This week at City Council, we have a long consent agenda (many big ticket items), four public hearings, a few properties proposed for re-zoning, and several amendments to our city code.
Before I jump into my summary of items on the agenda, I’d like to invite you to my coffee hours tomorrow (Sunday June 2nd) from 3-4:30 p.m. at RoosRoast on Rosewood. I hope this is a convenient opportunity for us to meet in person and hear perspectives.
I also hold office hours at Brookhaven Manor on the second Tuesday of each month. My next office hours are Tuesday, June 11th at 9:30 a.m. All are welcome!
Some of us on City Council have decided to resume a tradition of “Council Caucus” on Sunday nights. I am looking forward to this opportunity for additional open, public conversation around the issues that matter to you!
Council Caucus Sunday June 2nd (7:00-9:00pm) City Hall 2nd Floor 301 E Huron St
Public comment general time. (Three minutes, no need to signup in advance and speakers will be assigned in the order of arrival.)
Discussion, primarily topics on the next day's Council agenda.
One or more council members will be present for each caucus.
Children are welcome. (Books and crayons provided)
If there is public interest, then the caucus sessions will continue every Sunday before regular Council meetings.
For more information about Council Caucus, see the city website at: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/city-council/Pages/CityCouncilMeetings.aspx
Special Joint Working Session June 6th to discuss the Gelman Dioxane Plume
On Thursday June 6th, there will be a special joint working session of the Ann Arbor City Council, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, the Ann Arbor Charter Township Board of Trustees, and the Scio Township Board of Trustees to discuss the Gelman dioxane plume.
The meeting is being held at the former Gelman site, which is now MI-HQ, Michigan Innovation Headquarters & 242 Community Church.
Special Joint Working Session Thursday June 6th (6:30pm) MI-HQ, Michigan Innovation Headquarters & 242 Community Church (Auditorium) 648 S. Wagner Rd Ann Arbor, MI 48103
I urge anybody with an interest in this issue to attend. This meeting will be facilitated by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and will focus on three primary goals:
Unify all affected municipalities, increase public awareness regarding options for next steps on remediation of the plume.
Discuss Superfund Designation and begin to develop a plan that impresses upon our State leaders the importance of their support.
Develop a unified strategy for the ongoing lawsuit against the Gelman Corporation – as this portion involves discussion of legal strategy with attorneys, it will likely happen in a closed session. The groups have committed to holding this agenda item until after all dialogue with the public has been conducted.
The Washtenaw County website has more information about the meeting: https://www.washtenaw.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=579
The meeting is also posted on the City's Legistar website: https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=695445&GUID=720001A8-4A2F-4FCF-974E-3BDF9EF215A6&Options=info&Search=
Boards and Commissions Applications
Membership on Ann Arbor Boards and Commissions is constantly changing as terms end and appointees step down. We need you! You can find openings at the following link (or contact me directly) https://a2gov.granicus.com/boards/w/fe6c5e22e6f4a331/vacancies
Road Construction Updates
It's the season for road construction, and I post regular updates on my website about projects that affect Ward 4 residents. My posts include links to the City's website, so that you can find more information and contact info.
For information about these and other projects, the City has a page of road and lane closures, and a page of scheduled construction projects: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/engineering/traffic/Pages/Road-and-Lane-Closure.aspx
Scio Church Road / Seventh Ave detour begins May 21st A new detour at the intersection of Scio Church and Seventh was put in place on May 21st. Construction is expected to be complete by June 14th (weather permitting). https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/scio-church-road---seventh-ave-detour-begins-may-21st
Hoover/Greene/Hill Project Update May 28th Road construction on Hoover Avenue, Greene Street, and Hill Street has started, and is scheduled to complete in November. https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/hoover-greene-hill-project-update-may-28th
Maywood Ave Construction Update May 31st An update on the construction project recently begun on Maywood Avenue. https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/maywood-ave-construction-update-may-31st
Additional Website Updates
In addition to writing this newsletter, I post updates to my website with my perspectives on how issues were resolved at City Council and details on how Council voted at each meeting. I also post information about meetings and issues that affect Ward 4 residents, along with news that affects all city residents.
