Monday, May 6, 2024

Ann Arbor City Council Preview: May 6, 2024


Gentle readers, it's #a2Council night in Ann Arbor. Here's the agenda, and who boy, it's a big one. 

The evening kicks off with a stacked, 26-item consent agenda. The first 4 items are all street closures. CA-1 is for the Bicentennial Birthday Celebration. CA-2 is for Top of the Park. CA-3 is for the YMCA Community Block Party. And CA-4 is for Sonic Lunch. There is also CA-12 which is a special assessment for closing the Stone School sidewalk gap. 

There are nine (9) public hearings on the docket this evening! PH-1/B-1 is the second reading of changing the way the city assess traffic associated with large building projects. This change will replace standard traffic studies (which, tend to favor automobile traffic over all other modes of transportation) with more holistic multimodal transportation impact analyses. This is good. 

PH-2/B-2 along with DS-1, later in the agenda, are for the 711 Church Street PUD and development agreement. This is for a 17 story apartment building across the street from a Umich dorm and the Forest Street Parking Structure. It's kitty-corner from a block of high-rise apartment buildings. 

A rendering of the proposed 711 Church Street

This area should clearly be D1, unfortunately it is not yet so this project has to come up as a PUD. This proposal was also turned down by Planning Commission. I still think council should pass it. Ann Arbor is in the midst of a housing crisis, and in need of tens of thousands of new units. This project will provide much needed housing. It will also make a sizable (~$6M) contribution to the affordable hosing fund. If you are so inclined, I'd recommend calling into this public hearing and sharing your thoughts with council. 

PH-4/B-3, PH-5/B-4, PH-6/B-5, PH-7, and PH-8 are all on changes to fees. Specifically, they are on water rates, stormwater rates, sewer rates, public services area fees, and community service area fees, respectively. Incase someone calls in to complain about the 4-tiered water rate system, send them this article from the Damn Arbor Vault. 

Finally we get to PH-9, a hearing on the resolution to adopt the city budget and property tax millage rates for the 2025 fiscal year. 

There is one ordinance first reading tonight. C-1 is for the 732 Packard PUD. This is for a 14-story apartment between Packard and State. I think this project is good too, under the assumption that housing abundance is good. I am disappointed that the owner of the Domino's building on that corner held out and is preventing the construction of a Flatiron building here. 

A rendering of 732 Packard

On to the resolutions. DS-2 is a resolution authorize a summary publication of the Multimodal Transportation Impact Analysis. DC-1 is a resolution to determine a ballot question for a charter amendment for the creation of a sustainable energy utility (SEU). This is pretty exciting. 

That's it, gentle reader. What items are you most excited for? 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 

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