This week at City Council, we have a good number of appointments (including the Center of the City Task Force), seven public hearings, and several resolutions related to redevelopment plans for the DTE site.
Before I jump into my summary of items on the agenda, I’d like to invite you to my coffee hours tomorrow (Sunday) 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.
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 30 (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
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
Ann Arbor-Saline & South Main traffic control plan June 24th to July 12th Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction at separate times on either northbound or southbound Ann Arbor-Saline Road and South Main Street https://www.a2elnel.com/post/traffic-control-plan-for-ann-arbor-saline-south-main-june-24th-july-12th
ITC State-Pioneer Transmission Line Project Update June 27th ITC provided updates for the first three weeks of July for the project to connect the State and Pioneer substations. https://www.a2elnel.com/post/itc-state-pioneer-transmission-line-project-update-june-27th
Maywood Ave Construction Update June 28th An update on the construction project on Maywood Avenue. https://www.a2elnel.com/post/maywood-ave-construction-update-june-28th
These detours are still in place:
Hoover Ave detour June 12th to July 26th An detour is in place on Hoover Avenue from Greene Street to State Street. https://www.a2elnel.com/post/hoover-ave-traffic-control-plan-june-12th-to-july-26th
South State Street detour June 12th to Aug 7th An detour is in place on South State Street between Stimson Street and Oakbrook Drive. https://www.a2elnel.com/post/south-state-street-detour-june-12th-to-aug-7th
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 June 17, 2019 https://www.a2elnel.com/post/city-council-voting-chart-for-june-17-2019
Consent Agenda Length This was originally published in my June 15, 2019 newsletter https://www.a2elnel.com/post/consent-agenda-length
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 7/1/19
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=656008&GUID=E912B542-5304-46FD-9196-12668C109B31&Options=info&Search=
Ann Arbor City Council Monday July 1 (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 (19-1163) Appointments - Confirmations These Mayoral appointments were introduced at the 6/17/19 Council meeting, and will therefore be voted on at this Council meeting.
Ember McCoy, Energy Commission
Ellie Abrons, Planning Commission
Sara Hammerschmidt, Planning Commission
Joe Malcoun, Zoning Board of Appeals
Megan Peters, Zoning Board of Appeals
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 (19-1116) Resolution to Accept a Fair Food Network Grant for the Ann Arbor Farmers Market for $45,000.00 and Appropriate Funds (8 Votes Required)
CA-2 (19-1157) Resolution to Approve Street Closings for the “Dancing in the Streets” Special Event - September 2, 2018
CA-3 (19-1168) Resolution to Approve Street Closings for the Electric Bolt 8K and 5K Run/Walk July 28, 2019
CA-4 (19-1253) Resolution to Approve Street Closings for ICC Championship Street Festival on Friday, August 9, 2019 from 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM on Saturday, August 10, 2019
CA-5 (19-1256) Resolution to Authorize Special Event Provisions and to Approve Street Closings for the Relevent Sports International Champions Cup Soccer Game on August 10, 2019
CA-6 (19-1258) Resolution to Approve Street Closures for University of Michigan Football Games for the 2019 Season
CA-7 (19-1161) Resolution to Approve an Agreement with SmithGroup, Inc. to Conduct Public Engagement, Develop Potential Building Concepts and Evaluate Feasibility of the Property Located at 350 South Fifth (Commonly Referred to as the Y-Lot) and Appropriate Related Funds ($75,000.00) (8 Votes Required)
CA-8 (19-1227) Resolution to Release an Easement for Sanitary Sewer at 308 W. Huron Street (8 Votes Required)
CA-9 (19-1252) Resolution to Appoint Michael Cox as the City of Ann Arbor Police Chief Effective July 15, 2019
CA-10 (19-1152) Resolution to Approve May 23, 2019 Recommendations of the Board of Insurance Administration and Approve Related Agreement
CA-11 (19-1112) Resolution to Appoint Michael Pettigrew as the City of Ann Arbor Interim City Treasurer
CA-12 (19-1211) Resolution to Approve an Agreement with Aon Consulting, Inc. for Advisory Services Related to De-Risking the City’s Pension System ($38,500.00) (8 Votes Required)
CA-13 (19-0933) Resolution to Extend Toter Solid Waste Collection Cart Purchases (not-to-exceed $131,000.00 Annually)
CA-14 (19-1071) Resolution to Approve the Purchase of Polymer from Polydyne, Inc. for the Wastewater Treatment Plant ($229,500.00/year, estimated)
