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.
Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summary
APPROVED: By resolution, the City Planning Commission is directed to make recommendations regarding TC-1 rezoning of Washtenaw and Plymouth corridors and that this work be “prioritized above any additional considered modifications to the TC-1 Zoning district beyond those identified in Resolution R-22-390.” (Legistar)
- R-22-390 was approved by City Council on Dec 5, 2022 (Legistar). In that resolution, the only modifications recommended to TC-1 were:
- Incorporate limited automobile-related uses into the TC-1 District, excluding drive throughs and gas stations
- Address constraints of existing narrow rights of way
APPROVED: The Council of Commons (CoC) is dissolved with explanation that moving forward “the evaluation of the feasibility and vitality of a central plaza on the Center of the City site can be conducted by City staff and City Council.” The City-owned property described as the “Commons” is the result of a City charter amendment approved by voters in 2018. That charter amendment designates the “Center of the City” as a public resource to remain under City ownership for the purpose of an “urban park and civic center commons.” The CoC was established in 2020 and has met since 2021. (Legistar)
- More documents and resources related to the Center of City can be found here: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/systems-planning/programs/Pages/Center-of-the-City-Report-Appendices.aspx
APPROVED: A subrecipient grant agreement with the University of Michigan will facilitate a universal basic income pilot program. The UM group – Poverty Solutions – will partner with the Steady company to disburse a total of $1,600,000 in federal ARPA funds to 100 local families (estimated $528 per month for two years). Staff memo explains: “Details on how individuals may be selected for participation in the program will be announced after the contract is executed.” (Legistar)
APPROVED: A construction contract for $2,759,293.42 with Bailey Excavating will replace a water main, make stormwater improvements, resurface roads, replace curbs, add bumpouts, improve sidewalk ramps, and add buffered bike lanes on Pontiac and Moore as part of the Pontiac, Swift, Moore and Wright water main and resurfacing project. (Legistar)
- A2ELNEL: Integrity in Government Spending, Oversight, and Policymaking
APPROVED: $7,543,000 construction contract with Cadillac Asphalt for resurfacing and rehabilitation of streets on the west side (Norfolk, Suffolk,Tudor, Dunmore, Winsted) and in Ann Arbor Hills (Burson, Avon, Stratford, Belfield, Devonshire, Melrose, Aberdeen, Hawthorne, Bedford, Exmoor, Newcastle, Edinborough, Stonehaven, Mills, Shannondale). The contract also includes traffic calming devices on Granger Avenue (Packard to State), planned improvements to the shared use asphalt path along Huron Parkway and minor repairs to stormwater structures, water supply systems, and sewage disposal systems. (Legistar)
APPROVED: Up to $206,367 to purchase a conservation easement on a 20-acre forested parcel along Zeeb Road between Jackson and Liberty Roads in Scio Township (DeVine property). Washtenaw County will contribute $150,000. This is a Greenbelt Purchase paid for with the Open Space and Parkland Preservation Fund. (Legistar)
APPROVED: A $8,133,255 contract with Enerlogics Networks for purchase and installation of solar arrays at City facilities (approved 1/9/23) was RESCINDED in order to approve a $7,499,999 contract with Melink Solar. The size of a planned solar array at Steere Farm – on the site of the city airport in Pittsfield township – will be reduced by nearly half (from roughly 605kw of solar to 303kw). (Legistar)
- In answer to a question to the agenda, City staff explained (link) that “the initial proposed size has been flagged by DTE as problematic. We are not fully clear on why, but we are working hard to resolve the issue. As one way to help compromise, we are proposing a decrease in size at Steere Farm and a slight increase to the size of the Wheeler system to help move the project forward.”
APPROVED: A $200,000 amendment to a contract for legal services related to the Platt Convenience, Inc. v City of Ann Arbor lawsuit. With this amendment, the City will have spent a total of $810,000 on outside legal services to handle this case. (Legistar)
APPROVED: Council Rules amendment to allow pre-registration for public comment until 5 p.m. on the day of a Council meeting. In November 2022, a majority of Council eliminated open public comment at the end of City Council meetings, adding a requirement that all public commenters pre-register. This amendment extends the deadline for pre-registration of public comment by one hour. (Legistar)
- The elimination of open public comment and the new policy of pre-registration (up to 4 p.m.) allowed that public comments may occur at the end of a Council meeting but only when the total of pre-registered comments exceed 45 minutes. Since this change, there have been no opportunities for public comment at the end of (and in response to what has happened at) a City Council meeting.
APPROVED: The Council Calendar will be amended in order to reschedule the Monday, July 3, 2023 meeting to Thursday, July 6, 2023. (Legistar)
APPROVED: By resolution, the City attorney now has the “authority to initiate and pursue litigation or other legal action on behalf of the City – including but not limited to, lawsuits, administrative actions, appeals, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, amicus curiae briefs, and settlements as a class member.” The City Attorney will use “their best professional judgement” and provide “timely report to Council.” In the City charter, only two positions are directly accountable to City Council: the City Administrator and the City Attorney. (Legistar)
APPROVED: The City Administrator will work with the Ann Arbor Housing Commission to evaluate how to leverage the proceeds of the Affordable Housing Millage (approximately $6 million annually) for bond financing of affordable housing units and/or acquiring additional parcels. The millage proceeds would be used to “pay back bonds directly or as credit enhancement to improve the terms of the bond.” Recommendations and proposed timing of bond issuance will be reported to Council by December 2023. (Legistar)
APPROVED: The City Administrator is directed to work with staff to “identify incentives that would support voluntary efforts by residents and businesses to increase emissions reductions through a transition to sustainable and clean heating as well as beneficial electrification.” A friendly amendment asks the City Administrator to provide a written progress report to Council on “internal processes, particularly in the development review process” by December 30, 2023. (Legistar)
- This resolution repeats goals and strategies approved by a previous Council and identified as the responsibility of the Office of Sustainability and Innovations (OSI).
- Page 32 of the A2Zero Climate Action Plan issued April 2020 (link) explains: “To support the electrification of appliances, the City of Ann Arbor will work to establish policies that promote electrification of heating and cooking systems by evaluating options in codes, inventive programs, and through other avenues.”
APPROVED (first reading): An ordinance amendment will clarify that bicycles impounded by the Ann Arbor Police Department may be sold at public sale or they may be donated to a charitable organization, such as Common Cycle Community Bicycle Repair, a local nonprofit. (Legistar)
APPROVED (first reading): An ordinance requiring landlords to provide their tenants with local voter registration information will be repealed. This is in response to court decisions that invalidated similar laws in Minneapolis and St. Paul (Minnesota), declaring them unconstitutional. Similar ordinances in East Lansing and Ypsilanti are currently the subject of litigation. City staff report that the Ann Arbor ordinance is not actively enforced and other methods of voter outreach are more effective. (Legistar)
APPROVED (first reading): An ordinance amendment will prohibit the sale of dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, long-lived birds, or large reptiles at pet stores, the roadside, public rights- of-way, commercial parking lots, outdoor special sales, swap meets, flea markets, or other similar events in the City of Ann Arbor. Animals may only be sold on the premises of a breeder, by a publicly operated shelter or rescue organization, or private nonprofit rescue organization. Pet stores may provide space and care for animals owned by a shelter/rescue organization, for the purpose of adoption. (Legistar)
- Existing pet stores may continue sales for one year after the effective date of this ordinance.
- At the Council meeting, it was explained that no Ann Arbor pet stores currently engage in these sales.