This week, some of the decisions before City Council seem a whole lot less important, but I urge everyone to explore the links below for City, County and State information related to the COVID-19 epidemic. My own family is aiming to stay out of public places in the coming weeks — I hope you and your family are able to do the same. For the time being, I’m not holding coffee hours.
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On Mar 13, 2020, the City announced a series of measures to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus:
At this time, Larcom City Hall is closed to the public until Sunday April 5th. All parks facilities, including the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, are also closed and facility recreation events have been cancelled. Parks, themselves, will remain open for general use.
At this time, there are NO changes to curbside waste or recycling pickup schedules.
Some Boards and Commissions meetings may be cancelled. The City is advising to check the online calendar for updates:
Council Caucus originally scheduled for Sunday March 15th is cancelled.
The City Council meetings scheduled for Monday, March 16th will take place as scheduled. However, the public is encouraged to watch the live streamed meetings on the CTN YouTube channel and to use the eComment system:
There is a closed session of Council scheduled for 6pm in City Council chambers, followed by the regularly scheduled Council meeting at 7pm. Larcom City Hall's public doors will open at 5pm for the meeting and will close again when the Council meeting has concluded.
Local COVID-19 Information and Links
City of Ann Arbor COVID-19 Updates
Washtenaw County COVID-19 Updates
State of Michigan COVID-19 Updates
Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed until Monday April 6th
School district homepage: https://www.a2schools.org
School district COVID-19 Updates: https://www.a2schools.org/domain/3923
Ann Arbor District Library branches are closed indefinitely
Library homepage: https://aadl.org
Library COVID-19 Updates: https://aadl.org/covidclosure
University of Michigan
University homepage: https://umich.edu
All classes will be delivered remotely in alternative formats – and not meeting in person – through April 21st, the last day of classes this semester.
All final exams will take place remotely in alternative formats
All U-M commencement ceremonies are canceled
Students who can do so are encouraged to move home as soon as possible.
Flattening the COVID-19 Curve
The University of Michigan has published an excellent article on why governments, organizations, and companies are cancelling events and sending students and employees home to slow the spread of COVID-19.
From the article:
"If individuals and communities take steps to slow the virus’s spread, that means the number of cases of COVID-19 will stretch out across a longer period of time. As the curve shows, the number of cases at any given time doesn’t cross the dotted line of the capacity of our nation’s health care system to help everyone who’s very sick."
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
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 Mar 2, 2020 https://www.a2elnel.com/post/city-council-voting-chart-for-mar-2-2020 COVID-19 Updates (Mar 14 2020) This is the same COVID-19 information and links posted above in this newsletter. https://www.a2elnel.com/post/covid-19-updates-mar-14-2020
A2Zero Planning Phase 3 Kicks Off with Survey Launch A2Zero is entering the third planning stage, to explore how the entire community can fully implement the actions needed to become carbon neutral by 2030 https://www.a2elnel.com/post/a2zero-planning-phase-3-kicks-off-with-survey-launch
“I Voted” Sticker Design Contest entries due by Mar 31 The City is holding a design contest for "I Voted" stickers. Entries are due by Mar 31, with the winning stickers to be distributed at the polls during the 2020 Presidential Election in November. https://www.a2elnel.com/post/i-voted-sticker-design-contest-entries-due-by-mar-31
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 3/16/20
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:
Ann Arbor City Council Monday Mar 16 (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/
Questions to the Agenda
In preparation for a Council meeting, Council members can ask questions of staff about scheduled agenda items. Questions must be submitted by noon on the Wednesday before a Council Meeting, and answers are returned the next day (Thursday) by 5pm.
AC-1 (20-0452) March 16, 2020 Agenda Response Memo and eComments This agenda item has a PDF attachment with all questions raised by Council Members, and the answers provided by staff.
Communications from the Mayor
MC-1 (20-0353) Appointments - Confirmations This Mayoral appointment was introduced at the previous Council meeting, and will therefore be voted on at this Council meeting.
Bret Hautamaki - Transportation Commission
MC-2 (20-0392) Nominations and Appointments This Mayoral appointment is being introduced at this Council meeting, and will therefore be voted on at the next Council meeting.
