

APPROVED: $40,000 will be spent to install traffic calming devices on Granger Avenue. Tress will be removed for the installation of two raised crosswalks, one at Granger and Olivia and another at Granger and S. Forest. (Legistar)

APPROVED: During the 2023 UM football season, Main Street (Pauline to Stadium), Keech (east of Main), Greene, and Kipke will be closed to vehicular traffic. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A request from the University of Michigan to change traffic patterns and parking during the student move-in program. Street closures will be in effect from Wednesday August 23 through Sunday August 27, 2023. (Legistar)

APPROVED (First Reading): Eleven annexed parcels will be added to the zoning map of the City of Ann Arbor. The parcels are located on Newport Road, Bird Road, and Victoria Circle and will be rezoned from TWP (Township) to R1D (Single-Family Dwelling district). City staff recommended R1A zoning, but Mayoral appointees on the Planning commission recommend R1D. The R1D zoning is distinct from the surrounding R1A zoning but will allow increased opportunity for the properties to be divided for additional housing. (Legistar)

The distinction between R1A and R1D is explained in the Unified Development Code: “Application of the R1D and R1E district may require a greater degree of services than the less dense Single-Family Zoning Districts. To assure health, safety and welfare, any future R1D and R1E zoning areas should be contingent upon the availability or provision of adequate public services to serve the higher densities permitted by that district, in addition to other pertinent planning considerations.”

The minimum lot size for R1A is 20,000 sq. ft; the minimum lot size for R1D is 5,000 sq. ft.
The minimum front setback for R1A is 40 feet; the minimum front setback for R1D is 25 feet.

A chart with these and other differences between the two zoning districts (e.g. setbacks, lot width, etc) can be found in section 5.17.3 on page 80 of the “Unified Development Code Eighth Edition (February 26, 2023)” at the link below.

APPROVED (First Reading): An ordinance amendment lifts the requirement that one commissioner be the “owner or operator of a transportation business operating in the City of Ann Arbor.” The Transportation Commission was first established in 2016, when the Taxicab Board was disbanded. (Legistar)

Since 2016, the Transportation Commission has included eleven members:

  • 6 members of the public
  • 1 owner or operator of a transportation business operating in Ann Arbor
  • 1 member of the Planning Commission
  • 1 member of the Commission on Disability Issues
  • 1 individual appointed by the board of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority
  • 1 member of City Council

Seven members of the general public will now serve on the Transportation Commission.

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for July 17, 2023 Part 1
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for July 17, 2023 Part 2

Ann Arbor City Council: July 6, 2023

This Ann Arbor City Council meeting was held in person at City Hall. Members of the public can participate in public hearings and public comment either in person or via phone.

CM Disch was absent

A2Council Update Video

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

APPROVED: An Ordinance amendment to add Chapter 124 (Initiation of Traffic Stops) of Title IX (Police Regulations) of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Legistar)

APPROVED: The City ordinance for Solid Waste management will add a category – “Household Items” – that may be placed on the curb (public right of way) for up to 48 hours for the purpose of donation or re-use. (Legistar)

  • The ordinance cites examples of “Household Items” in good condition (suitable for re-use) that may be placed in the public right-of-way. Toxic, hazardous, construction, commercial, and demolition waste are specifically prohibited. The City reserves the right to remove any item that’s an interference to use or maintenance of the public right-of-way, a safety hazard, or otherwise not in compliance with the definitions for “Household Items.” In order to prevent illegal street parking or blockage of bike lanes, residents and property owners consent to the use of their driveways by anyone interested in viewing or taking an item. Within ten feet of a crosswalk or sidewalk/road intersection, household items may not exceed three feet in height.
  • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2023/06/putting-household-items-at-curb-for-others-to-take-no-longer-illegal-in-ann-arbor.html

APPROVED: An agreement to transfer all FY24 marijuana excise tax rebate funds – $1,375,000 – to the Ann Arbor Housing Commission and the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation. (Legistar)

  • On March 15, 2021, City Council unanimously approved a resolution directing that these Marijuana Excise Tax Funds be used for:
  • The agreement with the Ann Arbor Housing Commission/Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation directs that these funds be used for:
    • $150,000 for planning, organizational development and design of the non-residential community space at 121 Catherine Street.
    • $325,000 for build out, furnishings, and equipment at 121 Catherine Street
    • $250,000 for eviction prevention
    • $250,000 for low-income youth services
    • $400,000 for case-management at tenant-based voucher households with a member involved in the carceral system

APPROVED: $4,613,300 construction contract with Cadillac Asphalt for street resurfacing, sidewalk gap filling, crosswalk improvements, storm inlet replacements, three mini-roundabouts, and widening to accommodate protected bike lanes at Earhart Road. (Legistar)

APPROVED: $150,000 Professional Services contract with Live Zero Waste ($75,000 per year for two years) for “various efforts” to promote the circular economy. This item includes Council authorization for administrative one-year extension. (Legistar)

APPROVED: $135,000 Professional Services contract with VegMichigan ($45,000 per year for 3 years) for “various efforts” to promote plant-forward diets. This item includes Council authorization for 2 one-year administrative extensions. (Legistar)

APPROVED: $225,000 Professional Services contract with Community Action Network ($75,000 per year for three years) to “support and advance” the Bryant Neighborhood Decarbonization Project. This item includes Council authorization for 2 one-year administrative extensions. (Legistar)

  • Sustained community engagement education
  • Identification of strategies for scaling Bryant work to other neighborhoods
  • Support initiating decarbonization efforts in other neighborhoods
  • Storytelling support
  • On demand support to continue growing the work in Bryant and beyond

APPROVED: $225,000 Professional Services contract with 2030 District ($75,000 per year for three years) to develop programs to support commercial decarbonization. This item includes Council authorization for 2 one-year administrative extensions. (Legistar)

  • Energy benchmarking assistance
  • Commercial energy saving assistance
  • Conduct energy education and engagement with commercial entities
  • Reporting and accountability
  • On demand support related to commercial decarbonization

APPROVED: A cost-sharing agreement with the Downtown Development Authority to conduct a Downtown Area Circulation Study. The total cost of the study is $577,613. The City contribution is $209,674. (Legistar)

APPROVED: $4,750,000 is allocated toward speed management, quick builds, and near-miss evaluation to advance the City’s Vision Zero transportation safety initiatives. Funding comes from a federal grant of $3,800,000 through the Federal Highway Administration’s Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program. The City will provide matching funds of $950,000 out of proceeds from the Climate Action Millage. The grant requires that work happen in the next four years. (Legistar)

APPROVED: $800,000 will purchase a new custom pumper fire truck with idle reduction technology and up to three hours of operation from lithium-ion batteries. The City’s oldest pumper fire truck (from 2005) will be sold at auction. (Legistar)

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for July 6, 2023 Part 1
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for July 6, 2023 Part 2
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for July 6, 2023 Part 3

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My name is Elizabeth Nelson, and I believe that your local government should be accessible and transparent. Since 2018 , I have sent out a newsletter before every Council meeting with my summary of agenda items coming before City Council, plus news and events of interest to Ann Arbor residents.

After each Council meeting, I create and post voting charts so that you can easily see how Council voted, and update this website with meeting summaries that include links to the City’s Legistar website, CTN’s YouTube video, and articles published on MLive.