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Dharma's Council Newsletter for March 30th, 2024

Neighbors,

 

Happy Spring! City Council meets on Monday, April 1st at 7pm. Here are some updates before my preview of our agenda.


Coffee Hour

I'm hosting my next monthly Ward 4 constituent coffee hour Sunday, April 21st from 10-11am at York Food and Drink (1929 Packard). RSVP or just swing by!


Ann Arbor's Weekly Compost Pickup Resumes April 1

Weekly curbside collection of compost resumes in Ann Arbor on Monday, April 1. This year, there are new rules for what can go in the compost stream. Only CMA-W certified compostable fiber products will be accepted. Products marked only as BPI certified, as well as bamboo or palm leaf materials, are no longer allowed. Details about these changes are available at www.a2gov.org/compost.


Resident Participation Meeting for a 225-unit Development next to Whole Foods on Ann Arbor-Saline Road 

On Thursday, April 4th, from 6-7:30pm, Bonner Advisory Group is holding a resident participation meeting at Venue at 1919 S. Industrial Hwy. The 225-unit development would be located next to Whole Foods Market on Ann Arbor-Saline Road on what is currently a vacant lot. To build this five-story residential building, the developers will seek a re-zoning from O-Office to R4E-Residential.



City Council Meeting, Monday, April 1st at 7pm


Agenda Highlights

  • Agreement with OHM for Parks Asset Management Plan ($729,104) (CA-4). Our parks system has had to react to several unplanned projects over the last few years. This creates a strain on Parks resources. To address this, the City seeks to develop an Asset Management Plan to help them better forecast future needs and better position itself to properly allocate resources and look for outside funding such as grants and partnerships. The City has a similar plan for Transportation, Water, Stormwater, and Sewer assets.

  • Resolution to Accept a Hazard Mitigation Grant and Appropriate Funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Purchase and Demolition of 124 Felch Street and 112 E Summit Street ($731,702.82) (CA-9). The structures at 124 Felch St. and 112 E Summit St. are located within the floodway of Allen Creek. The owners of the site filed a notice of voluntary interest that would allow the City to submit a Hazard Mitigation Grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The City was notified in February 2024 that FEMA has awarded the City $658,532.54 in match dollars to fund the project to remove two single family residential rental structures from the floodway, create permanent open space by deed restricting the properties, and improve access to the City’s 721 N. Main St. site from Felch Street, which will help facilitate access for the Treeline Urban Trail. The City's cost for the project is $73,170.28. Note that sale of the properties to the City is conditioned upon the owner accepting the third-party market value appraisal price. 

  • Contract for Seventh & Greenview Improvements Project ($6,672,524.00) (CA-12). Residents of the 4th Ward will be happy to see a contract on this week's agenda for the Seventh & Greenview Improvements Project. This project includes water main replacement, stormwater detention, and road resurfacing. Both streets as they exist now are very wide, and residents have long complained about speeding. They are both also designated as part of Ann Arbor's All Ages All Abilities Network. After extensive community engagement the roads are being narrowed, sidewalks in some areas being widened, and bump-outs are being added.

  • 711 Church PUD Zoning District and Supplemental Regulations (C-1). This is the first reading of an ordinance to rezone six lots at the southeast corner of Willard Street and Church Street with a combined total of 46,302 square feet from R4C (Multiple-Family Dwelling) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) and adopt Supplemental Regulations to allow a high-rise, multiple-family building including sustainability features and required affordable housing, for which the developer plans a payment in lieu. The proposal is for a high-rise building varying from 12 to 17 stories with 273 apartments. The building is to include a number of sustainability elements, a public art feature, and minimize parking for cars. Staff recommends denial of this development; the Planning Commission did not approve the development in a 2-5 vote. It now moves on to City Council for our consideration.

  • UDC Amendment (Multimodal Transportation Impact Analysis) (C-2). This is the first reading of an ordinance revision to update references, simplify language, and ensure multimodal emphasis across various sections of the UDC to improve compliance by development petitioners, further goals of the Comprehensive Plan, and clarify intent. Specifically, the amendments clarify that developers should consult the 2023 Institute of Transportation Engineer’s Multimodal Transportation Impact Analysis for Site Development when creating a Traffic Impact Analysis. This manual emphasizes multimodal transportation analysis, including pedestrian and bike connections, safety, and ADA accessibility. The amendments also represent a change from a narrow focus on vehicular traffic to emphasize multimodal (transit, pedestrian, and bicycle levels of service) level of service as the prevailing review criteria. 

  • We also have a set of four related resolutions that are a response to a staff Economic Development Report delivered to Council in December. Together, these resolutions endorse the report's findings and direct staff to implement specific recommendations from the report. They are:

  • Direct Economic Development Priorities (DC-1). This resolution directs the City Administrator to establish an Office of Economic Development which shall be led by a qualified economic development professional to formulate a plan for strategic property acquisition and begin accumulating interests in real property to help fulfill the city’s mission driven housing, sustainability, placemaking, and tax base support objectives; work directly with owners of underutilized properties to support development that meets the city’s public policy objectives; supervise the development process for major land developments; and provide small business support. (Sponsors: Eyer, Briggs, Cornell and Disch)

  • Direct the City Administrator to Implement New Processes and Programs for Housing Development at all Income Levels to Support Housing Affordability (DC-2). This resolution directs a number of revisions to the City's development processes with the aim of making housing development more permissive and less burdened by city administrative processes. The outcome of passing this resolution would be work to bring ordinance revisions back to Council for consideration. (Sponsors: Disch, Briggs, Cornell, and Eyer)

  • Direct the City Administrator to Implement New Processes and Programs to Support Sustainability in the Built Environment (DC-3). This resolution aims to support sustainability in building development by defining "energy efficient" and "fully electrified" in our UDC and by creating a fast-track process for these kinds of developments. (Sponsors: Briggs, Cornell, Disch, Eyer, and Akmon)

  • Direct the City Administrator to Implement New Processes and Programs to Support Placemaking and Tax Base Improvements (DC-4). This resolution directs the City Administrator to pursue changes to city processes in an effort to protect the tax base from further encroachment by tax-exempt entities, and to support placemaking initiatives. This includes directing the City Administrator to pursue a strategy of property acquisition; creating a sub-quorum working group of City Council to explore a Charter Amendment to Section 14.3(a) to allow interests in real property to be more easily transacted, and to specifically explore the questions of whether an eight-vote majority should be required from the Council to approve a real estate transaction, whether development agreements should be approved in the same manner as their corresponding site plans, and whether these transactions should be held to the same council approval threshold as for any other contract under the requirements of the charter, in addition to any other changes or questions the Council members or the City Administrator may see fit to explore.  

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

 

You can also communicate your thoughts via:

  • 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 (PH)" item.


How Council Voted

The Ann Arbor Voting Charts Project is a community-maintained record of voting history for City Council. Check out the March 18th, 2024 Council Voting chart.


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