Ann Arbor City Council: November 20, 2023

Nov 20, 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 Akmon was absent
CM Radina was absent
CM Briggs arrived 90 minutes late, during discussion of C-2

A2Council Update Video

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

POSTPONED (first reading): A new ordinance would ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers from June 1 to September 30. Use of all leaf blowers (gas and other) would be restricted to the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (weekdays) and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (weekends). The ordinance proposes to ban gas-powered leaf blowers entirely by 2028. (Legistar)

  • Approval at first reading was postponed for the purpose of consulting with City attorneys about possible amendments. As presented, the ordinance included no details about input or feedback received in preparation and Council Members submitted no questions to the agenda about it. However, concerns were raised at the table: equity issues around the high fine attached to violations ($500) and the impact of restrictions on timing/permitted hours of use.
  • Gas powered outdoor equipment was regulated by a previous Council. In an April 2019 ordinance, all two-stroke engines used for blowing, removing, or trimming debris and vegetation were banned in the DDA district (downtown). (Legistar) https://a2council.com/ann-arbor-city-council-april-1-2019/
  • In preparation of the 2019 ordinance, City staff explained the community outreach that took place (link) “The DDA shared the draft ordinance with the four downtown area associations so they could share it with their members, as well as with a variety of large downtown property owners, and included a mention in its monthly newsletter. DDA also reached out directly to a contractor who provides maintenance services for several downtown clients, and he indicated that he will acquire electric leaf blowers by the deadline. A single business owner contacted the DDA to express his concern that 2- stroke gas engine leaf blowers are the most effective way to clean debris like cigarette butts and wrappers, and by outlawing them there may be an added accumulation of debris on downtown sidewalks.”
  • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2023/11/ann-arbor-considering-citywide-ban-on-gas-powered-leaf-blowers.html

APPROVED: A contract for $7,499,999 approved in June 2023 was rescinded, and four contracts totaling $7,482,420 were approved. These contracts are part of a project from the City’s Sustainability & Innovations Department (OSI) to install solar arrays at City facilities. (Legistar)

  • This was the third time a contract for the project was rescinded and replaced with another. The original contract for this work was approved over a year ago.
  • On June 21, 2022, Council approved a $7,496,424 contract with Enerlogics under a “power purchase agreement” (Legistar) https://a2council.com/ann-arbor-city-council-june-21-2022/
  • On January 9, 2023, Council rescinded the previous contract with Enerlogics and approved a new $8,133,255.00 contract with Enerlogics to directly purchase the solar systems (Legistar) https://a2council.com/ann-arbor-city-council-january-9-2023/
  • On June 5, 2023, Council rescinded the previous contract with Enerlogics and approved a new $7,499,999 contract with Melink Solar (Legistar) https://a2council.com/ann-arbor-city-council-june-5-2023/
  • This week, Council rescinded the previous contract with Melink Solar and approved $7,482,420 in four separate contracts with Melink Solar. A separate contract for work at the Wheeler Center will use ARPA funds and include federally-required provisions. The other three contracts will be standard City construction contracts. Previous contracts for this project (6/21/22, 1/09/23, 6/5/23) included solar arrays at seven locations: airport (3), water treatment plant, Steere Farm, wastewater treatment plant, Wheeler Center. Staff now explain that installation at the water treatment plant would be prohibitively expensive and arrays at Steere Farm will be expanded.

APPROVED: The City opts in as part of the class participating in the settlement of litigation against 3M and DuPont regarding PFAS contamination. Information about this litigation can be found at pfaswatersettlement.com (Legistar)

APPROVED: Previously annexed parcels at 2282 and 2290 Traver Road are rezoned PL (Public Land). The 5.23 acres were purchased by the City in 2020 for parkland purposes, to be maintained as a natural area adjacent to the Leslie Park Golf Course. (Legistar)

APPROVED (first reading): 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. (Legistar)

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for November 20, 2023 Part 1
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for November 20, 2023 Part 2
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for November 20, 2023 Part 3

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