Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Summaries

Accessible from A2COUNCIL.com and A2ELNEL.com/A2COUNCIL

For each City Council meeting, I have provided links to the City's Legistar website, CTN's YouTube video, and links to my newsletter and voting charts that I publish on A2ELNEL.com. I have listed agenda items of interest from each meeting, along with Legistar links, articles I've written (highlighted purple), and articles published on MLive. Look for highlighted text to find votes on development, affordable housing, and the City's Sustainability and Innovations department.

Nov 16, 2020

This was the sixteenth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

Nov 5, 2020

In the Nov 3, 2020 election, there were three city millages on the ballot, all of which passed:

 

This was the fifteenth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

Oct 19, 2020

This was the fourteenth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

Oct 5, 2020

This was the thirteenth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

  • APPROVED: Traffic reconfigurations ("Healthy Streets Initiative") at three locations - South Main, Broadway/Swift, and Packard - will end early, ahead of the planned end date of November 29th. Lane closures will end October 15th. (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Revised Solid Waste Resources Management Plan. This plan was on the Jan 6, 2020 agenda and tabled for review by staff. The plan includes year-round compost pickup, curbside textile collection, limited bulky item collection (on a monthly schedule or at request and for a fee), and possible consolidation of waste, recycling, and compost collection services. (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $8,022.25 and $106,859 contracts with the Ecology Center for Recycling Plant Tours of the Material Recovery Facilities Education Center and School Recycling Education programs on recycling, composting, zero waste, stormwater and waste reduction for Ann Arbor and Dexter (2nd Grade stormwater only) schools. (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: A legal memo that was shared internally as "privileged and confidential" will be made public. It answers the questions: Does City Council have the ability to dissolve the Downtown Development Authority (DDA)? What is the procedure for dissolving the DDA? What are the effects of dissolving the DDA? (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: "Community Commons Initiating Committee" is recognized as a Community Partner in the process of developing the Center of the City Community Commons (approved by ballot initiative in 2018). (Legistar)

    • For the purpose of writing bylaws, membership of the "Council Commons" will include City Administrator (a non-voting member) and voting members comprised of two City Council members appointed and approved by City Council, a citizen member of the City Planning Commission nominated by Planning Commission and affirmed by City Council, a citizen member of the Parks Advisory Commission nominated by PAC and affirmed by City Council, two members of the Community Commons Initiating Committee, two members of the Library Green Conservancy, and 3 citizens-at-large to be nominated by the City Council representatives Commons Council members, and affirmed by City Council. The Initiating Committee will work to implement repurposing of the Library Lane lot location as called for in the approved Task Force recommendations.

    • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2020/10/ann-arbor-accelerates-plans-for-downtown-central-park-as-some-argue-its-designed-to-fail.html

Sept 21, 2020

This was the twelfth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

Sept 14, 2020

This was a Special Session to decide next steps in the search for a City administrator. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

Sept 8, 2020

This was the eleventh regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

  • APPROVED: Short term rentals will be licensed and regulated by the City, effective March 1, 2021. (Legistar)

    • Licensing will require payment of a fee and application that includes: address, type of property, number of bedrooms for rent, maximum permitted occupancy, and names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of two contact persons responsible for the Short-Term Rental Unit.

    • A principal residence may be licensed as a short term rental, either host-stays or whole house rental.

    • A non-principal residence short-term rental will only be permitted in Mixed Use Zoning districts.

    • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2020/09/ann-arbor-bans-dedicated-airbnb-short-term-rental-properties.html

  • APPROVED: Site plan for four story hotel (115 rooms) at 361 W. Eisenhower, with access off of Signature Blvd. (Legistar

  • APPROVED: Annexation of Valhalla property (9.8 acres on the east side of South Main Street near the intersection of Scio Church Road, north of Ann Arbor Saline Road and adjacent to University of Michigan’s golf course). (Legistar)

    • Six houses currently exist in this area. Staff recommended zoning of R1D - consistent with the Master Plan Future Land Use - would permit the development of 84 dwelling units, maximum. The City Planning Commission recommends future zoning of conditional R4E, which would permit the development of 454 dwelling units. Zoning changes have not yet been presented to Council for a vote.

