Ann Arbor City Council: December 18, 2023

Dec 18, 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 Disch was absent

A2Council Update Video

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

DELETED FROM AGENDA: Council Members Erica Briggs, Ayesha Ghazi Edwin, and Linh Song sponsored a resolution expressing support for a statement by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell calling for a bilateral ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution was added to the Council agenda on Friday afternoon and deleted from the agenda on Saturday night. Council Member Briggs emailed a constituent that it was pulled because “Unfortunately, we received notes that many advocacy organizations in favor of a ceasefire were organizing to protest against it.” At the December 4, 2023 Council Meeting, Mayor Taylor addressed the possibility of a resolution like this. He appeared to speak on behalf of all ten Ward representatives in declaring “The members will not today, and as I understand it, do not intend to bring a resolution of that nature.”

APPROVED: Andre Anderson is appointed new Police Chief for the City of Ann Arbor. He previously served as assistant police chief in Tempe, Arizona. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A new ordinance will ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers from June 1 to September 30. Use of leaf blowers will be restricted with the goal of eventually banning gas-powered blowers entirely by 2028. Fines for violation of the ordinance will be not less than $100 for a first offense and $250 for subsequent offenses. (Legistar)

APPROVED: Two parcels at 2520 and 2540 Pontiac Trail will be rezoned from TWP (Township) to R4A (Multiple-Family Dwelling District, to be added to the Village of Ann Arbor Site Plan. Rezoning the additional 5.9 acres will allow the construction of 120 more housing units, as part of a larger project totaling 78.5 acres and 604 dwelling units. A new, expanded site plan for the Village adds approximately 11 acres to the development. The entire site now consists of the following parcels: 1680 Dhu Varren Road, 1710 Dhu Varren Road, 2670 Pontiac Trail, 2672 Pontiac Trail, 2600 Pontiac Trail, 2540 Pontiac Trail, 2520 Pontiac Trail, 2678 Pontiac Trail, and 2682 Pontiac Trail. (Legistar) (Legistar)

APPROVED: A $10,173,757.03 construction contract to reconstruct and widen the East Medical Center Drive Bridge. Estimated total cost is $14,000,000. The City will fund an estimated $5,000,000 in a tentative cost-sharing agreement with the University of Michigan. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A $1,287,382 construction contract for a 0.6-mile section of concrete path in the Barton Nature Area, as part of the Border to Border Trail Project. The City will assume $429,213.16 of the cost in a cost/responsibility-sharing agreement with Washtenaw County. (Legistar) (Legistar)

APPROVED: A $600,000 proposal from Elevate LLC will utilize nine different staff – four through Elevate and five subcontractors from Michigan Energy Options (MEO) – to execute a Residential Rebate Program. (Legistar)

  • As part of their proposal, Elevate offered examples of “Involvement with Similar Projects” that include support for both private and public power utilities: WPPI (a collaboration including six municipal and one cooperative utility in the UP), Lansing Board of Power and Light, Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, ComEd (Illinois), and Traverse City Light and Power. Additionally, Elevate worked with the City of Madison, Wisconsin.
  • In their proposal, Elevate also refers to service they provided to the City’s OSI department. Earlier this year, the City paid Elevate $300,000 to administer and distribute grants that, according to Elevate, resulted in an energy chiller at Baker Commons and new windows at four Avalon properties. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A $900,000 contract with Walker-Miller Energy Services will fund three full-time Walker-Miller staff to act as program manager, energy advisor, and project coordinator (with additional part-time support from three more Walker-Miller staff) to administer a Home Energy Advisor Program. As part of their proposal, Walker-Miller offered examples of past work, primarily with private utilities: DTE and Ameren Illinois. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A downtown development district liquor license will be issued to Michigan Theater Foundation, Inc. at 603 E. Liberty St., in Ann Arbor. (Legistar)

APPROVED (first reading): Forty-five (45) parcels at Plymouth Road (127 acres) are proposed to be rezoned to Transit Corridor district (TC-1), consistent with staff recommendation. On November 1, 2023, Mayoral appointees on the Planning Commission amended the zoning district to add eight parcels (70 acres). By friendly amendment, City Council removed those additional 70 acres from the zoning district, due to a failure to provide proper notice. (Legistar)

APPROVED (first reading): Amendments to the Uniform Development Code calls for adding “Banquet Hall” as a permitted use in all mixed-use zoning districts. Additional amendments will expand permitted uses in the Office (O) zoning district: all types of personal services, fraternity/sorority, student cooperative housing, club headquarters, community center, religious assembly, private [K-12] schools, indoor recreation as primary uses (rather than special exception), trade/industrial schools as primary uses. The amendment also separates kennels/animal boarding from veterinarian offices in the permitted use table. (Legistar)

  • This amendment was considered by the Planning Commission on June 6, 2023.
  • These amendments were requested by Oxford Properties (CEO is campaign donor Jeff Hauptman). When this issue was discussed at the City Planning Commission, then commissioner (and current chair of the Planning Commission) Wonwoo Lee had to recuse himself, due to his employment as Chief Real Estate Officer for Oxford Companies.
  • As stated in Legistar for this Council meeting: “Six of the nine members of the City Planning Commission were present at its June 6, 2023 meeting. One member recused himself on this agenda item, leaving five members to discuss and vote on the proposed amendments. Although all five of the remaining members voted to approve the motion, the motion failed to earn the requisite six affirmative votes in order to pass.”

APPROVED (first reading): An ordinance amendment will explicitly permit placement of solar panel arrays in front yard setbacks and removes the maximum rear setback lot coverage requirements (35%) that currently applies to all accessory structures. (Legistar)

  • Currently, solar arrays are considered an accessory structure subject to this term in the Uniform Development Code: 5.16.6.A.2.d: Accessory Buildings may occupy Rear Setback Areas provided that such Buildings do not occupy more than 35% of the required Rear Setback Area and are not closer than three feet to any Lot Line.
  • This amendment will permit the placement of personal scale solar arrays up to ten feet from the Lot Line, and allow unlimited coverage in the Rear Setback Area.

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for December 18, 2023 Part 1
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for December 18, 2023 Part 2
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for December 18, 2023 Part 3

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