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Dharma's Newsletter, December 16th, 2023



City Council meets on Monday, December 18th. Before I get to a preview of our agenda, I have some updates to share with you.

Ann Arbor Calls for Artist Proposals to Design Bicentennial Basketball Court Murals

The City of Ann Arbor is calling on local artists to share their design proposals for a mural to adorn the basketball courts at two city parks, as part of the Ann Arbor Bicentennial celebration. Design entries can be submitted until 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. Please see visit the artist call page  for details.

Christmas Tree Drop-off Locations and Composting Updates

Regular, seasonal curbside composting pickups will conclude Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. In 2024, the city will once again offer winter pickup of compost carts as part of the monthly winter composting program. Compost cart pickups will take place the weeks of Jan. 8, Feb. 5, and March 4, 2024. 

The City of Ann Arbor provides four free drop-off disposal locations for used, undecorated Christmas trees beginning Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, through Monday, Jan. 15, 2024.  No wreaths, garland, tree stands, lights or decorations are accepted. Learn more. Drop-off locations are as follows:

  • Bicentennial Park (Southeast Area Park) located on Ellsworth at Platt. Trees may be left at the dirt lot north of the basketball courts.

  • West Park parking lot off Chapin near West Huron Street.

  • Gallup boat launch parking lot (not the Gallup livery), entrance on the southeast side of Geddes Road, East of Huron Parkway. 

  • Olson Park parking lot, 1515 Dhu Varren Road, near Pontiac Trail. 

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, the City will no longer accept plastic items in compost. This includes plastic liners. Learn more at:

Winter Road Maintenance

Maybe it will snow one of of these days. Here is a reminder of the City's approach to snow removal along with a list of locations where you can pick up free residential sand and salt, including at Allmendinger Park (scroll to bottom of the City's page for the full list).

City Council Meeting, Monday, December 18th at 7pm

  • Meeting Agenda

  • Responses to Councilmember Questions: there were no agenda questions received for this meeting.

Agenda Highlights


IMPORTANT NOTE ON THE CURRENTLY POSTED AGENDA: On our posted agenda, you will see "DC-2 Resolution Denouncing Rising Hate and Discrimination in Ann Arbor and End to Violence in Gaza and Israel." This morning, one of the resolution's co-sponsors emailed the City Clerk to remove it from the agenda. As a result, as far as I'm aware, Council will not be considering this resolution.

  • Contract with Erie for Barton B2B Project (CA-4). This contract is for the first phase of a larger project to build a pedestrian tunnel that will extend beneath the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) railroad tracks between Barton Nature Area and Bandemer Park to provide a high-priority non-motorized connection as part of the Border-to-Border Trail (B2B). This project will also improve non-motorized traffic around the North Main Street & M-14 corridor by providing a safe pedestrian and bicycle gateway to the City. It is anticipated that construction of the pedestrian tunnel will occur either in the summer of 2024 or 2025. This project is jointly funded by the City, the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission (“County”), and the non-profit Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative (“HWPI”). Each organization is responsible for 1/3 of the cost of the project.

  • Resolution To Approve a 3-Year Professional Services Agreement with Elevate Energy for Administration of the Residential Rebate Program (CA-11). To support the City's intention of providing funding to incentivize residential adoption of energy efficiency, high-efficiency all-electric energy equipment, electric modes of transportation, and distributed energy resources, the staff are recommending that the City enter into a 3-year professional services agreement, in the amount of $600,000, with Elevate to serve as the City’s first residential rebate administrator. This will be funded through Ann Arbor's Climate Millage dollars.

  • An Ordinance to Add Chapter 75 (Leaf Blowers) to Title VI of City Code (PH-1). This ordinance aims to ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in Ann Arbor by 2028. Taking a phased approach to allow residents and landscape companies time to replace equipment, it first restricts hours of operation (to match the City's current noise ordinance: 7am to 10pm), then seasonally restricts gas-powered leaf blower use to between October 1 and May 30 before a complete ban on January 1, 2028 (Sponsors: Cornell, Akmon, Eyer). (NOTE: because this is the second reading of this ordinance change, there will be a public hearing where residents can provide comments without signing up in advance).

  • Ordinance to Rezone 54 Parcels to TC1 in Plymouth Rd Area (C-1). This is the first reading of an ordinance to rezone the Plymouth Road corridor to Transit Corridor District (TC1). The TC1 district was added as a new zoning district to the Unified Development Code by approval of Ordinance ORD-21-19 on July 6, 2021 as a meaningful and achievable way to simultaneously address many different but related goals expressed in the eight documents that comprise the Comprehensive Plan, such as sustainability, access and choice in housing, housing affordability, reducing vehicle miles traveled, relieving vehicle congestion, supporting existing transit service, and supporting and expanding nonmotorized transportation. The proposed rezoning includes 53 unique parcels and 107 unique addresses from 50 individual lots and 3 condominiums. It covers 197 acres in total. This comes to us with unanimous Planning Commission support and staff recommendation.

  • An Ordinance to Amend Unified Development Code of Title V for Personal Scale Solar Energy Systems (C-3). Amendments are proposed to facilitate installing a personal scale solar energy system as an accessory structure in single-family and two-family residential districts. Currently, solar panels are prohibited in front yards, meaning anywhere in front of a building even if behind the Front Setback Line. The proposed amendments would provide greater flexibility by allowing solar in front yards, up to ten feet from the Lot Line, allowing unlimited coverage in the Rear Setback Area. This change is better aligned with our climate emergency and our A2Zero plan.

Please reach out if you have questions, concerns, or thoughts on any of the agenda items. Email: | Phone/text: 734-492-5866


You can also communicate your thoughts via:

  • eComment

  • Email City Council:

  • 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 December 4th, 2023 Voting Chart.


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