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Dharma's Council Newsletter, May 4th, 2024

Neighbors,

 

City Council meets on Monday, May 6 at 7pm. Please note that the meeting location has been moved to the CTN Studio (2805 S. Industrial Highway) due to some planned technology upgrades being performed in chambers will not be complete in time. It's budget season right now, and City Council will adopt a FY25 budget at its May 20 meeting. Information on the budget, including responses to council member questions, can be accessed at: https://tinyurl.com/52r42e2f


Here are some updates before my preview of our agenda.


Meet Ann Arbor's New Police Chief, May 28

The Ann Arbor Independent Community Police Oversight Commission will be hosting a public forum along side the City of Ann Arbor Police Chief, Andre Anderson. The goal of the public forum is to listen and learn about your vision and hopes for the community of Ann Arbor. The event will be held on Tuesday, May 28 at 6pm at the Westgate Branch the Ann Arbor District Library.


May Bicentennial Events

In honor of Ann Arbor's 200th anniversary, there are a number of events taking place this month (May 25th being the City's official birthday), including:

  • Friday, May 17, 4-7pm: An art opening at Gutman gallery for 200, which is an all media exhibition showcasing work that celebrates Ann Arbor's bicentennial.

  • Saturday, May 25, 12-2pm: Bicentennial Bikeapalooza is an annual free, family friendly educational event celebrating downtown Ann Arbor's protected bikeway network! There will be cargo bike demos, giveaways, face painting, fun activities and more!! The event will be located on the surface parking lot at the corner of William & Fifth (across from the library).

  • Saturday, May 25, 11am-2:30pm: A picnic at Liberty Plaza. Liberty between Division and Fifth Ave will be closed to celebrate Ann Arbor's 200th birthday. Join the celebration and enjoy music, cake, and carry-out meals from local restaurants.

The entire calendar events can be found at: https://www.a2bicentennial.org/events.


City Council Meeting, Monday, May 6 at 7pm


Agenda Highlights

  • Construction Phase Agreement with Amtrak (CA-5). This project is part of the border to border trail and will create a new pedestrian tunnel between Bandemer Park and Barton Nature Area, providing a safe and legal pedestrian connection beneath the MDOT owned railroad. Prior to beginning construction in the railroad right-of-way, Amtrak requires the City to enter into a construction phase agreement and to remit payment to Amtrak in the amount of $136,912.00. This amount represents Amtrak’s cost estimate for their participation in the construction phase of the Project, which shall be applied to Amtrak’s costs as they are incurred. Upon completion of the construction phase, Amtrak shall return to the City any portion of this advance deposit that has not been expended by Amtrak.

  • Stone School Sidewalk Assessment (CA-12). This is part of a project to close sidewalk gaps in a high priority area of the city. Normally sidewalk millage dollars are used to close sidewalk gaps, but some of the adjacent properties are township islands and not taxed by the City. As a result, a special assessment district was created. Because the township island parcels are technically outside the City, the City is unable to collect the assessed amounts until the affected township island parcels are annexed to the City. 

  • Resolution to Approve MDOT Agreement for Murals that Bridge (CA-22). This resolution authorizes an agreement with MDOT to allow TreeTown Murals LLC to paint a mural on the Watco (Ann Arbor Railroad) bridge over West Huron Street. In addition to the permit for installation, because the project involves Huron Street, a state trunkline highway, the Michigan Department of Transportation requires a separate agreement with the City, as the local agency, regarding performance of the project work and its ongoing operation and maintenance.

  •  711 Church PUD Site Plan and Development Agreement (PH-3). This is the second 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. Planning staff recommends denial of this development, stating that "The proposal fails to meet the standards of approval for beneficial effects and does not provide unique benefits which could not be achieved through other zoning classifications. Additionally, inadequate justification is given for inconsistency with the Comprehensive Plan." The Planning Commission did not approve the development in a 2-5 vote. It now moves on to City Council for our consideration. The staff report includes a useful outline of the eight standards for a PUD approval. (note: Speakers do not need to sign up in advance to comment on the item).

  • Resolution to Adopt Ann Arbor City Budget and Related Property Tax Millage Rates for Fiscal Year 2025 (PH-9). While Council won't consider the budget until our meeting on May 20, this public hearing item presents the City Administrator's budget, totaling $607 million in revenue and $564 million in expenditures. General Fund recurring expenditures increased by $9,476,760 (+7.6%) compared to FY 2024's adopted budget, and recurring revenues increased by $10,374,659 (+8.2%). 

  • 732 Packard PUD Zoning District and Supplemental Regulations (C-1). This is the first reading of an ordinance that would rezone 12 lots in the block bounded by Packard Street, South State Street and Arch Street with a combined total of 55,507 square feet from C1A/R (Campus Business Residential) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) and adopt Supplemental Regulations to allow a high-rise, multiple-family building including sustainability features and required affordable housing. The plan is to build a 14-story high-rise building with 376 apartments. Both staff and Planning Commission have recommended approval.

  • Resolution to Order Election and to Determine Ballot Question for Charter Amendment for Creation of a Sustainable Energy Utility (DC-1). (Sponsors: Taylor, Radina, Briggs, and Disch). Passage of this resolution would place on the November 2024 ballot a change to the City's charter to establish an opt-in, fee based Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) that will supply, generate, and store power from renewable sources.


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 April 15, 2024 Council Voting chart.

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