Aug 24, 2020

This was a Special Session to implement a temporary emergency ordinance on masks/gatherings, and to decide next steps in the search for a City administrator. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

Aug 17, 2020

This was the tenth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

Aug 10, 2020

This was a Special Session to discuss a Charter Amendment for Nonpartisan Local Elections. If approved, the question would be put to voters on the November 2020 ballot.

  • APPROVED: A charter amendment would be placed on the 11/3/20 ballot for voter approval, establishing non-partisan nomination and elections to the city offices for Mayor and members of Council. This removes party affiliation from the ballot and also ensures a contested election in November if more than one candidate files to run for the offices of Mayor or City Council. If there are two or fewer candidates, there is no primary election in August and the candidates appear on the ballot in November, without party affiliation. If more than two candidates petition to run for Mayor or City Council, all candidates would appear on a primary ballot in August, without party affiliation. The two primary candidates receiving the highest number of votes in August would then appear on the November ballot, again without party affiliation. (Legistar)

Aug 6, 2020

This was the ninth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

July 27, 2020

This was a Special Session to discuss the Affordable Housing Millage ballot language. This item was postponed from the previous Council Meeting (7/20/20) because it was added to the agenda too late for Council Members to ask questions of staff.

July 20, 2020

This was the eighth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

  • POSTPONED TO SPECIAL SESSION: An Affordable Housing Millage (1.0 mills) would be added to the ballot in November 2020 to support the construction, maintenance, and acquisition of new affordable housing units for low-income individuals and families making less than 60% Ann Arbor Area Median Income, and for providing social services for the residents of such housing for 2021 through 2041. (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Renewal of 2016 millage (1.0 mills) will be put on the November ballot in support of Street, Bridge, and Sidewalk repair. It may be used for resurfacing or reconstruction of existing paved City streets and bridges, pedestrian crosswalks, street crossings and corner ramps, and repair and/or replacement of sidewalks. The Downtown Development Authority will continue to fund sidewalk repairs in the DDA district. (Legistar) (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: A new millage (0.2 mills) will be put on the November 2020 ballot to cover the cost of constructing new sidewalks starting in 2021. Sidewalk assessments for individual property owners will be eliminated. This millage will not displace requirements for new developments to construct and pay for new sidewalks. (Legistar) (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: The City of Ann Arbor commits to a 10-year services agreement (with two potential 3-year extensions) with Recycle Ann Arbor to rebuild our Material Recovery Facility and process recyclable materials locally (Legistar)

  • APPROVED (BACK TO FIRST READING): The hotel property at 3611-3621 Plymouth Road will be re-zoned to permit rebuilding of a hotel and the addition of a drive-through restaurant. This agenda item would have been approved at this meeting (“Second Reading”) but the zoning plan was changed to include a $75,000 contribution to the City’s Affordable Housing Fund, which moved it back to “First Reading.” The new "Second Reading" will be Aug 17th (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: The City's definition of “responsible bidder” on construction projects will include new requirements for reporting and documentation. Bids on projects in excess of $25,000 must now verify appropriate licensing for all contractors and sub-contractors, include information about what percentage of their workforce is local (Ann Arbor/Washtenaw), and documentation of pay rates/benefits, insurance coverage, references from the last five years as well as completed projects from the last five years. Additional requirements attach to bids on contracts in excess of $100,000 and $250,000. (Legistar)

July 6, 2020

This was the seventh regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

June 29, 2020

This was a special session originally planned as a closed session for City legal staff to advise Council on issues relating to the Gelman Plume consent judgement. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

  • CM Ackerman absent

  • CM Smith absent

  • APPROVED: Resolution to Approve City Administrator Search (Legistar)

    • The Council Administrative committee has approved a job description to be posted, a rubric for assessment of candidates, a timeline and interviewers for the position of City Administrator. The job will be posted and promoted June 30 through July 26. The Council Administrative committee would select finalists on August 10, whose information would be publicized on August 11. Council, staff, and community members would participate in scheduled interviews so that feedback could be provided by August 21. Council would determine next steps (including negotiation with a preferred candidate) as soon as August 24.

