Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ypsilanti City Council Meeting Preview: Feb. 21, 2017

The Ypsilanti City Council will be meeting at their regularly scheduled time tonight: 7:00 pm at City Hall. The agenda is pretty light tonight. There are two ordinance first readings, both of which deal with changes to the zoning code. The consent agenda items consist of two items: approval of the Jan. 10th meeting minutes and the appointment of Christopher Madigan, an urban planning student at EMU, to the Planning Commission. There are also two resolutions dealing with the Thompson Block. I will discuss these resolutions as well as the ordinances below.

The first ordinance tonight, Ordinance No. 1283, would rezone the rental house a 311 Ballard from "Center" to "Core Neighborhood." The lot, located next to the Eagles Marker on Cross, was rezoned "Center" in 2015 as part of the Shape Ypsi update of the city's zoning code and master plan. The crux of the matter is that the "Center" designation is intended for downtown areas and does not contain "house" as a permitted use. 311 Ballard is, in fact, a house. This makes the current structure on the property non-conforming and that in turn makes it a big pain in the but for the current landowner. By changing the zoning from "Center" to "Core Neighborhood" the lots current use "house" will be a permitted use. This rezoning was approved by the planning commission. As such, it is likely to pass.

The second ordinance, Ordinance No. 1284, is a smattering of minor changes to the city's zoning ordinance. There are a smattering of changes throughout the zoning ordinance and I have insufficient time to detail them. This ordinance is the main reason the council packet is 812 pages for this meeting.

The two resolutions dealing with the Thompson Block, 2017-046 and 2017-047, involve dissolving various incentives for the properties old owners, Thompson Block Partners, LLC. This paves the way for the new owners, 2Mission, to receive OPRA (Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act) and Brownfield incentives at a later date, if the city and 2Mission decide they want to pursue these at some point in the future.

I'll be at the meeting tonight tweeting with the #YpsiCouncil hashtag. Please follow along and contribute.


February 21, 2017 Ypsilanti City Council Meeting Agenda (2 pages)
February 21, 2017 Ypsilanti City Council Meeting Packet (812 pages)
Ypsilanti City Zoning Map (16 pages)


  1. Hmmm, my comment disappeared. Looks like the agenda index page includes option to d/l the rest of the packet without the zoning chunks: http://cityofypsilanti.com/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_02212017-819?html=true

    And the zoning ord is in there 3 times: proposed, with the changes annotated; "clean" copy w/o annotations; and current ordinance. Each individually linked from that page above; annotated is probably best for seeing what's changing.

    1. Thanks for sharing the link Murph. I messed up some things on the back end of the site and that's what probably did your original comment in.