Here at The Chronicle, we enjoy gleaning information off ratty telephone poles, whether it’s a flyer about an upcoming show played by Tokyo Sex Whale or something a bit more staid – like an announcement of a planning commission public hearing. The planning commission’s notices are easy to spot: bright orange poster board strapped to a nearby vertical object with gray duct tape. This public hearing concerns the Ann Arbor City Apartments project, which is coming before planning commission proposed as a Planned Unit Development (PUD).
The text of the poster reads:
Has been scheduled for the following petition: Ann Arbor City Apartments PUD Zoning + Site Plan: 156 dwelling units, 244 public parking spaces
The city planning commission will hold a public hearing for this petition on Oct 7, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in city hall, 100 N. Fifth Avenue, council chamber, second floor.
Additional information is available in planning and development services, 994-2800, sixth floor, city hall (100 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48107). All testimony regarding this petition should be filed in writing with planning and development services before the date of the hearing or presented in person at the time of the hearing.)
Date Posted 9-30-08
Not on the poster is the fact that the extension of the option-to-purchase agreement with developer of the project, Village Green Residential Properties, LLC was used as political leverage in March of this year, when councilmembers Steve Kunselman, Sabra Briere, Ron Suarez, and Mike Anglin banded together to vote against the extension. Needing eight votes to pass, the resolution to extend the option to purchase failed.
Councilmember Stephen Rapundalo, who joined his colleagues in voting no, brought back the resolution for reconsideration at the next council meeting in April (which under council rules was his privilege, having voted with the prevailing side). The resolution then passed, with one revision to the language: the proceeds from the purchase would be deposited into the general fund. Because the proceeds were a part of the funding plan for the proposed construction of a new police-courts facility (opposed by those voting no on the Village Green extension), deposit into the general fund would require at least the additional step of transfer from the general fund into a construction fund – a step that would provide a potential opportunity deny the police-courts project part of its funding.
Caught in the middle of the political maneuvering was Jon Frank, representing Village Green Companies, who came to the March council meeting and spoke during public commentary, making himself available to council for any questions they might have had about the City Apartments project.
Council had no questions for Frank about City Apartments that evening. Just as yesterday evening The Chronicle had no questions about the proposed development for Blind Pig patrons lined up for the show. The Blind Pig is across the street from the project site, which is currently serving as a surface parking lot. Fans were waiting to see State Radio with Bongo Love, which has added a second engagement tonight (Oct. 1) with doors opening at 8 p.m.