You can see a listing of all my posts here: https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/
City Council Voting Chart for May 20, 2019 https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/city-council-voting-chart-for-may-20-2019
Working Together, Building Bridges To Move Forward https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/working-together-building-bridges-to-move-forward
Special Joint Working Session June 6th to discuss the Gelman Dioxane Plume https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/special-joint-working-session-june-6th-to-discuss-the-gelman-dioxane-plume
A reminder about a few city resources
A2 Fix It This is an online system for alerting the city to problems in your neighborhood (e.g. potholes, graffiti, garbage pickup). This is the city’s preferred method for hearing your complaint so they can direct appropriate staff to address it. I’m happy to hear from you, too, but city staff tell me that the online A2FixIt system is actually the quickest and fastest way to get a response to the problem. Information about A2FixIt (and explanation of more urgent issues and appropriate numbers to call) is here: https://www.a2gov.org/services/pages/report-a-problem.aspx
City News and Announcements This is a helpful link to updates on events and opportunities in Ann Arbor through City Hall: https://www.a2gov.org/news/pages/default.aspx
City Department Updates If you have specific interests related to the city’s work, e.g. construction projects, deer management, recycling, you can subscribe to receive emailed updates on various topics found here: https://www.a2gov.org/services/Pages/E-mailAlertSubscription.aspx
HIGHLIGHTS Council Meeting Agenda 6/3/19
Below is my summary of some issues on the City Council Agenda this week, with links to more information about each of them. If you have comments about any of these issues, feel free to email me at my official City email: ENelson@A2gov.org
The full agenda (including a link to the latest published PDF agenda) can be found on the A2Gov Legistar website: https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=656006&GUID=160C1D5E-4877-4A53-8D5A-A217BDE5CEDE&Options=info&Search=
Ann Arbor City Council Monday June 3rd (7:00pm) City Hall 2nd Floor 301 E Huron St
City Council meetings are broadcast live by CTN on Comcast (channel 16) and AT&T (channel 99). They are also streamed live on YouTube and Viebit: https://www.youtube.com/user/ctnannarbor https://a2ctn.viebit.com/
Communications from the Mayor
MC-1 (19-1113) Appointments & Nominations These Mayoral appointments to the Economic Development Corporation Board, the Energy Commission, and the Housing and Human Services Advisory Board will be voted on at the next Council meeting.
Below is the list of items included on tomorrow’s Consent Agenda. If no one on Council specifically requests that an item be pulled for discussion, the whole of this list will be approved in a single vote. I encourage you to look at this list and offer suggestions to me about anything you would like to see pulled for discussion.
CA-1 (19-0951) Resolution to Approve Temporary Outdoor Sales, Service and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages during the 2019 Ann Arbor Art Fair
CA-2 (19-0934) Resolution to Approve a Contract with Aquatic Source, LLC for the Mack Indoor Pool Improvements Project ($143,500.00, ITB No. 4577) and Appropriate Funds (8 Votes Required)
CA-3 (19-0962) Resolution to Approve a Participation Agreement with Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission and Appropriate $166,500.00 for Purchase of Fee Title to the Landau Property (8 Votes Required)
CA-4 (19-0994) Resolution to Accept an Easement for Water Main and Storm Sewer at Mitchell Elementary School from the Public Schools of the City of Ann Arbor (AAPS) (8 Votes Required)
CA-5 (19-1063) Resolution to Purchase 1250 Lincolnshire Lane from the Washtenaw County Treasurer for $932.00 (8 Votes Required)
CA-6 (19-1081) Resolution to Approve Amendment No. 1 to the Communications and Dispatching Services Agreement with Emergent Health Partners
CA-7 (19-0855) Resolution to Approve Amendment Number 4 to Contract with Recycle Ann Arbor for Interim Operations of the Ann Arbor Material Recovery Facility (MRF) (estimated $2,300,000.00)
CA-8 (19-0856) Resolution to Approve Amendment Number 6 to Contract with Recycle Ann Arbor for Municipal Resource Recovery Services (estimated $2,350,000.00)
