Ann Arbor City Planning Commission: February 7, 2023

Feb 7, 2023 | Planning

This meeting was held in person at City Hall.

Commissioner Hammerschmidt was absent.

APPROVED: Rezoning of 2.5 acres at 415 W. Washington from Public Land (PL) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) to permit the development of 157 residential units in a building constructed above the floodplain elevation. The PUD included a friendly amendment to allow a 10-foot minimum (setback) versus maximum (setback) along Liberty Street.

DISCUSSED (NO VOTES): An evaluation of the premiums and downtown zoning recommendations conducted by consultant Carlisle Wortman.

  • Link to the report: http://a2gov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=11619662&GUID=CA1FF875-75BB-466D-82CC-B1DE962CE595
  • Highlights from the report:
    • Office: “The vacancy rates for the City overall are on an upward trend and the highest since the end of the recession: 11.7% for office space, 5.5% for flexible space and 10.3% for those categories combined. However, the vacancy rates are still lower than during the Great Recession (2008-2009)”
    • Housing: “Using D1 and D2 zoning districts in ESRI Business Analyst, the program estimated the growth in Downtown housing units in the table below. If these numbers are accurate, the City has met the goal Downtown Residential Task Force set goal in 2004 of 1,000 new units Downtown. However, the Downtown Market Dashboard states that increasing residential density in downtown was essential and could be achieved by allowing the adaptive re-use of office buildings as dwelling units, in addition to new residential construction.”
    • Conclusions: “Based on our research, we feel that the premiums are not effective in advancing the adopted and established goals of the City. The qualitative and quantitative data indicates that the premiums are not producing affordable housing units in an impactful manner, which has been the primary goal since the changes in 2019. Also, the goals of the premiums are not aligned with the most recent City plans. Therefore, the Planning Commission should examine options to change the Downtown zoning.”

Legistar and Video Links

Legistar: https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=1067088&GUID=8F62206E-E21B-4DDA-809C-AC7F7CFA9F87

YouTube: https://youtu.be/HXhjgJRB4QA

CTN Video: https://ctnvideo.a2gov.org/CablecastPublicSite/show/7946

Meeting Length: 4h 2m

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