Monday, April 17, 2023

Ann Arbor City Council Preview: April 17, 2023


A rendering of a potential structure at 415 W. Washington. The public hearing and second reading of the PUD for this project is PH-1/B-1.

Gentle readers, it's #a2Council night in Ann Arbor. Here's the agenda, and here's Michelle Hughes's preview

Even before we get to the consent agenda, I want to touch on AC-1, the response to resolution R-22-362. This is a report from the Administrator on the viability of food trucks at the Library Lot. I'll be writing more about the Library Lot in the future, but I just want to share the concluding passage here:

It is staff’s recommendation that [the Library Lot] is not well-suited for use as a food truck rally or food truck installation and that it will require significant capital investment to bring the site up to a standard that would be safe, convenient, and attractive as a community event space. Further, the fundamental economics of this property likely mean that the city would have to heavily subsidize the operation of the program totaling in the low to low-moderate six figures annually. These judgments hold true when considering any kind of activation of the space, not just an activation for food trucks. The serious limitations of the site and its disconnection from any other activity in the downtown make it unsuitable for passive activities and programming of nearly any variety. If Council is committed to activating this space in some way without it becoming a burden on the general fund, then there must be a fundamental reimagining of the future uses of this site and how it can best be developed to fit the character and needs of Ann Arbor’s downtown. Finally, there is a real question as to whether a permanent or semi-permanent restaurant space in the form of food trucks is a permissible use of the property under the City Charter, which requires that the space be held in public ownership in perpetuity and developed into an “urban central park and civic center commons.” A formal opinion from the City Attorney should be sought to clarify what uses are allowable on the property.
On to the consent agenda. CA-1, CA-2, and CA-3 are street closures for Top of the Park, Sonic Lunch, and the ALLIANCE Opening Ceremony Dinner, respectively. There is also CA-14, a resolution with Interface Studios for services related to rewriting Ann Arbor's Comprehensive Plan. 

There is one public hearing on the agenda this evening. PH-1/B-1 is on the second reading of the PUD for 415 W. Washington. This is a great project. This will provide dozens of new residences and at least 15% will be affordable (a payment in lieu option is also possible). Hopefully this rundown and polluted site can be redeveloped soon. 

There are two ordinance first readings at tonight's meeting. C-1 and C-2 are on changes to the water and stormwater ordinances, respectively. I haven't read these so I'll share with you what Michelle wrote:

Water rates are increasing, in order to cover the costs of upgrades to our water treatment plant. One reason we need to upgrade the plant is to make sure we can clean up all the dioxane, PFAS, and hexavalent chromium that people keep dumping in the water! But that’s actually a very small portion of what the money will be spent on. The water treatment plant was built in the 1930s and just needs routing maintenance and upgrades that we’ve been putting off.

Finally we get to DC-1, an amendment to Council Rules. This change will allow them to postpone agenda items to a specific date. 

And that's all there is. What items are you most looking forward to seeing? Hopefully we will see you there. The CTN stream starts at 7 pm. Make sure you follow the action on the #a2Council hashtag or on 


Monday, April 3, 2023

Ann Arbor City Council Preview: April 3, 2023


Renderings of the proposed N. Maple Apartments. 

Gentle readers, there is a new #a2Council blog in town. Make sure to check out Michelle Hughes' There's also a preview of tomorrow's Planning Commission meeting there too! 

Anyway, here's the agenda for tonight's meeting

The evening kicks off with a brief, 4-item consent agenda. CA-1 looks fun: a street closure for a soapbox derby on April 16. 

There are three public hearings on the agenda tonight. PH-1/B-1 is on the new ordinance requiring residential carbon monoxide monitors. PH-2/B-2 is for the North Maple Apartments township island annexation and PUD zoning. PH-3/DB-2 is for the site plan for the apartment. The proposal is for a 4-story building with a mix of studios, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. There will be 79 units, 12 of which will be subsidized to be affordable at 60% AMI. This sounds great, but as always, I'd love to see this a little bigger. Also, it would be great if these types of buildings didn't have to come through PUDs. 

On to the resolutions. DB-1 is a resolution asking the Administrator to engage with the state legislature and Michigan Public Service Commission to advance energy equity and resilience. DC-1 is a resolution to support pollinator habitat in Ann Arbor. DC-2 is a resolution to contract with Davey Tree to help with winter storm cleanup. DS-1 is a resolution to publish a notice of intent to issue water revenue bonds to the tune of $45m. 

And that's all there is. What items are you most looking forward to seeing? Hopefully we will see you there. The CTN stream starts at 7 pm. Make sure you follow the action on the #a2Council hashtag or on