June 15, 2020

This was the sixth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

June 1, 2020

This was the fifth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

May 18, 2020

This was the fourth regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

May 4, 2020

This was the third regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

April 20, 2020

This was the second regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

April 6, 2020

This was the first regular Council meeting since Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency and stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting was held online, via the ZOOM application.

Mar 16, 2020

  • The following 5 Council Members were absent due to COVID-19 self-isolation

    • CM Bannister

    • CM Eaton

    • CM Griswold

    • CM Nelson

    • CM Smith

  • 5 CMs + the Mayor were present, giving the required 6 members needed for a quorum. All items requiring 8 votes for approval were removed from the agenda at the start of the meeting.

  • APPROVED: $2,334,383 agreement with Downtown Development Authority for First and Ashley Street Improvement project: road resurfacing, watermain upsizing and consolidation, stormwater improvements, crosswalk, streetscape, sidewalk enhancements, and restoration of two-way traffic on First and Ashley Streets (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $20,347 for electric vehicle chargers for the City building department (to support 10 electric City vehicles) paid from FY20 Construction Fund budget (Legistar)

    • This will be the second purchase of chargers from Chargepoint this fiscal year and the total of these combined purchases will exceed the $25,000threshold for City Council action. The first purchase was also in the amount of $20,347 for a combined total of $40,694.

  • APPROVED: $23,290.08 for lease of Solar Compacting Trash and Recycling Containers for use on sidewalks in certain high pedestrian areas (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Proposed Fuller Court and Nixon/Traver Sidewalk Gap Project - Special Assessment (Districts #57 & 56). Estimated project cost ($650,000) will be covered by federal funds, local millage finds, and special assessment to property owners. (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Matthew Horning appointed Interim Controller and Chief Financial Officer (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Local Emergency Declaration (Legistar)

Mar 2, 2020

Feb 18, 2020

Feb 3, 2020

Jan 21, 2020

Jan 6, 2020

  • APPROVED: City Administrator will develop Ordinance Amendments to regulate short-term rentals (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $31,700 support for the Ann Arbor Housing Commission. One FTE (five months) for administration of additional housing vouchers (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $75,000 for one FTE (partial year) -Lieutenant for Audit & Review, supporting Independent Community Police Oversight Commission (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $117,465 agreement with Dawn Farms to provide drug abuse counselling and rehab services through the Fifteenth Judicial Court District (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $102,538 through Washtenaw Community Mental Health for mental health services through the Fifteenth Judicial Court District (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $29,322.59 additional funds for Confidential Victim Support Services through the Fifteenth Judicial Court District (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $38,431 for drug abuse screening program by the Sheriff’s office, through the Fifteenth Judicial Court District (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $39,772 Purchase of a Vehicle from LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge (Legistar)

    • $21,006 from the Sustainability & Innovations County Mental Health Millage Fund to subsidize the purchase of a plug-in hybrid electric minivan for use by City Administration Services and System Planning

  • APPROVED:  $114,492 Purchase of Vehicles from Berger Chevrolet (Legistar)

    • $28,026 from the Sustainability & Innovations County Mental Health Millage Fund to subsidize the purchase of two electric vehicles for use by Police Community Standards Unit