CA-9 (19-0854) Resolution to Approve Amendment Number 2 to Contract with Waste Management of Michigan, Inc. for Commercial Refuse Collection Services (estimated $1,850,000.00)
CA-10 (19-0890) Resolution to Approve a General Services Agreement with Aclara Technologies LLC for Advanced Metering Infrastructure Upgrades and Water Meter and Meter Transmission Unit Supply ($5,724,818.00, RFP No. 18-27) and Appropriate Sewage Disposal Share ($2,862,409.00) (8 Votes Required)
CA-11 (19-0891) Resolution to Approve a General Services Agreement with Utility Metering Solutions LLC for Project Management and Installation Services for the Water Meter Replacement Program ($3,513,645.00, RFP No. 18-27) and Appropriate Sewage Disposal Fund Share ($1,705,422.00) (8 Votes Required)
CA-12 (19-0904) Resolution to Approve a Grant Award for the Investigation and Treatment of Alternatives for Short-Chain Poly-and Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Related Contract ($35,000.00)
CA-13 (19-0727) Resolution No. 2 - 1425 Pontiac Sidewalk Special Assessment District #54
CA-14 (19-0746) Resolution to Extend the Contract with P.K. Contracting, Inc. for Pavement Marking Maintenance - FY20 ($635,000.00)
CA-15 (19-0952) Resolution to Approve a Sub-Contract with the University of Michigan for the Leadership Circle Membership with MCity Project ($52,203.00) (8 Votes Required)
CA-16 (19-0907) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with WSP Michigan, Inc. for the Traffic Signal Operational Study ($367,961.00)
CA-17 (19-0911) Resolution to Extend the Construction Contract with Strawser Construction, Inc. (ITB No. 4530, $3,255,000.00) for the FY2020 Street Surface Treatment Project, and to Appropriate $1,476,263.00 from the Major Street Fund and $1,264,382.00 from the Local Street Fund (8 Votes Required)
CA-18 (19-0955) Resolution to Approve the Installation of Traffic Calming Devices on Scio Church Service Drive
CA-19 (19-0881) Resolution No. 2 - Dhu Varren Road Sidewalk Project - Special Assessment
CA-20 (19-0982) Resolution to Approve a Contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation for the Dhu Varren Road Sidewalk Project ($573,100.00)
CA-21 (19-0988) Resolution to Approve an Increase to the Sole-Source Purchase Order to Carrier and Gable, Inc. for the Purchase of Traffic Signal Materials ($100,000.00)
CA-22 (19-0876) Resolution No. 1 - Prepare Plans and Specifications for the Proposed Hollywood Drive Improvements - Special Assessment Project, and Appropriate $200,000.00 from the General Fund Balance for the Design of the Project (8 Votes Required)
CA-23 (19-0884) Resolution to Approve Amendment No. 1 to the Professional Services Agreement with Materials Testing Consultants, Inc. for Material Testing Services for the 2018 Miscellaneous Utilities Projects ($15,350.00)
CA-24 (19-1091) Resolution to Appoint Jason Forsberg as the City of Ann Arbor Interim Police Chief Note: A permanent police chief has not been named yet. Jason Forsberg is among the three candidates being considered.
Anyone wanting to comment on these issues may speak for 3 minutes, without having specifically reserved time. Issues subject to public hearing will also be up for a vote by Council later in the meeting
PH-1/B-1 (19-0560) An Ordinance to Amend Section 5.15 (Table 5-15), Section 5.16.3, 5.16.7 and 5.37.2 of Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code) of Title V of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Temporary Outdoor Activities) (ORD-19-15) Three new land uses would be added to the Unified Development Code: Temporary Outdoor Activity, Short Term Car Storage and Medium Car Storage. These are considered as an alternative to re-zoning a portion of a large parcel at the Briarwood Mall and would allow special sales and events in exceptionally large parking lots. Temporary activity longer than eight days or more than 16 days in a calendar year would require a special exception.
PH-2/B-2 (19-0654) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code), Rezoning of 2.25 Acres from TWP (Township District) to R1A (Single Family Dwelling District), Admiraal/O’Brien Property, 1448 Warrington Drive (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) (ORD-19-14) A 2.25 acre property at 1448 Warrington Drive has officially been annexed in the city and would now be zoned R1A (Single Family Dwelling District). This proposed zoning is consistent with adjacent zoning, the surrounding land uses, and the City’s Master Plan. The Planning Commission recommended approval, 8-0.
