Ann Arbor City Council: February 20, 2024

Feb 20, 2024 | 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.

A2Council Update Video

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

At the meeting, Mayor Taylor declared his support for a Phase 2 feasibility study to assess a municipal public power utility. He also announced plans for a voter referendum on a Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) in partnership with DTE. Read reporting from Mlive here:
https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2024/02/ann-arbor-voters-may-decide-on-new-city-electric-utility-in-november-election.html

For more information about municipal power that would not rely on DTE, visit Ann Arbor for Public Power:
https://annarborpublicpower.org/


APPROVED: A development agreement for 333 E. William Street will permit the construction of a 16 story residential tower at the current site of a credit union, next door to the downtown Ann Arbor District Library. The developers agree to pay $262,338.53 for four parking spaces that will be eliminated from Library Lane. By friendly amendment, language was added to the agreement asking developers to make all reasonable attempts to avoid closure of bike lanes during construction. (Legistar)

APPROVED: $140,000 will fund the design and planning for improvements to a pedestrian path that runs between the end of Runnymede and Pauline Boulevard. This path was recently added to the Capital Improvements plan. The City anticipates acquiring a public easement, so the path will be eligible for grant funding to support its improvement. The same plan – City easement and grant funding – was proposed in 2022 and blocked by current Council Member Jen Eyer. (Legistar)

DEFEATED: A budget amendment for $796,050 would have funded the four year lease of 104 golf carts and two utility carts as well as the purchase of two replacement mowers for Huron Hills and Leslie Park Golf courses. Council expressed concerns about the use of gas-powered golf carts and the cost of GPS accessories in the carts. (Legistar)

  • From the staff summary: “This is a significant revenue generator for both courses. In FY2023 golf cart rentals resulted in approximately $398,000 in revenue.”
  • Also from the staff summary: “In 2016 we went to bid for a cart storage facility at Leslie Park Golf Course with the necessary infrastructure to support electric golf carts. The lowest bid was $429,900.00 and at that time was deemed cost prohibitive. Because of this expense, a transition to electric carts within the next five years, though desired, probably is not feasible without new major funding or grants. Staff will work to expedite a transition toward an electric fleet of golf carts in the future.”
  • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2024/02/gas-golf-carts-ann-arbor-council-members-say-no-to-parks-staffs-request.html

APPROVED: An amendment to the Unified Development Code removes the requirement for a “conflicting land use buffer” (CLUB) between zoning districts. The UDC prescribes this buffer to be 15 feet of landscaping and “continuous screening” at least four feet high. The requirement has proven to be impractical in situations where two residential zoning districts meet and, for instance, might share a driveway. City staff further explain that the CLUB is an obstacle to “Planning efforts to increase mixed-use developments, increase density, and improve pedestrian friendliness in mixed-use zoning districts.” As amended, the CLUB requirement will not apply in situations where townhomes or multi-family (R3 and R4) abut other residential uses. After amendments, the CLUB will apply where Office (O), Research (RE), Office/Research/Limited Industrial (ORL), Commercial (C) or Industrial (M) parcels abut a public park or parcels zoned for residential purposes. Further amendments will combine and re-order CLUB requirements for vehicular use areas and solid waste/recycling containers. (Legistar)

APPROVED (First Reading): Amendments to what is sometimes referred to as the Early Leasing Ordinance, which includes a right to renew for current tenants. (Legistar)

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for February 20, 2024 Part 1
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for February 20, 2024 Part 2

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I write an Ann Arbor City Council newsletter with my summary of agenda items coming before Ann Arbor City Council, plus news and events of interest to Ann Arbor residents. I send my newsletter out the weekend before every Council meeting so that you can see what’s on the agenda and have an opportunity to reach out to City Council with any concerns.

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