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A2Council Meeting Summary

Ann Arbor City Council: May 3, 2021

This was the twenty seventh regular Ann Arbor City Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online via the Zoom application. Michigan Open Meetings Act changes effective April 1, 2021 require all Council Members to state their location.

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

APPROVED: Amendments to an ordinance regulating Short term rentals, removing language that restricts location by zoning district. Short term rental is a newly defined use, added to the City zoning code. This change creates a new class of “legal non-conforming use,” permitting all current investment properties – non-owner occupied short term rentals established prior to March 1, 2021 – to continue operating indefinitely in residential areas. New investment properties would be prohibited in residential areas moving forward. (Legistar) (Legistar)

APPROVED: $646,595.50 for renovation of the Border-to-Border Pathway at the Gallup Park Vehicle bridge and Mitchell Field bridge. (Legistar)

APPROVED: City Council asks the Michigan Department of Transportation to take deliberate measures to either reduce speeds, re-engineer the road to increase traction and prevent hydroplaning, or take other steps to reduce the frequency of truck crashes on Eastbound M14. This resolution will be sent to state legislators.and Governor Whitmer. (Legistar)

DEFEATED: Budget amendment to appropriate $320,830.00 from the Major Street Fund Balance and $33,143.00 from the Local Street Fund Balance to fund 2021 Healthy Streets Deployment: 34 residential “Slow Streets”, temporary reconfiguration at South Main, and permanent re-design of Packard. (Legistar)

APPROVED: City Council expresses support for State Senate Bill 352, which restores local control over gun regulations on public property. Cities, townships, and counties would be able to adopt rules like those governing courthouses or schools. (Legistar)

APPROVED: Amendments to Council Rules restricting the addition of items to the agenda after 5 PM on the Thursday before a meeting. New rules require three cosponsors to add a late agenda item, create a “Proposed Agenda Items” section to the agenda, require a vote in order to add late items and reduce the vote required (from three-quarters to simple majority) to add those items. Problematic language added three months ago (and challenged by the ACLU) is removed. New Rules add a new Ethics violation for “conduct that is unbecoming of a Councilmember.” (Legistar)

REFERRED TO ADMIN COMMITTEE: In consultation with the director of Human Resources, the City Administrator would be asked to spend up to $20,000 to retain a professional mediator to teach effective meeting management and discourse methodology for Councilmembers. (Legistar)

TABLED: The City of Ann Arbor would hold a forum about the Palestinian people and Palestinian-Americans with the goal of having a community conversation. (Legistar)