Monday, March 5, 2018

Ann Arbor City Council Preview for March 5th, 2018

Braun Nature Area is on a township island. If C-1 passes, the parcels that make up the nature area will be annexed into the city and rezoned as Public Land.

UPDATE: This article was updated to include information about the use of masculine pronouns in the disorderly conduct ordinance.

Gentle readers, tonight is the first #a2council meeting of March. Are you excited? Tonight's meeting is hot on the heels of the February 19th City Council Meeting where Ann Arbor's courageous elected officials drew a bold line in the sand and voted to forbid front yard solar panels*. Everyone is wondering whether the council will take another brave, and not at all retrograde, stand against the forces of modernity.

Snarking aside, there are some important items on tonight's agenda. The Consent Agenda tonight is 20 items deep. It starts with 7 road closures for everything from the Monroe Street Fair (Saturday, April 7) to the Burns Park Fun Run (Sunday, May 6), and the 10th Annual Box Car Race/Soap Box Derby (Sunday, April 8). Other items on the Consent Agenda include relocation of voting precincts because of ongoing construction at the Michigan Union and a couple of easement approvals. There are also several purchase agreements in the CA items, including a quarter million dollar agreement with Yellowfin Business Intelligence for two years of data visualization and big data services.

There are two second readings of ordinance changes on tonight's agenda that have public hearings. PH-1/B-1, An Ordinance to Amend Section 9:61, 9:62 and 9:68 of Chapter 108, Disorderly Conduct, of Title IX of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-18-03), makes several updates to Ann Arbor's disorderly conduct ordinance. Among other things, the changes would strike language from the section of the ordinance that make it so that domestic violence rules do not apply between parents/guardians and their minor children. Interestingly this update to the disorderly conduct ordnance leaves in this language about the usage of masculine pronouns within the ordinance: "(4) 'Masculine pronouns”: Shall be construed to include both male and female persons.'" Seems like an interesting choice.

B-2/PH-2, An Ordinance to Amend Sections 10:69, 10:70, 10:71, 10:72, 10:73 and 10:75 of Chapter 126, Traffic, of Title X of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-18-04), makes some changes to the City's rules around parking meters. I haven't given this a close reading, but it looks like it updates the rules surrounding parking meters to reflect the use of the electronic marking meter system.

The last item on the agenda that I'll mention is C-1, An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Zoning), Zoning of 10.44 Acres from TWP (Township District) to PL (Public Land), 1200 and 1400 Chalmers Drive. This ordinance would annex the two parcels of land that make up the Braun Nature Area and zone them as Public Land. Braun Nature area is currently an Ann Arbor City Park that is located on Ann Arbor Township land.

Gentle reader, what items on tonight's #a2council agenda are you most excited about? Make sure you tune in tonight at 7 to watch CTN's live stream. Make sure you check out the blow-by-blow action on #a2council hashtag on Twitter.

* Ward 5 Councilmembers Chip Smith and Chuck Warpehoski voted against the ban on front yard solar panels. Ward 3 Councilmember Julie Grand was absent from the Feb. 19th meeting and thus did not vote for or against the front yard solar panel ban.

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