Ann Arbor City Council: May 15, 2023

May 15, 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.

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

APPROVED: The City’s budget for FY 2024. General Fund recurring expenses have increased by $6,822,146 (+5.8%) compared to FY 2023’s adopted budget; recurring revenues have increased by $7,554,357 (+6.4%). The FY 2024 budget includes a total of 27 additional full time employees (FTE) in City departments: Parks & Rec (1), Planning (1), Public Services (6), Human Resources (1), City Administrator (3), Sustainability (8.5), Police (1.75), Housing Commission (4) and Downtown Development Authority (2). Those 27 full time employees come at a cost of over $3 million. The City also anticipates a $3 million structural deficit beginning in FY 2026. (Legistar)

At the April 17th Council meeting, City Administrator Dohoney announced that he had set aside one million dollars of unallocated Marijuana Excise Tax fund revenue for Council to allocate. City Council members passed three amendments which add up to exactly one million dollars.

  • AMENDMENT: $500,000 to Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation (AAHDC) to distribute as follows: $250,000 for eviction prevention, $250,000 for low-income youth services. The AAHDC can retain up to 5% for administrative costs.
  • AMENDMENT: $100,000 to Shelter Association of Washtenaw County (SAWC) to support the Delonis Center.
  • AMENDMENT: $400,000 to the Housing Commission for case management services. The Housing Commission can retain up to 5% for administrative costs

AMENDMENT: $205,420 increase to General Fund Parks and Recreation budget, in order to comply with the “Parks Fairness Resolution.” This policy was first implemented in 2010, to make sure that a Parks millage would provide additional money, rather than simply replace allocations from the General Fund: https://a2gov.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=904907&GUID=4401011F-A72B-441C-82CB-CF621480EC76

https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2023/05/ann-arbor-puts-its-money-where-its-values-are-in-new-565m-budget.html

“THE CASE FOR REVENUE”

At the April 17th Council meeting, City Administrator Dohoney’s budget presentation included two proposals:

At the May 9th Council Administration Committee meeting, City Administrator Dohoney confirmed that: “Assuming that we get past the budget on Monday, and Council doesn’t say ‘don’t do it’ starting May 16th, I’m off!“. Mr. Dohoney later stated: “It’s high end, market rate, high level finishes, you want to charge as much as possible, you want this thing to generate as much cash as possible, that’s why I did not say let’s use it for affordable housing.”

At this weeks Council meeting, three Council Members expressed support for the idea of developing market-rate housing on City property.

https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2023/05/as-much-cash-as-possible-ann-arbor-thinking-big-development-for-city-hall-site.html


APPROVED: Fees for the Public Services Area — Engineering, Public Works, Systems Planning, Water Treatment Units and the Fleet and Facilities — Airport Unit are adjusted for FY 2024, effective July 1, 2023. Most fees will be increased, some reduced, some newly created, and some eliminated because those services are no longer provided. Changes are expected to increase revenue by $283,340. (Legistar)

APPROVED: Fees for the Community Services Area are adjusted for FY 2024, effective July 1, 2023. Anticipated changes will increase fees for boat rentals at Argo and Gallup Liveries as well as various golf fees at Leslie Park and Huron Hills Golf Courses. In Planning Services, small fees are eliminated, e.g. Comprehensive Plan surcharge for planning petitions ($10), alternative stormwater management ($135), and revision of approved natural features protections ($200). Two new fees are introduced: $2800 for Planning Manager approval of a site plan and $3100 for Site Plan Revisions, Extensions, and Administrative Actions from the Planning Commission. (Legistar)

APPROVED: This resolution proposes that Southeast Area Park be designated Bicentennial Park. This resolution was a response to the 4/17/23 budget presentation from City Administrator Milton Dohoney, announcing plans to designate Fuller Park as “Bicentennial Park.” Planned expenditures and investments for Bicentennial Park will be directed to the Southeast Area Park. (Legistar)

APPROVED (first reading): A 1.2 acre parcel at 721 South Forest will be rezoned from R4C (Multiple Family Residential) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) in order to permit a 166 foot tall structure of 228 residential units and 733 bedrooms with rooftop pool and 98 parking spaces. The developer will provide a cash in lieu payment of $4,700,000 to the Affordable Housing Fund. (Legistar)

  • Multiple City departments recommend denial of the rezoning in a staff report: https://a2gov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=11951361&GUID=C8CEABF7-30ED-4283-89D0-618401EADBEF
  • From the report:
    • Planning – Planning staff does not support the project as presented. While the site plan proposal does offer some positive aspects, the substantial increased height and massing over the Land Use Plan recommendation, the surrounding zoning district and the adjacent historic neighborhood is a significant hurdle to overcome.
    • Office of Sustainability & Innovations (OSI) – OSI Staff does not support approval of this project. While LEED Silver certification is welcome, LEED does not inherently meet the strategy goals of the A2 ZERO plan and in some instances falls short of what is needed to move Ann Arbor successfully toward carbon neutrality by 2030.
  • In a split vote (6-2), Mayoral appointees on the City Planning Commission voted in support of this rezoning.
  • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2023/05/733-bed-student-apartment-tower-gets-ann-arbor-councils-initial-ok.html

A2Council Update Video

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

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

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