CA-15 (19-1072) Resolution to Approve the Purchase of Odor Control Chemicals from D3W Industries, Inc. for the Wastewater Treatment Plant ($119,350.00 Annually, Estimated)
CA-16 (19-1111) Resolution to Approve an Agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation for the Eisenhower Parkway at Plaza Road RRFB Project
CA-17 (19-1198) Resolution to Approve Change Order No. 2 with Fonson Company, Inc. for the North Fifth Avenue Reconstruction project ($428,000.03) and Appropriate Additional Contributed Funding DDA Funding ($510,000.00) (8 Votes Required)
CA-18 (19-0848) Resolution to Approve Amendment No. 3 to the Professional Services Agreement with Tetra Tech, Inc. for the Ann Arbor Landfill Monitoring and Maintenance Program for PFAS and Other Sampling and Monitoring (estimated $351,124.00 annually) and to Approve a Consulting Services Contingency Amount ($40,000.00 annually)
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 (19-0841) 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) (Ordinance No. ORD-19-17) 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.
PH-2/B-2 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-19-20) 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.
PH-3/DB-1 (19-1164) Resolution to Approve the Broadway Park Redevelopment Brownfield Plan (BRC Recommendation: Approval - 4 Yeas and 0 Nays) An area of 13.8 acres Broadway Park (formerly DTE) would be approved for a Brownfield Plan through the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (WCBRA) so that the site can be raised to higher clean-up standards for the proposed use. The developer would be eligible for reimbursement of up to $17,336,999 from the WCBRA. (This plan was approved by the Brownfield Review Committee, 4-0.)
PH-4/DB-2 (19-1165) Resolution to Approve the 841 Broadway Area Plan, 841 Broadway (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 7 Yeas and 2 Nays) A proposed “area plan” for 841 Broadway would have 104 dwelling units in four six-story buildings with a two-story parking deck, six contiguous acres of public open space, and approximately 10,900 sq. ft. of retail. A proposed recreation space would include a 7,800 sq. ft. pavillion and concession building. Planning commission approved this plan in a vote of 7-2. (Note: additional approval will eventually be required for a more detailed “site plan.”)
PH-5/B-3 (19-1137) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 11 (Risk Fund) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor City liabilities such as worker’s compensation, certain legal claims, and other employee benefits are currently paid out of the Risk Fund. This amendment codifies that practice as well as some changes that would maintain adequate funding, allow investment without Board of Insurance approval, increase allowable awards by the Board of Insurance without Council approval (from $5,000 up to $10,000), adjust the timing of budgets to comply with the charter, and empower third party claims administrators to pay claims without Board of Insurance or City approval.
PH-6/B-4 (19-1138) An Ordinance to Amend Section 1:292 of Chapter 13 (Special Assessments) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-19-22) City expenses related to specific property lots (e.g. nuisance abatement, inspections, etc.) are transferred to tax rolls as special assessments if unpaid. This amendment clarifies that the service units (rather than the Chief Financial Officer) send notifications to relevant parties and the City Clerk may designate notice to other individuals (currently, the deputy treasurer).
PH-7/B-5 (19-1139) An Ordinance to Amend Sections 1:311, 1:316, 1:317, 1:319, and 1:324 in Chapter 14 (Purchasing, Contracting and Selling Procedure) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-19-23) Service area administrators (rather than the Chief Financial Officer) would be empowered to approve contracts as to substance and certify the availability of budget. The City Administrator would determine situations where bidding and solicitation of contracts is not practical or of no advantage. These “no bid” contracts currently require authorization by Council (this amendment removes that requirement).
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 (19-0841) 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) (Ordinance No. ORD-19-17) This is the same as PH-1 above.
B-2 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-19-20) This is the same as PH-2 above.
B-3 (19-1137) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 11 (Risk Fund) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor This is the same as PH-5 above.