PH-3/B-3 (19-0725) An Ordinance to Amend Section 5.15 (Table 5-15), Section 5.16.3, and 5.37.2 of Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code) of Title V of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Mobile Food Vending Service) (ORD-19-16) Mobile Food Vending Service (a.k.a. “food trucks”) would be permitted in all areas except for residential zoning districts. A Mobile Food Vending Service (MFVS) may occupy a parking area of 20 or fewer spaces, and it will not occupy other properties at a rate exceeding one MFVS per 20 parking spaces.
PH-4 (19-0403) Resolution to Approve Bristol Ridge Site Plan and Development Agreement, 2750 Pontiac Trail (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) A site plan for 2750 Pontiac Trail called “Bristol Ridge” will allow construction of 69 townhouse dwelling units accessed from one drive off of Pontiac Trail. The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a variance from the required 138 parking spaces (current zoning requires two spaces per unit). This project will include 94 legal parking spaces in garages and surface spaces, plus an additional 34 “tandem” garage spaces and 69 driveway spaces.
Ordinances - Second Reading
In order to amend the city code, Council must vote to approve the change, via ordinance, at two Council meetings. The following proposed ordinances were approved at a previous Council meeting, and are also subject to a public hearing as listed above.
B-1 (19-0560) An Ordinance to Amend Section 5.15 (Table 5-15), Section 5.16.3, 5.16.7 and 5.37.2 of Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code) of Title V of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Temporary Outdoor Activities) (ORD-19-15) This is the same as PH-1 above
B-2 (19-0654) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code), Rezoning of 2.25 Acres from TWP (Township District) to R1A (Single Family Dwelling District), Admiraal/O’Brien Property, 1448 Warrington Drive (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) (ORD-19-14) This is the same as PH-2 above
B-3 (19-0725) An Ordinance to Amend Section 5.15 (Table 5-15), Section 5.16.3, and 5.37.2 of Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code) of Title V of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Mobile Food Vending Service) (ORD-19-16) This is the same as PH-3 above
Ordinances - First Reading
In order to amend the city code, Council must vote to approve the change, via ordinance, at two Council meetings. The following proposed ordinances are being introduced for approval. If approved, the ordinance will be voted on at a subsequent Council meeting, where it will also be subject to a public hearing.
C-1 (19-0841) An Ordinance to Amend Section 5.18.1 of Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code) of Title V of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Front Porch Exception from Front Yard Setback) Setback requirements for front porches would be reduced for neighborhoods zoned R1A, R1B, R1C, R1D, R1E, R2A, and R4C. An unenclosed front porch (covered by roof or canopy but not extending above the first floor) may project up to eight feet in the Required Front Setback Requirement. No front porch, deck, or platform area will be located within five feet of the Front Lot Line. This amendment is a response to the high number of petitions to (and typically granted by) the Zoning Board of Appeals for front porch variances.
C-2 (19-0983) An Ordinance to Repeal Chapter 87 (Recreation, Amusements and Games) of Title VII of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor Title VII Chapter 87 is repealed as obsolete, because recreational activities such as pinball parlors, dance halls, and pool rooms are no longer specifically licensed.
C-3 (19-0989) An Ordinance to Amend the Zoning Map, Being a Part of Section 5:10.2 of Chapter 55 of Title V of the Code of Ann Arbor, Rezoning of 8 Acres from R4B (Multiple-Family Dwelling District) to R4D Multiple-Family Dwelling District) WITH CONDITIONS, Brightdawn Village Rezoning(2805 Burton Road) (CPC Recommendation: Denial - 0 Yeas and 7 Nays) Eight acres on Burton Road would be re-zoned from R4B to R4D to allow for construction of four four-story buildings with 160 apartment units, a community clubhouse, and 252 parking spaces. The developer has offered to reserve and maintain 40 units at below-market-rate (20 units at 80% AMI and 20 units at 60% AMI) for 99 years. Planning commission recommended denial of this rezoning request, because it is not consistent with adjacent zoning and is inconsistent with the Master Plan.
C-4 (19-0957) An Ordinance to Amend Sections 8:513, 8:516, 8:517, 8:519, 8:525, 8:528, and 8:530 of Chapter 105 (Housing Code) of Title VIII of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor Penalty provisions in the housing code would increase from a maximum fine of $500 to a maximum fine of $1000. What was previously a misdemeanor will now be a civil infraction.