Timothy Durham - Housing Board of Appeals
Below is the list of items included on the 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 (20-0145) Resolution to Close Ashley Street between Huron and Washington for the Treeverb Music Festival from 8:00 AM on Friday, June 5, 2020 until 11:00 PM on Saturday, June 6, 2020 CA-2 (20-0352) Resolution to Close Streets for the Time to Teal 5K to Benefit the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MIOCA) on Sunday, May 10, 2020 CA-3 (20-0358) Resolution to Approve Street Closings for the 2020 Taste of Ann Arbor Special Event - Sunday, May 31, 2020 CA-4 (20-0360) Resolution to Approve Street Closings for the 2020 Rolling Sculpture Car Show - Friday, July 10, 2020 CA-5 (20-0346) Resolution to Accept a Donation of Park Land at 3380 Nixon Road (The Annex, formerly Woodbury Club Apartments) from BRE Nixon Road Associates, LLC (8 Votes Required) CA-6 (20-0326) Resolution to Approve a Grant Agreement with Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Local Development Authority for the Fiber Optic & Conduit Installation in the DDA District ($5,000,000.00) CA-7 (20-0235) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with Magellan Advisors, LLC for Fiber Optic & Conduit Design and Planning Services for the DDA District ($334,550.00) CA-8 (20-0259) Resolution to Approve the Attached Quote with CDW Government, LLC for Additional Microsoft Licenses and Related Service, and Appropriate Associated Funds ($188,529.16) (8 Votes Required) CA-9 (20-0267) Resolution to Approve Schedule 34 to the Interagency Agreement for Collaborative Technology and Services with Washtenaw County for the Enterprise Content Management System ($122,340.63 over a 3-Year Period with an Additional 15% Contingency) CA-10 (20-0299) Resolution to Accept and Appropriate Michigan Indigent Defense Commission Grant Award, Approve Grant Contract, and Reallocate Local Share ($393,530.00) (8 Votes Required) CA-11 (20-0074) Resolution to Approve a Contract with A.Z. Shmina, Inc. to Construct the Replacement of Astor and Franklin Sewage Lift Stations, ITB No. 4606 ($1,216,600.00) CA-12 (20-0297) Resolution to Approve Amendment No. 2 to the Contract with Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc. for the Lift Station Replacement Project, RFP No. 18-35 ($149,455.00) CA-13 (20-0263) Resolution to Approve a Services Agreement with Michigan AgriBusiness Solutions, LLC for Land Application of Municipal Biosolids, RFP No. 20-03 ($0.039/gallon, estimated $624,000.00 first year) CA-14 (20-0189) Resolution to Approve a Best Source Lease Agreement with Big Belly Solar, Inc. for Lease of Solar Compacting Trash and Recycling Containers ($23,290.08/year 1 and 2; not to exceed $150,000.00 for 5 years) CA-15 (20-0199) Resolution to Approve the Purchase of Electric Vehicle Chargers from Chargepoint Inc. (Sourcewell - $20,347.00) CA-16 (20-0210) Resolution to Approve the Purchase of Vehicles from Berger Chevrolet (Mi-Deal Contract $327,790.00) and to Amend the Fleet and Facility Unit FY 2020 Budget ($180,706.00) (8 Votes Required) CA-17 (20-0216) Resolution No. 1 - Prepare Plans and Specifications for the Proposed South Main Street Sidewalk Gap Project - Special Assessment District #62, and Appropriate $115,000.00 from the General Fund Balance for the Design of the Project (8 Votes Required) CA-18 (20-0243) Resolution to Approve a Contract with True Colors Industrial LLC for the Hangar Roof Recoating Project at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport and to Appropriate Funding from the Airport Fund Balance ($186,000.00) (ITB #4613 - $169,175.00) (8 Votes Required) CA-19 (20-0289) Resolution to Approve an Agreement with the Downtown Development Authority for the First and Ashley Street Improvement Project. ($2,334,383.00) CA-20 (20-0261) Resolution No. 2 - Proposed Fuller Court and Nixon/Traver Sidewalk Gap Project - Special Assessment Districts #57 & 56
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/DB-1 (20-0306) Resolution to Approve the Copozzo Annexation, 0.74 Acre, 1780 Scio Church Road (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) A 0.74-acre property at 1780 Scio Church Road will be annexed into the City. It is already within the City’s water and sewer area service area and current use is consistent with adjacent zoning, land uses, and Master Plan. Single-family zoning is anticipated after annexation.
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.
There are no ordinance second readings on the agenda.
