This was the second regular Ann Arbor City Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online via the Zoom application.
Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary
Interim City Administrator Tom Crawford presented Council with the proposed FY21 City Budget (Legistar) and several community members presented on the topic of ” COVID-19 Community Impacts and Solutions” (Legistar)
APPROVED: Direction to City staff to begin a process of community engagement around affordable housing options at 353 S. Main (Legistar)
APPROVED: $10,655,000 constructions contract for 2020 Street Resurfacing Plan (Legistar)
POSTPONED to 7/6/20: The creation of proposed application materials and review/recommendations for development entitlements for 415 W. Washington to Support the Development of Affordable Housing in the City (Legistar) This resolution was postponed because:
- Neighbors were not properly notified of public meetings re: this proposal
- Treeline Trail Conservancy has asked for additional communication.
- Jennifer Hall (Ann Arbor Housing Commission) stated that addressing these concerns would not particularly delay the project (which has a long time line).
- https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2020/04/plans-for-blighted-ann-arbor-historic-district-property-tabled-by-ann-arbor-city-council.html (Note: this headline was corrected to reflect that the resolution was postponed, not tabled)
APPROVED: Direct the City Administrator and Ann Arbor Housing Commission to create proposed application materials and review/recommend for development entitlements for 350 S. Fifth Avenue (former Y lot) to support the development of Affordable Housing in the City (Legistar)
APPROVED: A2ZERO Carbon Neutrality Plan is accepted (rather than adopted) (Legistar) with amendments clarifying that:
- A funding plan and prioritization framework must be presented
- The Sustainability & Innovations department will begin and continue to work to implement the plan, with quarterly updates on progress
- In answer to questions at the meeting, City Administrator Tom Crawford clarified that the current budget includes nearly all funding for beginning and implementing this plan (“almost all of it, there were a couple of minor items that were not included”). It was also clarified that nothing in the amended resolution impeded progress or shifted directions in terms of pursuing climate action goals in the plan. Dr. Stults characterized the amendments as a “totally appropriate” issue of transparency and “not anything I’m concerned about.”
APPROVED: The City’s nondiscrimination ordinance to add definition to the protected class of “ethnicity” and also address discrimination in housing related to source of income. (Legistar)
APPROVED: Resolution asking the state to change regulatory policy re: use of food assistance benefits (EBT cards with SNAP program) (Legistar)
- Current regulation prevents the use of these benefits to place orders online or by phone, which is an obstacle for people trying to access food safely during the pandemic (e.g. deliveries and curbside pickups).
- A2ELNEL: Additional Thoughts (Apr 18, 2020) – Allow Virtual SNAP Benefit and EBT Card Use