Monday, May 18, 2020

Ann Arbor City Council Preview: May 18, 2020

Someday gentle reader, I will write something that's not just a council preview. I promise. Until that time though, here's you #a2council preview. The agenda is here.

Tonight is a big night. The evening kicks off with a small, 7 item consent agenda. Of note, CA-7 which is adoption of the A2Zero carbon neutrality plan. Last meeting there was a todo about whether council should adopt (binding) or recieve the plan (non-binding). So this could be the evening's first spicy chili.

What we lack in consent agenda items, we make up for with a stacked docket of public hearings. PH-1/B-1 and PH-2/DB-1 are the Garnet PUD and site plan. I don't expect these two to get too spicy tonight. PH-3/B-2 is on an increase in sewer rates. Spiciness level: mild. PH-4/B-3 is on an increase in water rates. Some CMs are upset that the city adopted a 4-tier residential water rate structure and at the last meeting they talked about not approving this rate increase. I will point out that to get into the 4th tier you basically have to be watering a lawn regularly. You can read more about water rates here. PH-6/B-5 is modifies the backyard chicken ordinance. PH-7/DS-1 is on filling a sidewalk gap on Jackson Road. These sidewalk gap assessments have been a real crapshoot lately, so I imagine this will be medium spiciness.

The spiciest item on the agenda tonight is probably DC-8 "FY21 Budget and Financial Recovery Plan." This would, among other things, remove the 40/40/20 funding from the Mental Health and Public Safety rebate. Currently Ann Arbor allocates 40% of the rebate to carbon neutrality, 40% towards affordable housing, and 20% to pedestrian safety. The current council majority has tried to remove this funding two or three times so far (I think, my count could be off). Will they be able to pull it off tonight? We will see.

But wait there's more! DS-2 is the budget for Fiscal Year 2021. Expect some amendments to be introduced tonight. Going into the weekend it seemed like there may be some objections to some of Mayor Taylor's appointments to various boards and commissions. But, based on last night's Council Caucus, it seems like these may get through with some grumbling.

It'll probably be a pretty late night. There you have it gentle reader. Please let me know what agenda items you are most excited about or if I missed anything. Make sure you tune in tonight at 7 and follow #a2council on twitter for all the action.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Ann Arbor City Council Preview: May 4 2020

It's Council Night in Ann Arbor. Here's tonight's #a2council agenda.

The evening kicks off with a modest 12 item consent agenda. CA-2 and CA-3 are sidewalk gap fillings.

Holy Cow. Then we have 14 Public Hearings. PH-1 is a township island rezoning.PH-2 through PH-6 are rezoning land as public land. Most of which are creating new nature areas. PH-7/B-7 is an ordinance to amend the DDA's rules to allow them to support affordable housing at 60% AMI rather than 50%. PH-8/B-8 is the Garnet rezoning. This project came forward earlier requesting Campus Business District rezoning. That was turned down for reasons. Now it is coming back as a PUD. This project looks good, and I hope that it can go forward, get approved and get built. PH-9/DS-1 is on the Barton Drive resurfacing project. Notably, council removed the bike lane that staff had recommended. PH-10/DS-2 is the special assessment for sidewalks that are part of the Barton Drive assessment. PH-11/DS-3 and PH-12/DS-4 are also sidewalk gap special assessments. Finally, PH-14 is a public hearing on the next FY budget.

DC-2 is another exciting item. It's a resolution to support Fair and Equal Michigan's ballot initiative to amend Michigan's anti-discrimination law. DC-4 is a resolution to give money to the Shelter Association of Washtneaw County to help with their COVID-19 response.

DC-5 and DC-7 are both resolutions dealing with lane closures to allow for safer social distancing. I hear they may be consolidated into a single resolution. Transportation Commission Chair, Molly Kleinman, has a good Medium piece about the need for lane closures.

There you have it gentle reader. Please let me know what agenda items you are most excited about or if I missed anything. Make sure you tune in tonight at 7 and follow #a2council on twitter for all the action.