This past Monday, City Council had a Work Session. We discussed the budget process, our upcoming plans to develop a new comprehensive plan for the city, near-term plans for the climate action millage passed in November, and how bonding for road repairs will allow us to accelerate our progress toward road condition goals, among several other topics. I'm feeling good about what's coming for Ann Arbor! The slides from this session are available on Legistar. Before I jump into the details on our upcoming City Council Meeting, Monday, February 6th, here are a few things to share about what's going on in our city. Drafts with Dharma: Ward 4 Constituent Hour I'm holding my next Ward 4 constituent hour on Sunday, February 19th at 2pm at Union Rec (545 S. Main Street). This is an opportunity for us to discuss local issues and for me to hear your thoughts on Council work. I hope to see you there! RSVP (or just show up!) Pavement Condition and Upcoming Road Improvements The City has launched a new dashboard on Road Pavement Conditions, Active Road and Utility Projects, Road Bond Projects, and Upcoming Street and Utility Projects. I'm especially excited to see several Ward 4 roads on the list, including Winsted (2023), Suffolk and Norfolk (2023), Greenview (2024), Glastonbury (2025), Packard (2026), and Mershon (2027), all of which I heard a lot about from residents when I campaigned over the summer. As communicated in the slides from our work session, our new road bonding is going to significantly improve the quality of the city's roads over the next several years, especially our local, neighborhood streets.
We need to fix our roads. As we do so, we also need to make sure they provide safe, comfortable mobility options for people traveling by bike, foot, and bus. I look forward to implementing the adopted goals and strategies in the City's Comprehensive Transportation Plan as we repair our roads. Upcoming Forum on Housing and Transportation A forum titled "Housing and Transportation: What's the Climate Connection?" will take place on Wed., February 22, from 6-8pm at the Ann Arbor Downtown Library (or virtually on Zoom). For more information and to register, visit: https://tinyurl.com/ccl-event-reg. New Commercial Solar Program Helps Ann Arbor Area Businesses Access Clean Energy Ann Arbor Area Commercial Solar Program is a new program designed to help commercial properties in Washtenaw County access the benefits of clean energy. The program provides one-on-one assistance to screen properties for solar potential, assist with the adaptation of a Request For Proposal Template, review proposal responses and provide post-installation energy bill review. An informational forum on the program will take place via Zoom on Tues, February 28th from 12-1pm. Sign up ahead to attend.
City Council Meeting, Monday, February 6th at 7pm Please reach out if there are items on the agenda that raise questions, concerns, or thoughts for you. Email: DAkmon@A2gov.org. Phone/text: 734-492-5866.
There were no agenda questions from council members for this meeting.
There are a few ways to share your thoughts on items on the agenda:
Email City Council: CityCouncil@a2gov.org
Comment at the meeting (online 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 at a "public hearing."
A few items of note from the agenda:
CA-6 Resolution to Adopt the Board of Review Guidelines for Poverty Exemptions from Property Taxation of Principal Residence Pursuant to MCL 211.7u. This resolution would have Council adopt revised poverty exemption guidelines that establish minimum poverty income levels not to exceed 2.20 times the Federal Poverty Income Standards as determined on an annual basis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for each person in a household and maintain the existing asset test of $50,000. The Board of Review may grant property tax exemptions (in whole and in part) to the principal residence of persons who, in the judgement of the supervisor and the Board of Review, are by reason of poverty unable to contribute toward the public charges.
C-1 Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Zoning), Zoning of 67.6 Acres from TWP (Township District) and R1C (Single-Family Dwelling District) to R4A (Multiple-Family Dwelling District), 1680 Dhu Varren Road, 1710 Dhu Varren Road, 2670 Pontiac Trail, 2672 Pontiac Trail, 2678 Pontiac Trail, and 2682 Pontiac Trail. This is the first reading of an ordinance to change the zoning of 67.6 Acres (in an area east of Pontiac Trail and south of Dhu Varren Road in the southeast quadrant of Pontiac Trail and Dhu Varren Road in the Traver Creek watershed) from Township and R1C (single-family zoning) to R4A (multiple family zoning district). Staff is recommending this rezoning (also approved by the Planning Commission) because it's consistent with the recommendations the Comprehensive Plan: Land Use Element and compatible with zoning in the surrounding area.
C-3 An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 19 (Tax Exemptions for Housing Projects) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor. This ordinance (first reading) would increase the minimum income for eligible housing projects from 60% of Area Median Income to 80%; and allow tax exemption for projects where the average income does not exceed 60%. This reflects current practices related to grants for affordable housing from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
DC-1 Resolution to Commence a Collaborative Planning Process between the University of Michigan and the City of Ann Arbor for the Rehabilitation, Widening, and Non-motorized Transportation Enhancement of the East Medical Center Bridge. Staff is recommending that we postpone this item to provide them time to gather information that Council asked for in the last meeting as part of an amended resolution, including an estimate of the cost of installing a barrier between the sidewalk and roadway. We will likely discuss this resolution at our Feb. 21 Council meeting.