Ann Arbor City Council: August 21, 2023

Aug 21, 2023 | City Council

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 Song was absent

A2Council Update Video

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

APPROVED: $6,200,000 will 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 and the additional funds (~$1 million) from the Housing Commission would be used for “other initiatives.” (Legistar)

APPROVED: Eleven annexed parcels are 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 recommended 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 this link: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/planning/Pages/Unified%20Development%20Code.aspx

APPROVED: The developer of 2060 Stadium is granted a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) for a project that includes 164 affordable housing units priced at or below 60% AMI. In lieu of taxes, the property owner will be assessed an annual service charge of $1 per housing unit for so long as the project maintains eligibility and the federally-aided mortgage loan remains unpaid. (Legistar)

APPROVED: An agreement between Ann Arbor and the City of Dearborn will allow the fire departments to borrow and lease vehicles between the municipalities. The agreement includes a plan for Ann Arbor to lease an ambulance from the City of Dearborn. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A resolution directs the City Administrator to ask for changes in the CLEMIS data management system. CLEMIS stands for Courts and Law Enforcement Management Information System. The system originated in Oakland County and is now used by other local law enforcement departments. CLEMIS is used for police reports, including explanation of how and why officers initiate contact with people. The resolution asks the City Administrator to request changes to the system, allowing officers to include more information. (Legistar)

APPROVED: The City will participate in prescription opioid litigation settlements with Walgreens. Ann Arbor is expected to receive an estimated $194,068.33. (Legistar)

APPROVED: By resolution, City Council urges the Michigan Legislature to outlaw flavored tobacco products and repeal current laws that restrict local units of government from regulating the sale and licensure of tobacco products for distribution. (Legistar)

APPROVED (first reading, due to substitution): A new ordinance will require sellers of certain residential housing units to disclose a “Home Energy Rating Disclosure” (HERD) prior to sale. Requirements do not apply to multi-story/multi-family housing, accessory dwelling units, mobile homes, or commercial buildings. Sellers will provide a Home Energy Score Report completed by a Home Energy Assessor (certified by the US Department of Energy). Included in an audit will be estimates of annual and monthly energy use and cost by fuel type, as well as comparative Home energy scores for similar dwellings. These seller disclosure requirements may be waived at the “sole discretion” of the Director of the Sustainability and Innovations department (Dr. Missy Stults). (Legistar)

  • The Office of Sustainability and Innovations (OSI) has explained “plans to hire a full-time home energy assessor to do free home energy assessments for residents” and that other firms “could be put under contract to offer additional help during high demand periods and [they are] working with those firms to hire additional capacity” with the “goal to get all homes in Ann Arbor scored using the Home Energy Score.”
  • This ordinance initially passed at “first reading” on August 7, 2023. At the suggestion of OSI staff, Council approved a substitute ordinance with a few changes:
    • “Listing Service” is now defined in the ordinance as the database tool used by realtors
    • Home Energy Score must be disclosed in “at least one” rather than all Real Estate Listings
    • Disclosure requirements that refer to “Real Estate Listing” and “Public Listing” no longer include a sign display
    • Noncompliance is determined at time of sale
    • Fines for noncompliance no longer compound daily
  • This substitution returned the ordinance to “first reading”. Another public hearing and vote for final approval at “second reading” is scheduled for September 5, 2023. A motion to postpone “first reading” to October 2, 2023 was defeated
  • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2023/08/realtors-oppose-new-ann-arbor-law-to-disclose-home-energy-ratings.html
  • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2023/08/as-realtors-push-back-ann-arbor-agrees-to-tweak-home-energy-disclosure-law.html

APPROVED (first reading): Two parcels at 2670 and 2690 Ann Arbor-Saline Road are proposed to be rezoned from Single-Family Dwelling district (R1C) to Office District (O). The house at 2670 was previously a rental home and is currently an office. The house at 2690 is currently nonconforming in its use as a personal storage unit. (Legistar)

APPROVED (first reading): An ordinance amendment will create a new class of “micro-business” under city regulation of Marijuana facilities. Currently, one category of micro-business is defined as a facility cultivating up to 150 plants and processing/packaging/selling them to individuals over the age of 21. The amendment will establish a second category of micro-business (“Class A”) that allows a facility to cultivate up to 300 plants, package marijuana, purchase marijuana concentrate or infused products from a processor, and sell them to individuals over the age of 21. The new Class A micro business will not be permitted to process marijuana. (Legistar)

  • The amendment also includes an expansion of allowable hours of operation. Currently, marijuana facilities may not operate after 9 p.m. or before 7 a.m. The amendment will permit operation until to 12 a.m. (midnight).
  • City staff response to agenda questions explains that “there has been interest among marijuana business owners to allow extended hours of operation.” Additional staff explanation refers to “discussions among Council Members.”
  • Factors that were considered include discussions among Council Members regarding the disparity between the closing hours of establishments in which liquor can be purchased or consumed (2:00 am) and marijuana dispensaries and consumption establishments (9:00 pm).”
  • Staff explained further: “AAPD had concerns about a potential 2:00 am closing time because of the amount of cash kept at dispensaries. AAPD recommended allowing marijuana establishments to remain open until 12:00 am for a trial period to see if there might be an uptick in crime during the extended hours, and to allow a later closing time if there are no issues with the 12:00 am closing time.
  • Link to Council Agenda Response Memo (8/17/23): https://a2gov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=12232317&GUID=DA3A6F00-BC22-48A1-A3A9-159A0C12B15F

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for August 21, 2023 Part 1
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for August 21, 2023 Part 2
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for August 21, 2023 Part 3

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