City Council Newsletter (May 2, 2020)

Hello neighbors!

This week, Council has a particularly long agenda, with FOURTEEN public hearings (!) and agenda items covering a wide range of topics: sidewalk gaps, sewer/water/stormwater rates, late fees for property tax payment, funding to shelter the homeless, and social distancing strategies. Summarizing this enormous agenda helped me quarantine extra effectively today because it took me all day to get through it!


Since the last Council meeting, CM Eaton and I have biked a lot around Ward 4 (we bumped into a favorite Ward 4 resident who happened to be out walking: State Rep. Yousef Rabhi!) and also across town to look at the sidewalk gaps on Barton Drive and Traver/Nixon. I am hopeful that we will see more consistently sunny and warm weather in this month of May. I saw flowers for sale at the Produce Station, which got me excited about filling the planters on my front porch (added to my “to do” list).


Since my last newsletter, I’ve added some really excellent interviews to my A2COVID-19 series: City Attorney Stephen Postema, Police Chief Cox, Fire Chief Kennedy, and Interim City Administrator Tom Crawford. I really appreciate their willingness to talk to me about their own adjustments to this pandemic. We have an exceptional team of city staff in Ann Arbor— we are lucky to live here!

https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/categories/a2-covid-19

http://a2covid19.com



We have been holding Council Caucus on Sunday nights before Council meetings since March 2019. During the COVID-19 crisis, we are holding Caucus via Zoom. Please check the Legistar link below for the latest information.


Council Caucus

Sunday May 3rd 7:00pm

https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=750090&GUID=8E1AA60C-AFE4-497D-AD94-909537284125

Viewing information is unavailable at this time. Check Legistar link for updated information.

To speak at public comment (audio only) call: (877) 853-5247 -or- (888) 788-0099 and enter Meeting ID: 923 9228 0974



This Monday, Council is meeting again using the Zoom application. The video feed will be broadcast on CTN and YouTube. As with the previous meetings, public comment will be audio only using Zoom. Please see the phone numbers and meeting ID below.


City Council

Monday May 4th 7:00pm

https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=750169&GUID=A02363A4-7CBE-40AF-9763-78F1AB70D308

Broadcast live on CTN Cable Channel 16, ATT Channel 99, or online at www.a2gov.org/watchCTN

To speak at public comment (audio only) call: (877) 853-5247 -or- (888) 788-0099 and enter Meeting ID:953 2901 9072



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

Local COVID-19 Information and Links


City of Ann Arbor COVID-19 Updates

https://www.a2gov.org/covid19


Washtenaw County COVID-19 Updates

https://www.washtenaw.org/COVID19


State of Michigan COVID-19 Updates

https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus


Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed through the end of the school year

School district homepage: https://www.a2schools.org

School district COVID-19 Updates: https://www.a2schools.org/COVID-19


Ann Arbor District Library branches are closed indefinitely

Library homepage: https://aadl.org

Library COVID-19 Updates: https://aadl.org/covidclosure


University of Michigan - all classes delivered remotely, students advised to move home

University homepage: https://umich.edu

University COVID-19 Updates: https://coronavirus.umich.edu

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 April 20, 2020

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/city-council-voting-chart-for-apr-20-2020


Reality Politics

Reject misinformation: look to primary sources to understand what's happening in the city.

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/reality-politics


Help Select Ann Arbor's New "I Voted" Sticker Designs

Ann Arbor residents are being asked to select their favorite entries in the “I Voted" sticker design contest.