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 (19-2340) An Ordinance to Add a New Chapter 122 (Historic Entertainment Sound District) to Title IX of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor This was deleted from the agenda on Mar 13, 2020 C-2 (19-2156) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code), Rezoning of 0.52 Acre from TWP (Township District) to R1A (Single Family Dwelling District), Oshagan Property, 715 Heather Way (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) A 0.52-acre property at 715 Heather Way will be annexed into the City and zoned R1A (Single Family Dwelling District). The proposed zoning is recommended by the Planning Commission, is consistent with adjacent zoning, surrounding land use and the City’s Master Plan. C-3 (20-0175) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code), Rezoning of 1.3 Acres from PUD (Planned Unit Development District) to PL (Public Land District), 385 East Eisenhower Parkway (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) A 1.3-acre property at 385 E. Eisenhower Parkway would be rezoned from PUD (Planned Unit Development District) to Public Land District. This land was donated by a developer in 2007 and would create a public park. Approval is recommended by the Planning Commission. The proposed zoning is consistent and coordinates with adjacent zoning, surrounding land use and the City’s Master Plan and policies. C-4 (20-0176) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code), Rezoning of 16.0 Acres from R4A With Conditions (Multiple-Family Dwelling District) to PL (Public Land District), Buttonbush Nature Area, 2601 Dhu Varren Road (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) A new 16-acre nature area is created at 2601 Dhu Varren, by re-zoning the area from R4A with conditions (Multiple Family Dwelling District) to Public Land District. Approval is recommended by the Planning Commission. The proposed zoning is consistent and coordinates with adjacent zoning, the existing land use and the surrounding land uses, and the City’s Master Plan and policies. C-5 (20-0178) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code), Rezoning of 1.5 Acres from R4B (Multiple-Family Dwelling District) to PL (Public Land District), Hansen Nature Area, 1200 South Maple Road (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) A 1.6-acre property at 1200 S. Maple is rezoned from R4B (Multiple-Family Dwelling District) to Public Land District as an addition to the Hansen Nature Area. Approval is recommended by the Planning Commission. The proposed zoning is consistent and coordinates with adjacent zoning, the existing land use and the surrounding land uses, and the City’s Master Plan and policies. C-6 (20-0179) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code), Rezoning of 2.0 Acres from R1D (Single-Family Dwelling District) to PL (Public Land District), Hickory Nature Area, 2817 Dillon Drive (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) A new 2-acre nature area is created at 2817 Dillon Drive, by rezoning the area from R1D (Single-Family Dwelling District) to Public Land District. Approval is recommended by the Planning Commission. The proposed zoning is consistent and coordinates with adjacent zoning, the existing land use and the surrounding land uses, and the City’s Master Plan and policies. C-7 (20-0180) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Unified Development Code), Rezoning of 25.0 Acres from R4A (Multiple-Family Dwelling District) to PL (Public Land District), Oakwoods Nature Area Addition, 3200 Green Road (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 7 Yeas and 0 Nays) A 25-acre property at 3200 Green Road is rezoned from R4A (Multiple Family Dwelling District) to Public Land District as an addition to the Oakwoods Nature Area. Approval is recommended by the Planning Commission. The proposed zoning is consistent and coordinates with adjacent zoning, the existing land use and the surrounding land uses, and the City’s Master Plan and policies.
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 (20-0386) A Resolution Urging the State of Michigan to Adopt HB 4212 and SB 116, the so-called “Polluter Pays Act” City Council urges the State of Michigan to adopt HB 4212 and SB 116, to empower the State to compel the cleanup of aquifer contamination “to the extent technically feasible.” DC-2 (20-0413) Resolution to Appoint Tom Crawford to the Downtown Development Authority (One-step Appointment-8 Votes Required) City Code provides that either the Mayor or City Administrator shall be a member of the DDA. As Interim City Administrator, Tom Crawford would be appointed to the DDA DC-3 (20-0438) Resolution Directing the Planning Commission to Create a Transit Supported Development District Planning Commission would be directed to consider designation of transit- supported zoning districts to increase housing density and options along major corridors. In such districts, the commission is asked to consider increasing allowable Floor Area Ratio (FAR) density, decreasing and/or eliminating parking requirements for new development along transit corridors, requiring mixed use, decrease height and increasing setbacks near pre-existing residential areas, and evaluating development aspects, such as sustainability measures, affordable housing, and public open space - as either requirements or incentives. DC-4 (20-0433) Resolution to Approve Street Closings for a Celebration Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020 Washington Street from Main to Division would be closed on April 22, 2020 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and to promote the A2Zero carbon neutrality efforts of the community. DC-5 (20-0451) Resolution to Appoint Matthew Horning as the City of Ann Arbor Interim Controller and Chief Financial Officer Matthew Horning would be appointed City of Ann Arbor Interim Controller and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Horning formerly served as the City's Treasurer and on several occasions was Acting CFO and Controller. DB-1 (20-0306) Resolution to Approve the Copozzo Annexation, 0.74 Acre, 1780 Scio Church Road (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) This is the same as PH-1 above.
This past week, I have been encouraged by the many thoughtful decisions being made by our local institutions and organizations to protect our community. City leaders and staff are actively discussing what we can do to assist our most vulnerable residents. Among other concerns, we are aware that many in our community are much less able to cope with the financial impacts of the current situation. The City of Ann Arbor is actively discussing how we can relieve some of the burden on residents. For example, our City Administrator, Tom Crawford, has directed staff to temporarily suspend all water disconnects and temporarily suspend charges for water reconnections (for non-vacant properties). Our community is committed to identifying needs, innovating solutions, and supporting each other under these challenging circumstances.
Thank you for helping me represent Ward 4!
Elizabeth Nelson ENelson@A2gov.org
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