Dec 16, 2019

Dec 2, 2019

Nov 18, 2019

  • APPROVED: All recommendations from the Ann Arbor Housing Commission (AAHC). Study was directed by Resolution 19-0605 passed April 1, 2019 - written by CMs Eaton, Nelson, Bannister - cosponsored by Smith, Taylor (Legistar)

    • AAHC to Develop 121 E. Catherine as Affordable Housing (Legistar)

    • AAHC to Develop 404 N. Ashley as Affordable Housing (Legistar)

    • AAHC to Pursue Affordable Housing Development of 2000 S. Industrial (Legistar)

    • Conduct Community Engagement Around Development Options for Ashley/William and First/William Surface Parking Lots to Support Affordable Housing in the City (Legistar)

    • Conduct Community Engagement Around Development Options for 721 N Main in Support of Affordable Housing in the City (Legistar)

    • Continue Community Engagement around Development Options for the AAHC-Owned Properties at 3432 - 3440 Platt Road and 3435 - 3443 Springbrook to Support Affordable Housing in the City (Legistar)

    • AAHC to Determine Feasibility of using 1510 E. Stadium for Temporary or Permanent AAHC or Other City Office Space (Legistar)

    • Collaborate with the AAHC to Provide Coordinated Analysis on the Feasibility of the City-Owned Property at 353 S. Main as a Potential Location for Affordable Housing (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Plan to Expand Access to Voting and Registration Beyond the Minimum Required by the Michigan Constitution for Even-Year November General Elections (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Resident-Driven Sidewalk Gap-Filling Program and Appropriate $150,000 from the General Fund (Legistar

  • APPROVED: $15,000 budget amendment for plans and specifications to fill the sidewalk gap on Stimson Street (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $20,000 budget amendment for plans and specifications to fill the sidewalk gap on Scio Church Road (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: The Vic Village South Site Plan and Development Agreement, 1100 South University Avenue (Legistar)

    • 42 one bedroom, 33 two bedroom, 32 three bedroom, 24 four bedroom (14 units at 80% AMI)

Nov 4, 2019

Oct 21, 2019

Oct 7, 2019

  • APPROVED: City permits for recreational marijuana businesses (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Regulation of recreational marijuana facilities (Legistar)

  • APPROVEDPUD changes to height, parking for "The Glen" (201, 213, 215, 271 Glen Ave & 1025 E Ann St) (Legistar) + site plan approved (Legistar)

    • 162-room hotel, 24 apartments, a restaurant, and 5,181 square feet of retail

  • DEFEATEDRezone R1E to PUD 2857 Packard Road (Legistar) + site plan (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $259,086 to purchase Police Vehicles from Signature Ford (Legistar)

    • ​$18,690.00 from Sustainability & Innovations budget to subsidize the purchase of six hybrid vehicles for use by the Ann Arbor Police Department

  • APPROVED: $130,000 for proposed Fuller Court and Nixon/Traver Sidewalk Gap Project (Legistar)

  • APPROVED:  $53,900 for ramp and sidewalk repair for vaulted or displaced joints in sidewalks (Legistar)

  • APPROVED Review of City Transportation Planning and Operations Management and Related Staffing (Legistar)

  • Elections Have Consequences

Sep 16, 2019

Sep 3, 2019

Aug 19, 2019

Aug 5, 2019

  • APPROVED: Review of the City's Policies on Assessing Fees for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), alternatives and recommendations to Council that promote transparency and the public interest (written by CM Eaton) (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $213,182.50 for renovation of pathways, new ADA compliant picnic tables and benches at Riverside Park (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $45,000 from Sustainability & Innovations Budget approved for legal services to intervene in a case before the Michigan Public Services Commission (Legistar)

    • Our intervention would urge DTE to make more significant investment in renewable energy to increase supply, reduce price, and reduce barriers to accessing green power.