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/help-select-ann-arbor-s-new-i-voted-sticker-designs


A2COUNCIL Updates (A2COUNCIL.com)

For anyone interested in understanding and analyzing the recent work of Council, I have created a resource at A2COUNCIL.com with summaries of issues and direct links to City documents. For each City Council meeting since November 2018, you can find links to the City's Legistar website, CTN's YouTube video, and links to my newsletters and voting charts. I have listed agenda items of interest from each meeting, along with articles I've written and articles published on MLive.

https://www.a2elnel.com/a2council


A2 COVID-19 Interview Videos (A2COVID19.com)

I appreciate that members of our community are struggling in different ways right now. Residents have different strategies for coping and adjusting to this new reality. I've been working on a project to explore the personal experiences of our community. I'm interviewing people I know (who are willing to share) and recording what they say. You can find my interviews as blog entries on my website, and also on my YouTube channel.


New A2 COVID-19 interviews since my last newsletter:


City Attorney Stephen Postema

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/a2-covid-19-stephen-postema


City Police Chief Michael Cox

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/a2-covid-19-police-chief-cox


City Fire Chief Mike Kennedy

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/a2-covid-19-fire-chief-kennedy


Interim City Administrator Tom Crawford

https://www.a2elnel.com/post/a2-covid-19-tom-crawford



Link to all A2 COVID-19 articles on my website (videos + transcripts)

https://www.a2elnel.com/blog/categories/a2-covid-19


Link to my YouTube A2 COVID-19 playlist

http://a2covid19.com

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

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 5/4/20

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:

https://a2gov.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=750169&GUID=A02363A4-7CBE-40AF-9763-78F1AB70D308

Ann Arbor City Council Monday May 4 (7:00pm) Electronic Meeting


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-2 (20-0609) May 4, 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 (20-0539) Appointments & Nominations for May 4, 2020 This is a list of the Mayor's reappointments to City boards and commissions. These nominations will be voted on at the next Council meeting.

  • Greg Farris - Airport Advisory Committee

  • Theresa Whiting - Airport Advisory Committee

  • Allison Buck - Ann Arbor Public Art Commission

  • Jonah Copi - Ann Arbor Public Art Commission

  • Mike Allemang - Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Board

  • Kyra Sims - Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Board

  • Paul Darling - Building Board of Appeals

  • Shannon Gibb-Randall - City Planning Commission

  • Wendy Woods - City Planning Commission

  • Matthew Solomon - Commission on Disability Issues

  • Richard Mitchell - Design Review Board

  • Tamara Burns - Design Review Board

  • Molly McFarland - Downtown Development Authority

  • Darren McKinnon - Downtown Development Authority

  • Elizabeth Collins - Elizabeth Dean Fund Committee

  • Anthony DiGiovanni - Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees

  • John Beeson - Historic District Commission

  • Amanda Carlisle - Housing and Human Services Advisory Board

  • Anna Erickson - Housing and Human Services Advisory Board

  • Anna Foster - Housing and Human Services Advisory Board

  • Thierry Batalonga - Housing Commission

  • Pamela Meadows Dent - Human Rights Commission

  • Judah Garber - Human Rights Commission

  • Ruth Kraut - Park Advisory Commission

  • Praveena Ramaswami - Park Advisory Commission

  • Holly Parker - Public Market Advisory Commission

  • Lisa Young - Public Market Advisory Commission

  • Molly Kleinman - Transportation Commission

  • Bradley Parsons - Transportation Commission

  • David DeVarti - Zoning Board of Appeals


MC-2 (20-0574) Resolution to Appoint Geoffrey Perkins to the Building Board of Appeals and the Design Review Board, Christiana Allen-Pipkin to the Commission on Disability Issues and Diana Cass to the Human Rights Commission (7 Votes Required) This list of the Mayor's reappointments to City boards and commissions requires 7 votes, because the nominees in this resolution are not residents of the City. These will be voted on at the next Council meeting.

  • Geoffrey Perkins - Building Board of Appeals

  • Geoffrey Perkins - Design Review Board

  • Christiana Allen-Pipkin - Commission on Disability Issues

  • Diana Cass - Human Rights Commission


MC-3 (20-0603) Resolution to Appoint Councilmember Ramlawi to the Local Development Finance Authority (“LDFA”) CM Ramlawi would be reappointed as the Council representative on the Local Development Finance Authority (“LDFA”). This will be voted on at the next Council meeting.

