Ann Arbor City Council: November 6, 2023

Nov 6, 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.

A2Council Update Video

Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary

APPROVED: By resolution, Council directs staff to “develop a plan for evaluation of reconfiguring all existing multilane roads under the City’s jurisdiction by 2030.” This resolution explicitly repeals previous policy requiring that “city staff shall provide council current traffic volume data” and “projections for safety improvements and traffic delays.” City staff is asked to prioritize reconfiguration of all multilane roads in the City, narrowing and reducing traffic lanes, and Council no longer wants traffic data for specific locations or projections for safety improvements and traffic delays. Council added (by friendly amendment) a reference to consulting with UM to consider the needs of their transportation/bus system. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A $1,000,000 service agreement will provide analysis of drainage issues on 12.8 miles of gravel roads in the City. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A $160,450 services agreement will provide a feasibility analysis of stormwater projects at E. University, Mulholland, and Lawton Park. (Legistar)

APPROVED: A pilot program with THRONE Labs, Inc will install ten semi-portable toilets downtown at a cost of $500,000. (Legistar)

APPROVED (First Reading): The PUD zoning and site plan for the Lockwood development (2195 E. Ellsworth) would be amended to reflect how the building was built four feet too far into the east and south side setbacks. The requested amendment would reduce both of these setbacks by four feet, to match what has already been built: 144 feet reduced to 140 feet (east side) and 68 feet reduced to 64 feet (south side). To the south, this places the building four feet closer to Ellsworth. To the east, this places the building four feet closer to homes on Shadowood Drive. (Legistar)

APPROVED (First Reading): The rezoning of 8.29 acres at 900 Briarwood Circle (Briarwood Mall) will permit redevelopment of the empty Sears department store and some of the surrounding parking lot. Current zoning is P (Parking) and new zoning would be C2B (Commercial). The redevelopment plan includes demolition of the Sears store and construction of a four story residential building (354 units) with a two level grocery store, retail store, and adjacent athletic field. A four level parking garage will include 301 spaces. (Legistar)

APPROVED (First Reading): Amendments to the UDC will rescind a policy of premiums to developers to incentivize the building of affordable housing units or payments to the affordable housing fund as part of new developments downtown. (Legistar)

  • Prior to changes in 2019, premiums to developers more generally incentivized the building of residential units in D1 and D2 zoning districts (downtown). Changes made in 2019 were based on ten years of data starting in 2009 and can be found here:
  • The staff memo for this week’s amendments explains: “Because of these changes, some downtown buildings (those that previously used premiums) will no longer achieve a minimum of two particular LEED points. There is also expected to be fewer buildings with on-site affordable housing units or providing payments in lieu.” Consultants hired to analyze these amendments explain: “The proposed amendments will make it easier for petitioners to reach maximum height, since they would no longer need to navigate the premiums process.”

  • When these amendments were considered (and approved) by Mayoral appointees on the Planning Commission in September 2023, Chair Wonwoo Lee “recused himself from the discussion noting his employer owns property in the D1 Zoning District“. According to Linkedin, Wonwoo Lee is the Chief Real Estate Officer for Oxford Companies. Commissioner Lisa Sauve was recused due to her “active participation of a petition in the D1 Zoning District.” According to LinkedIn, Lisa Sauve is the Principal/CEO and Co-founder of the Synecdoche architecture firm, which also actively participated in the recently approved rezoning for Southtown.

APPROVED (First Reading): Amendments to the UDC will establish a minimum front setback in the TC-1 zoning district of 18 feet, as measured from the street curb; the amendment includes a maximum setback of 28 feet. (Legistar)

  • City staff recommended amendments establishing minimum/maximums of 20 feet/40 feet but this was changed to 18 feet/28 feet by mayoral appointees on the Planning Commission.
  • When these amendments were discussed and approved at the City’s Planning Commission in September 2023, the current chair – Wonwoo Lee – was recused due to conflicts of interest, as he is Chief Real Estate Officer for Oxford Companies. In past discussions of TC1 zoning districts, Commissioner Lisa Sauve has recused herself due to owning property in the TC1 district (meeting minutes reflect her participation in discussion of these amendments).

A2ELNEL Voting Chart

Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for November 6, 2023 Part 1
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for November 6, 2023 Part 2
Ann Arbor City Council Voting Chart for November 6, 2023 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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