Ann Arbor City Council: May 20, 2024

May 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

APPROVED: The City’s budget for FY 2025. The budget adds 20 FTEs and $9,476,760 (+7.6%) in recurring expenditures; it also includes $5,295,901 in nonrecurring expenditures. The budget is balanced by taking a total of $2,791,015 from the Fund Balance (savings). (Legistar)

The whole of the City budget can be viewed on the City’s Financial Reporting page (along with previously adopted annual budgets):

At the April 15, 2024 Council meeting, City Administrator Dohoney announced that (similar to FY2024) he had set aside one million dollars of Marijuana Excise Tax fund revenue for Council to allocate. Through budget amendments, City Council members allocated this money, along with $220,812 for other initiatives. (link):

  • APPROVED: $100,000 to fund consultants required for “extensive changes to City zoning and land use policy” as directed by Council resolutions approved on April 1, 2024. One-time allocation from the General Fund fund balance. Sponsors: Disch, Cornell
  • APPROVED: $20,812 to fund a more experienced City planner to design and implement changes pursuant to the Comprehensive Land Use update. Allocated from the General Fund Planning Department anticipated revenue: site plan revenue ($10,000), zoning compliance permit revenue ($7,000), and planned unit development revenue ($3,812). Sponsors: Disch, Cornell
  • APPROVED: $500,000 to fund community based organizations addressing eviction prevention ($250,000) and low-income youth services ($250,000). Allocated from Marijuana Excise Tax Rebate funds. Sponsors: Cornell, Briggs, Ghazi Edwin, Watson, Akmon
  • APPROVED: $500,000 to fund Rising Hope for Housing program. Allocated from Marijuana Excise Tax Rebate funds to the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation for coordination and distribution (allowing use of up to 5% of funds to cover administration costs). Sponsors: Harrison, Radina
  • APPROVED: $100,000 to fund mailed communication that will direct residents on “how to contact their elected leaders”. Allocated from General Fund fund balance. Sponsor: Eyer
  • DEFEATED: $250,000 to fund crosswalk upgrades (RRFBs) at the intersections of Stone School Road and Pheasant Run Circle and Stone School Road and Birch Hollow Drive. Allocated from the Street, Bridge and Sidewalk Millage. Sponsor: Radina

MLive stories about the FY2025 budget:

APPROVED: Annexed parcels totaling 0.74 acres at 3701 and 3713 Riverside Drive will be rezoned to R1D (Single Family Zoning District). The owner intends to sell them for “development opportunities”and requested R1A (Single Family Dwelling District) zoning. City staff recommended R1B (Single Family Dwelling District) zoning for consistency with surrounding land uses, and the opportunity to evaluate future zoning of the area comprehensively. The City’s Comprehensive Plan recommends single family residential and surrounding properties are zoned R1B and PL (Public Land). (Legistar)

  • In September 2023, the City Planning commission rejected both the property owner request (R1A) and City staff recommendation (R1B) and approved R1D zoning instead.
  • Compared to staff-recommended R1B, a zoning of R1D has half the required lot area, reduced setback requirements, and may require a greater degree of services than the less dense Single-Family Zoning Districts. In answers to written questions to the agenda, staff explained: “There is no water or storm sewer service provided to this area.”  In answers to questions to the agenda for the April 15, 2024 Council meeting (link), staff explained that – in order to accommodate the new zoning – current standards/requirements might be waived and additional infrastructure may be needed to address stormwater water runoff from impervious surfaces.

Two resolutions related to bond financing of 121 Catherine Street were approved:

  • APPROVED: Up to $9,000,000 in Capital Improvement Bonds will be issued to fund affordable housing at 121 Catherine. Sixty-three housing units will be developed for households with incomes at or below 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). Half of the units will be developed for households with incomes at or below 30% of AMI. (Legistar)
  • APPROVED: An Affordable Housing Capital Improvement Bonds fund will be established, to maintain and disburse up to $9,000,000 in proceeds from issued bonds. (Legistar)

APPROVED: Extensive amendments to Council Rules include multiple procedural changes. (Legistar)

  • Rescheduling Council meetings at the written request of the Mayor with support from two Council Members
  • Scheduling work sessions, but not after holidays observed by the City
  • Adding late items to the agenda by a vote of Council
  • Empowering the City Administrator to add ordinances and resolutions to the Council agenda in response to communications
  • Reducing individual public comment times from 3 minutes to 2 minutes when more than 30 people have signed up to speak
  • Restricting use and positioning of signs by members of the public during meetings
  • Allowing use of electronic communication during a Council meeting “necessary to attend to immediate personal matters.”
  • Granting discretion to the City Administrator to include or not include the fiscal/administrative impact in the description of any resolution or ordinance
  • Any resolution that has been tabled for six months is considered abandoned
  • Requiring a 30 day delay to Council-proposed ordinances in order for the City Administrator and City Attorney to provide a report on fiscal, staffing, and other impacts anticipated.

APPROVED (first reading): Amendments to the city ordinance that requires property owners to remove snow on sidewalks. Proposed amendments will adjust violation fine amounts and clarify different penalties depending on zoning district. Currently, the ordinance dictates fines of $60, $250, and $500 – $1,000 for first, second, and subsequent violations (respectively) in the same season, without regard to zoning district. (Legistar)

  • This week’s amendment refers to lower density residential zoning districts – R1, R2, and R3 – where the penalties for multiple violations in a single season will be:
    • First violation: $60 – $100 
    • Second violation: $100 – $250
    • Subsequent violations: $200 – $400
  • As amended, the ordinance will apply different penalties to multi-family properties (R4), other non-residential, and properties adjacent to public land. In those areas, penalties for multiple violations in a single season will be:
    • First violation: $250 – $500
    • Second violation: $400 – $800
    • Subsequent violations: $500 – $1,000 
  • Language is added to all sections to make clear that the responsibilities assigned to property owners also apply to the “owner’s agent” as registered with the City under regular rental and short-term-rental (Airbnb) licensing procedures.

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for May 20, 2024 Part 1
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for May 20, 2024 Part 2
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for May 20, 2024 Part 3

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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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