Consent Agenda

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 (20-0548) Resolution to Accept a Sanitary Sewer Easement at 2556 Arrowwood Trail from Arrowwood Hills Cooperative (8 Votes Required)


CA-2 (20-0549) Resolution to Accept an Easement for Public Right-of-Way at 4090 Geddes Road from Concordia University, Inc. (8 Votes Required)


CA-3 (20-0469) Resolution to Approve a Construction Contract with the Doan Construction Company for the 2019 Sidewalk Gap Elimination Project ($602,002.65)


CA-4 (20-0485) Resolution to Award a Construction Contract to Bailey Excavating, Inc. for the Barton Drive Water Main Replacement and Resurfacing Project ($1,391,453.62)


CA-5 (20-0486) Resolution to Approve a Contract Agreement with the Michigan Department of Transportation for the 2020 SCOOT Expansion Project ($1,087,050.00)


CA-6 (20-0489) Resolution to Approve the Purchase of 75 Streetlight Luminaires from Graybar Electric Company, Inc. through the Michigan Delivering Extended Agreements Locally (MIDEAL) ($36,000.00)


CA-7 (20-0483) Resolution to Approve an Amendment to the Purchase Order with Spartan Distributors Inc. for Equipment Parts (Not to Exceed $10,000.00)


CA-8 (20-0494) Resolution to Amend the Fleet and Facility Unit FY 20 Budget by Appropriating Funds and to Approve the Purchase of One Elgin Street Sweeper from Bell Equipment Company (National IPA - $195,639.00) (8 Votes Required)


CA-9 (20-0509) Resolution to Approve a General Services Agreement with Superior Hoist & Dock Service Inc. for the Harvesting of Aquatic Vegetation in Geddes Pond for an Amount Not to Exceed $15,225.00 for Calendar Year 2020 with a 3% Increase Annually for the Duration of the Agreement


CA-10 (20-0513) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc to Develop an Asset Management Program for the Wastewater Treatment Plant and Sanitary Lift Stations, RFP No. 20-12 ($389,595.00)


CA-11 (20-0543) Resolution to Approve a Waiver of Late Penalty Charge for Late Tax Payments in Response to the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic


CA-12 (20-0520) Resolution Levying Certain Delinquent Board Up, Clean Up, Vacant Property Inspection Fees, Housing Inspection Fees, and Fire Inspection Fees as Special Assessments and Ordering Collection Thereof

Public Hearings

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 (19-2156) 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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-05)

A .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.


PH-2/B-2 (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) (ORD-20-06)

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.


PH-3/B-3 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-07)

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.


PH-4/B-4 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-08)

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.


PH-5/B-5 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-09)

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.


PH-6/B-6 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-10)

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.


PH-7/B-7 (20-0435) An Ordinance to Amend Section 1:156 of Chapter 7 (Downtown Development Authority) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-20-13)

Unit income target goals for the DDA Housing Fund would be aligned with the City of Ann Arbor’s Affordable Housing goals. The DDA Housing fund (under current ordinance) now targets development of housing at 50% of AMI (Area Median Income). With this amendment. the DDA Housing Fund could support development of housing up to 60% of AMI (Area Median Income), and help fund planning, studies and process for potential projects at 11 City-owned properties (See Resolution from 11/18/19)


PH-8/B-8 (20-0450) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Zoning), Rezoning of 0.20 Acre from C1B (Community Convenience Center District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development District), The Garnet PUD Zoning and Supplemental Regulations, 325 East Summit Street (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-11)

A PUD project on a 0.2 acre property at 325 East Summit Street will allow construction of a four-story, ten unit condominium building with eleven parking spaces. This development previously requested re-zoning from C1B (Community Convenience Center District) to C1A (Campus Business District) with conditions (9/16/19). Petitioners were asked to bring it back as a PUD proposal, with additional public benefit. This new PUD proposal includes a park contribution of $6,250, street tree escrow, an on-site stormwater management system, testing of sump pump discharge water, and the PUD contribution to the City affordable housing fund in the amount of $317,331.