C-5 (19-0930) An Ordinance to Amend the Zoning Map Being a Part of Section 5:10.2 of Chapter 55 of Title V of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor, Rezoning of 13.81 Acres from M1 (Limited Industrial District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development District), 841 Broadway PUD Zoning and Supplemental Regulations (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 7 Yeas and 2 Nays) The 13.81 acres at 841 Broadway would be rezoned from M1 (Limited Industrial District) to a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to allow a minimum of 90 residential units, parking garage, restaurant and a hotel, public open space with canoe launch, outdoor pavilion, and river access. If the PUD zoning is approved, the developer will present a specific site plan for approval.
Motions and Resolutions
The following agenda items are motions and resolutions, which are approved or rejected in a single meeting. Agenda items marked "DC" are proposed by Council members, items marked "DB" are proposed by City boards and commissions, items marked "DS" are proposed by City staff.
DC-1 (19-1044) Resolution to Appoint David Blanchard to the Housing and Human Services Advisory Board (7 Votes Required) Seven votes are required because David Blanchard is not a resident of Ann Arbor.
DC-2 (19-1027) Resolution Directing the City Administrator to Develop an Interim Plan for the Use of the Library Lot to Support Community Activities The City Administrator will work with the DDA, Ann Arbor Downtown Library, City staff, Library Green Conservancy, and Center of the City Task Force to plan immediate non-parking use of the “Library Lot.” With community partners, the City Administrator would consider a process for scheduling activity on the Library Lot, a public/private partnership with the Library Green Conservancy, and the financial impacts of transitioning use away from surface parking.
DB-1 (19-0403) Resolution to Approve Bristol Ridge Site Plan and Development Agreement, 2750 Pontiac Trail (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) This is the same as PH-4 above.
DB-2 (19-0642) Resolution Authorizing Summary Publication of Ordinance No.19-15 - An Ordinance to Amend Section 5.15 (Table 5-15), Section 5.16 (Use Specific Standards), and Section 5.37.2 (Specific Terms) of Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code) of Title V of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Car Storage and Temporary Outdoor Activities in P District) With Council approval, the new land use ordinance (see PH-1/B-1) will be summarized to spare expense while satisfying publication requirements.
DB-3 (19-0840) Resolution Authorizing Summary Publication of Ordinance No. 19-16 - An Ordinance to Amend Section 5.15 (Table 5-15), Section 5.16.3, and 5.37.2 of Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code) of Title V of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Mobile Food Vending Service) With Council approval, the new food truck ordinance (see PH-2/B-3) will be summarized to spare expense while satisfying publication requirements.
DS-1 (19-0604) Resolution to Approve a Contract with Liberty Security Group Inc. for Guest Services at the Guy C. Larcom City Hall ($102,500.00) RFP #19-01 A contract for $102,500 with Liberty Security Group was passed on 5/6/19. I brought it back for reconsideration on 5/20/19 and it was postponed due to CM Smith’s absence.
This week, I’d like to draw your attention to one particular item on our consent agenda. With item CA-14, Council will approve traffic calming measures for Scio Church service drive, to be installed this construction season. Residents requested these measures through a formal city process that I wrote about this past February: https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/resident-requested-traffic-calming-studies
As the school year winds down, I’m looking forward to more time on my bike (if it ever stops raining!) and more time out and about enjoying summer activities in our city with my family. An example of something special I hope to check out in the coming weeks: GOATS in Gallup Park! The city recently sent out the following announcement:
City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation will begin a new pilot initiative which will use goats to remove unwanted brush from Gallup Park’s two islands. The islands, and their footbridges, will be closed while this project is in progress, Thursday, June 6-Thursday, June 27.
GIVE 365 will be hosting three Goat Talk and Walk tours in conjunction with volunteer work days. How to participate in a tour, for more information about this initiative, including goat photos and their bios, and more is available at www.a2gov.org/goats-at-gallup
While I cannot take any credit for this genius idea, I wholeheartedly support it!
Thank you for helping me represent Ward 4!
PS: If you would like to receive this newsletter via email before it is published on my website, please click here to signup: https://eepurl.com/dGDKXf