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Dharma's Council Newsletter, August 19, 2023

Neighbors, Our next City Council meeting takes place on Monday, August 21st. Before I get to a preview of our agenda, here are some updates about things going on around Ann Arbor.


Summer Parkside Constituent Hours I'm holding my monthly constituent hours at a variety of parks over the summer. Please bring a blanket or chair (I will try to secure whatever picnic table is available) and your choice of beverage and join me to talk about City Council and what matters to you (in case of rain, we will move to York on Packard)

  • Sunday, September 17th 10am-11am at Esch Park

Save Carbon & Cash - While Improving Home Energy Efficiency Ann Arbor Citizens Climate Lobby is hosting a panel event on Thursday, September 7th, from 6:30-8:30 at Venue. Find out how to get major federal incentives that will greatly reduce the cost of your upgrades; find low-rate financing for additional savings; set up a home energy audit; and evaluate your home’s energy efficiency, uncover the root cause of comfort issues and poor air quality and prioritize projects. Learn more and register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/save-carbon-cash-while-improving-home-energy-efficiency-tickets-690233335487. Learn more about the A2Zero Climate Action Plan Ann Arbor’s A2Zero plan: innovation, sustainability, and carbon neutrality by 2030 is the focus of a new video, which will air on PBS stations across the country. Check it out! https://youtu.be/_yexCYOfa5o


City Council Meeting, Monday, August 21st at 7pm Please reach out if you have questions, concerns, or thoughts on any of the agenda items. Email: DAkmon@A2gov.org | Phone/text: 734-492-5866

There are a few ways to share your thoughts on the agenda:

  • eComment

  • Email City Council: CityCouncil@a2gov.org

  • Comment at the meeting (remote or in person): Call the City Clerk's office at 734-794-6140 beginning at 8 a.m. on the day of the meeting to reserve a public speaking time. NOTE: you do not need to reserve time to speak during a "public hearing" item.

Agenda Highlights

  • INT-1 Proclamation To Recognize the Equitable Engagement Initiative and Final Report. City Council will formally recognize the work of the Equitable Engagement Steering Committee for their commitment to advancing equity in the City of Ann Arbor’s public engagement strategy. My husband, Devon, served on this committee, and I'm so grateful for this committee's work to develop best practices, recommendations, and strategies for advancing equity throughout the public engagement process. Read the full report: Achieving Equitable Engagement in Ann Arbor. (I highlighted this last time, but through an agenda error, the proclamation is actually happening in this meeting).

  • INT-2 Update on R-23-110 - Resolution Requesting the City Administrator to Engage with the Michigan Legislature and Michigan Public Service Commission to Advance Energy Equity and Resilience. City Council passed a resolution in April calling on the MI Legislature to hold DTE accountable for frequent, multi-day power outages and directing our City Administrator to continue working on our energy resilience and equity infrastructure. This introductory agenda item will provide Council and the public with an update on this work.

  • CA-9 Resolution to Sell 350 S. Fifth to the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation ($6,200,000.00). This resolution first appeared on Council's agenda on July 17th, but was moved to give staff the opportunity to respond to numerous questions that council members brought forward. If passed, the City of Ann Arbor would sell what's commonly referred to as the "Y-lot" (across from the downtown branch of the public library) to the Ann Arbor Housing Commission. The City of Ann Arbor currently owns the lot, owing a debt of $5.2M on it that was incurred when the property was repurchased (after having been sold) with the purpose to build affordable housing on the site. The fair market value of the property has been assessed at $6.2M. The funding sources for acquisition from the City include $1,000.000.00 City ARPA funds and $5,200,000.00 City Affordable Housing Millage funds that have previously been granted to the AAHC. The AAHC is requesting that the City convey the property to the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation by quitclaim deed for $6,200,000.00 to continue moving the process forward and begin engaging with a potential development partner. The sale is being transacted at fair market value, as assessed by the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation’s appraiser, in order to pay the bonds and protect the tax exempt nature of the outstanding bonds for the property.

  • CA-12 Resolution to Approve a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for Central at Stadium Blvd - 2060 West Stadium. The Annex Group (or an affiliated entity as required by funding sources), will be acquiring and developing the property at 2060 West Stadium (formerly a car sales lot, which is now zoned as a transit corridor) for the purpose of building 164 affordable homes, with an average household income at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

  • PH-2 An Ordinance to Add Chapter 106 (Home Energy Rating Disclosure) to Title VIII (Building Regulations) of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor. This is the second reading for this ordinance, and so there will also be a public hearing for residents. The Office of Sustainability is putting forth a substitute ordinance with the following changes based on feedback we received from residents after the first reading:

    • Full clarification that enforcement does not begin until failure to comply at time of sale – it’s not retroactive.

    • Revisions to the fine structure to indicate it’s a $500 fee (not per day), with subsequent violations incurring other fees (aka, they sell another home without disclosure)

    • Changed the requirements so that sellers are only required to include the HES in one Real Estate Listing (as opposed to all)

    • Removed the requirement to include HES in printed advertisements such as for sale signs in yards

    • Added a definition of Listing Service

  • PH-3 Resolution to Approve the Amended 303 North Fifth and 312-314 Detroit Redevelopment Brownfield Plan. The proposed resolution would approve the first amendment to the 303 North Fifth and 312-314 Detroit Redevelopment Brownfield Plan, originally approved on July 5, 2022. The proposed amendment seeks additional reimbursement costs in the amount of $624,984 for unexpected site conditions, which increased the cost of environmental remediation activities. The net impact is an estimated 10-year capture period to project completion, extended from the original 9-year projection.

How Council Voted The Ann Arbor Voting Charts Project is a community-maintained record of voting history for City Council. Check out the August 7th, 2023 Voting Chart.

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