PH-9/DS-1 (20-0521) Resolution No. 4 - Confirming the Barton Drive Water Main Replacement & Resurfacing Project Special Assessment District No. 55 - Brede to Pontiac

A special assessment district would be established to assess property owners for the cost of filling sidewalk gaps on Barton Drive between Pontiac Trail and Brede Place. This is part of the Barton Drive Water Main Replacement & Resurfacing Project.


PH-10/DS-2 (20-0522) Resolution No. 4 - Confirming the Barton Drive Water Main Replacement & Resurfacing Project Special Assessment District No. 60 - Barton/Starwick Intersection

A special assessment district would be established to assess property owners for the cost of filling sidewalk gaps at the Barton/Starwick intersection. This is part of the Barton Drive Water Main Replacement & Resurfacing Project.


PH-11/DS-3 (20-0523) Resolution No. 4 - Confirming the Nixon and Traver Sidewalk Gap Project, District 56 (8 Votes Required)

A special assessment district would be established to assess property owners for the cost of filling sidewalk gaps at Nixon and Traver.


PH-12/DS-4 (20-0524) Resolution No. 4 - Confirming the Fuller Court Sidewalk Gap Project, District 57

A special assessment district would be established to assess property owners for the cost of filling sidewalk gaps at Fuller Court.


PH-13 (20-0495) Resolution to Approve Fiscal Year 2021 Fee Adjustments for Public Services Area - Engineering, Public Works, Systems Planning, and the Fleet and Facilities- Airport Unit of the City Administrator’s Office

Fees would be adjusted (newly created, removed, increased, or reduced) for Public Services Areas - Engineering, Public Works, Systems Planning and Fleet and Facilities - Airport, for the 2021 Fiscal Year, to better reflect actual cost. These revisions are expected to result in a net increase of $91,753.00 in revenue to the City (estimate is based on how often each fee was assessed during FY 2019). 


PH-14 (20-0561) Resolution to Adopt Ann Arbor City Budget and Related Property Tax Millage Rates for Fiscal Year 2021

The annual budget for 2021 is proposed, based on anticipated revenue. The FY 2021 General Fund recurring expenditures increase by $3,502,556 (+3.2%) compared to FY 2020's adopted budget, and recurring revenues increase by $3,910,048 (3.6%). The City's FTEs are proposed to increase from 762 (as amended during FY20) to 771 in FY 2021.

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 (19-2156) 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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-05)

This is the same as PH-1 above.


B-2 (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) (ORD-20-06)

This is the same as PH-2 above.


B-3 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-07)

This is the same as PH-3 above.


B-4 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-08)

This is the same as PH-4 above.


B-5 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-09)

This is the same as PH-5 above.


B-6 (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) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-10)

This is the same as PH-6 above.


B-7 (20-0435) An Ordinance to Amend Section 1:156 of Chapter 7 (Downtown Development Authority) of Title I of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (Ordinance No. ORD-20-13)

This is the same as PH-7 above.


B-8 (20-0450) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Zoning), Rezoning of 0.20 Acre from C1B (Community Convenience Center District) to PUD (Planned Unit Development District), The Garnet PUD Zoning and Supplemental Regulations, 325 East Summit Street (CPC Recommendation: Approval - 8 Yeas and 0 Nays) (Ordinance No. ORD-20-11)

This is the same as PH-8 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 (20-0482) An Ordinance to Amend Section 2:64 of Chapter 29 (Sewer Rates) of Title II of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor

Sewer rates would increase by 6.5% (starting July 1 2020) and are projected to increase revenues to the Sewage Disposal System by $1,964,736.00. Allocation of fees would slightly decrease user charges and increase the portion allocated to capital expenditures and debt on prior capital expenditures. 