  • DEFEATED: $75,000 Road Reconfiguration for Earhart Road (US-23 to South Waldenwood Drive) (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Road Reconfiguration Pilot for Traverwood Drive (Huron Parkway to Plymouth Rd. (Legistar)

  • DEFEATED: Road Reconfiguration Pilot for Green Road (Burbank Drive to Plymouth Rd) (Legistar)​

  • Additional Thoughts (Aug 3, 2019) - Sidewalk Gaps, Traffic Reconfigurations, Short Term Rentals

July 15, 2019

July 1, 2019

June 17, 2019

June 3, 2019

May 20, 2019

May 6, 2019

April 15, 2019

April 1, 2019

March 18, 2019

March 4, 2019

Feb 19, 2019

Feb 4, 2019

Jan 22, 2019

Jan 7, 2019

Dec 17, 2018

  • APPROVED: Direction to the city administrator to update on crosswalk design guidelines, list all improvements made in the last three years, inventory all crosswalk assets and their conditions, estimate cost and timeline to bring all into substantial compliance with standards (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: An additional full time employee (FTE) to support the Independent Community Police Oversight Commission and the Human Rights Commission (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Resolution to add the Center of the City to the list of public parks available for temporary rental and use - referred to the Parks Advisory Commission (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: In response to a request from the City Administrator and CFO for guidance, Council requests a resident survey that can generate statistically valid input on utilization of the mental health and public safety millage rebate money. A simple, straightforward survey (including explanation of background and purpose) will be closed, and inclusive of broad cross-section of residents and of sufficient size to be statistically significant. (Legistar)

  • Surveys, Studies, and Commissions

Dec 3, 2018

  • APPROVED: To improve transparency, when considering budget items that are the result of an RFP (Request for Proposal), Council will be provided with discussion of method, criteria and the number scores of all proposals received (and rank ordering), with explanation about the choice of contract. (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: To improve transparency, draft minutes for all boards, commissions, task forces and committees will be made available and published on Legistar (or any future system of publication) in a timely manner, consistent with MCL 15.269(3) (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $72,000 contract with Shelter Association of Washtenaw County for 2018-19 Winter Emergency Shelter and Warming Center (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $189,500 to remove and replace the boardwalk in Riverside Park along the Border to Border Trail that connects to the Argo Cascades (Riverside Park Boardwalk Replacement Project) (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Re-location of the Fuller Road crosswalk is delayed in order to evaluate possible safety improvement options to improve the Fuller Road crosswalk at its current location. Recommendations and a report will be delivered in 180 days. (Legistar)

  • City Council Boards and Commissions Assignments

  • Additional Thoughts (Dec 2, 2018) - Deer Cull, Millage Rebate, Sidewalks

Nov 19, 2018

  • APPROVED: $250,000 budget amendment to the office of Sustainability and Innovations (Legistar) Approved projects:

    • $200,000 for Net Zero Affordable Housing (solar, electrification, other upgrades to property on Broadway)

    • $15,000 for additional EV stations

    • $10,000 seed funding for resilience hubs

    • $25,000 for feasibility studies, legal analysis, and other pre-work needed for large scale solar installations at city-owned properties

    • Three line items were rejected: $14,000 for professional development, $10,000 for educational and community outreach materials, and $39,000 for staffing.

  • APPROVED: A survey of residents will be conducted (using funds previously allocated) to collect input on use of the untethered rebate money from the mental health and public safety millage. (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: Staff recommended updates to the City’s Traffic Calming Program, including industry best practices, staff observations, past project area feedback, and peer community review (Legistar)

  • APPROVED: $32,779 additional funds to complete Scio Church Road Improvements Project (Legistar)

  • https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2018/11/ann_arbors_new_council_finds_c.html

  • Additional Thoughts (Nov 18, 2018) - Sustainability and Innovations Funding

  • Climate Change Action Funding

Elizabeth NELSON

DEMOCRAT for Ann Arbor City Council Ward 4

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Paid for by the Committee to Elect Elizabeth Nelson 

PO Box 2243. Ann Arbor. MI 48106-2243