B-4 (19-1138) An Ordinance to Amend Section 1:292 of Chapter 13 (Special Assessments) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-19-22) This is the same as PH-6 above.
B-5 (19-1139) An Ordinance to Amend Sections 1:311, 1:316, 1:317, 1:319, and 1:324 in Chapter 14 (Purchasing, Contracting and Selling Procedure) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-19-23) This is the same as PH-7 above.
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 (19-1206) Resolution to Appoint Members to the Center of the City Task Force Appointments to the Center of the City Task Force: These Council appointments to the Center of the City Task Force were introduced at the 6/17/19 Council meeting, and will therefore be voted on at this Council meeting.
Council liaisons: CM Hayner and CM Smith
DC-2 (19-1200) Resolution to Appoint Robin Stephens to the Human Rights Commission (7 Votes Required) This Mayoral appointment was introduced at the 6/17/19 Council meeting, and will therefore be voted on at this Council meeting. Seven votes are required because the nominee is not a resident of the City of Ann Arbor.
Robin Stephens, Human Rights Commission
DC-3 (19-1291) Resolution to Order Election, Approve Charter Amendment of the Ann Arbor City Charter Sections to Establish Non-Partisan Nomination and Election for the Offices of Mayor and Council and Determine Ballot Language for this Amendment (7 Votes Required) A charter amendment would be placed on the ballot 11/5/19 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.
DC-4 (19-1221) Resolution to Authorize Settlement of Trinitas Development, LLC v City of Ann Arbor, 22nd Circuit Court, Case No. 18-1095-AA Litigation would be settled regarding the “Cottages at Barton Green” development (on Pontiac Trail). The city and Trinitas Development agree to terms that limit the number of occupants to 690, eliminate six bedroom units, reduce the number of impervious surface parking spaces, add 50 covered bicycle parking spaces, contribute $346,000 to the City for intersection improvements at Barton/Pontiac Trail, and provide a shuttle bus to serve the residents.
DC-5 (19-1298) Resolution Urging the Washtenaw County Road Commission to Reduce Herbicide Use Through Adoption of a Comprehensive Roadside Vegetation Control Plan Based on Best Environmental Management Practices The City of Ann Arbor’s Environmental Commission has raised concerns about the use of herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides by the Washtenaw County Road Commission as part of its Roadside Vegetation Control Plan. The City of Ann Arbor asks the Washtenaw County Road Commission to use best environmental management practices to develop a roadside vegetation management plan.
DB-1 (19-1164) Resolution to Approve the Broadway Park Redevelopment Brownfield Plan (BRC Recommendation: Approval - 4 Yeas and 0 Nays) This is the same as PH-3 above.
DB-2 (19-1165) Resolution to Approve the 841 Broadway Area Plan, 841 Broadway (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 7 Yeas and 2 Nays) This is the same as PH-4 above.
This week, I’d like to draw your attention to an item on the Consent Agenda that is in Ward 4. Item CA-16 approves an agreement between the City and the Michigan Department of Transportation for Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons at a crosswalk on Eisenhower Parkway at Plaza Drive. This is a part of Eisenhower between S. Main and State, where a crosswalk leads to banks and offices around Briarwood Mall. What’s noteworthy about this item is that the City applied for and received a federal grant of $31,562.17 for the improvement. These RRFB signals are particularly helpful for pedestrian safety but they are (obviously) very expensive. With this federal grant money, the City’s contribution to the project is only $3,506.91. Kudos to city staff for finding this grant and getting it for us! I am hopeful about this particular crosswalk becoming much safer for pedestrians once the RRFB is installed.
I have one other small story to share, more good news: out and about recently, someone asked me, “Why isn’t the rainbow flag flying at City Hall? It’s Pride Month!” I had no answer, but I emailed the question to folks at City Hall. The response to my query was very quick — the city located a flag and had it flying almost immediately! The flag has been flying all week and it’s a great reminder of our values this special month. Thank you to everyone at City Hall who hears about an easily-fixable-problem and helps us out!
This week we bid good-bye to the goats at Gallup Park - I hope many of you found the time to go visit them while they were with us. I saw them twice (via kayak) and found them to be a charming addition to our public park system!
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