C-2 (20-0487) An Ordinance to Amend Section 2:63 of Chapter 29 (Water Rates) of Title II of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor

Water rates would increase by 6.5% (starting July 1, 2020) and are projected to increase revenues to the Water Supply System by $753,362.00. Additional revenue would be used for capital expenditures required to maintain and rehabilitate the water infrastructure, both at the water treatment facility and in the distribution system.


C-3 (20-0488) An Ordinance to Amend Section 2:69 of Chapter 29 (Stormwater Rates) of Title II of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor

Stormwater rates would increase by 11% (starting July 1, 2020) and are projected to increase revenues to the Stormwater Disposal System by $1,250,132.00. Additional revenue would be used for capital expenditures required to maintain and rehabilitate the stormwater infrastructure, including lining and other major capital projects associated with the aging infrastructure in the City.


C-4 (20-0579) An Ordinance to Amend Section 9:42 of Chapter 107 (Animals) of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor

I worked with City Staff to develop this amendment, in light of increased community interest in home-grown food. Derek Delacourt (administrator of our Community Services Area) drafted a similar ordinance for Ferndale and helped draft this amendment. The Chicken/Duck Keeping ordinance would be amended to remove neighbor notification (which allows neighbor “veto” of a 6 bird permit) and eliminate the 2-bird permit (which did not require neighbor notification). Neighbor approval would still be needed to reduce property line setback requirements or in cases where the permit would issue to anyone living in a duplex. Birds are permitted in back and side yards when the owner is present. The number limit for all permits would continue to be 6 birds, roosters prohibited.

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 (20-0543) Resolution to Approve a Waiver of Late Penalty Charge for Late Tax Payments in Response to the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic This would waive late charges for payment of local property tax. Summer taxes are due on July 31, and interest charges escalate (but do not compound) as follows:

  • August 1st, 1%

  • September 1st, 5%

  • January 1st, 6%

  • February 1st, 7%

This resolution would fully waive the August charge (1%) and reduce the September charge to 2.5%. This measure has an estimated cost to the City of $160,000 in direct revenue and estimated loss of $187,000 in investment income. City Staff recommends that this waiver not apply to tax payments that have been escrowed by financial institutions on behalf of mortgagors (taxpayers). DC-2 (20-0597) Resolution to Endorse the Fair and Equal Michigan Campaign Resolution to endorse the Fair and Equal Michigan Campaign, which would create a November ballot question to amend the Elliot-Larsen act, adding protections that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. DC-3 (20-0608) A Resolution Directing the Planning Commission and City Administrator to Evaluate Section 5.29.6 Site Plans of Chapter 55 - Unified Development Code and propose Amendments to Adjust Site Plan Authority Thresholds and Improve the Communication of Requirements Planning staff and the City Administrator are asked to evaluate potential amendment to our code that would reduce the time and level of authorization to facilitate smaller, more modest development proposals. In their evaluation, they would make comparisons to other communities and analysis of past site plan projects in the City, and use an approach that maintains a higher authority and process burden for larger projects involving policy decisions compared to smaller, more modest development proposals. DC-4 (20-0595) Resolution to Support Washtenaw County and Shelter Association of Washtenaw County (SAWC) as a Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Appropriate $250,000 for Current and Future COVID-19 Shelter Response (8 Votes Required) A budget amendment would allocate $250,000 to support Washtenaw County and Shelter Association of Washtenaw County (SAWC) for current and future COVID-19 shelter response. This will cover costs incurred in March and April and, moving forward, help provide the 25% local match for FEMA reimbursable expenses for County support and SAWC’s operations. DC-5 (20-0605) Resolution to Promote Safe Social Distancing Outdoors in Ann Arbor Staff would review best practices for social distancing on sidewalks, bike lanes, and local roads and identify the feasibility and methods to use part of City streets to expand safe social distancing for pedestrians and cyclists, through shared or dedicated roadways. An online public engagement tool would allow input so that recommendation and implementation strategies would be reported to Council by June 15, 2020. DC-6 (20-0581) Resolution to Approve a Request from The Regents of the University of Michigan for a New Resort Class C Liquor License with a Dance/Entertainment Permit to be Located at 500 E. Stadium Boulevard The Regents of the University of Michigan would be granted a New Resort Class C Liquor License with a Dance/Entertainment Permit to be located at 500 E. Stadium Boulevard. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has an existing Class C liquor license for the University of Michigan Golf Course, including the indoor and outdoor service areas of the Richard L. Postma Clubhouse. U of M would continue to serve alcohol to guests in the Postma Clubhouse banquet space and allow golfers the opportunity to purchase alcohol. DC-7 (20-0610) Resolution to Move Forward with Lane Closures/Road Closures and Open Streets City staff would temporarily be given authority to reconfigure roads to allow for safe social distancing and enhanced community well-being. An electronic resident/business request driven tool would be made available as soon as possible in order to process requests. DC-8 (20-0601) Resolution to Accept the Final Report of the Center of the City Task Force The final report of the Center of the City task force would be accepted by the City: a vision for flexible, adaptable and sustainable public spaces that are inclusive and welcoming to everyone. DS-1 (20-0521) Resolution No. 4 - Confirming the Barton Drive Water Main Replacement & Resurfacing Project Special Assessment District No. 55 - Brede to Pontiac This is the same as PH-9 above. DS-2 (20-0522) Resolution No. 4 - Confirming the Barton Drive Water Main Replacement & Resurfacing Project Special Assessment District No. 60 - Barton/Starwick Intersection This is the same as PH-10 above. DS-3 (20-0523) Resolution No. 4 - Confirming the Nixon and Traver Sidewalk Gap Project, District 56 (8 Votes Required) This is the same as PH-11 above. DS-4 (20-0524) Resolution No. 4 - Confirming the Fuller Court Sidewalk Gap Project, District 57 This is the same as PH-12 above.


Additional thoughts…

There has been some community conversation about the potential need to improve the social distancing environment for pedestrians and cyclists using our sidewalks and roadways. MLive published an article this week about CM Griswold’s outreach to residents and ongoing work with staff to contemplate this issue:

https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2020/04/should-ann-arbor-close-streets-to-cars-and-open-them-to-pedestrians-cyclists.html


I have my own personal observations as a cyclist and pedestrian during this pandemic. To me, it feels relatively easy to step out of the way when I encounter another person on the sidewalk; I regularly see pedestrians walking in residential streets because cars are so few and far between. Lately, there is so little vehicular traffic that I can bike in the roadway without anxiety, too. I’ve not identified any pinch points where people and cars and cyclists are competing dangerously for space, but I’m only one person and I’m certainly not experiencing every location in town. I appreciate CM Griswold’s efforts to collect resident input on this issue and work with staff toward solutions.


At our meeting this week, Council considers two resolutions on the topic of social distancing and our sidewalks/roadways. The DC-5 resolution was developed in collaboration with staff over the last few weeks. The DC-7 resolution was added to our agenda late, on Friday (apparently in response to DC-5). For DC-5: all of the WHEREAS clauses (stating goals and purposes) were written by CM Griswold and all of the RESOLVED clauses (directing strategies and timeline) were written by City staff. Because DC-5 was the result of Council/Staff collaboration and DC-7 is a late (spontaneous) idea, I’m told that there was a meeting this weekend to reconcile the issue into a single, comprehensive approach. I expect that by Monday, Council will be ready for a thoughtful conversation that acknowledges the work of staff on DC-5.



Thank you for helping me represent Ward 4!

Elizabeth Nelson ENelson@A2gov.org


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

Elizabeth NELSON

DEMOCRAT for Ann Arbor City Council Ward 4

  • Email
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Elizabeth Nelson 

PO Box 2243. Ann Arbor. MI 48106-2243