City Place PUD Fails

Development gets no votes from council
Scott Munzel, attorney for Alex de Parry on the City Place PUD application, discusses the signatures on the petition with Jayne Miller, director of community services with city of Ann Arbor.  Eagle-eyed readers of the Chronicle will know what kind of pass is hanging around Miller's neck.

Scott Munzel, attorney for Alex de Parry on the City Place PUD application, discusses the signatures on the petition with Jayne Miller, director of community services with city of Ann Arbor.

The City Place PUD application failed on an 0-10 vote (councilmember Sandi Smith was unable to attend the meeting due to family illness).

This, after neighbors had successfully petitioned to force the PUD proposal to achieve an 8-vote majority (instead of a simple 6-vote majority).

The late-hour petition resulted in a motion by coucilmember Stephen Rapundalo to postpone for two weeks, but that motion was supported only by the two councilmembers seated to Rapundalo’s left – Leigh Greden and Christopher Taylor.

Additional reasons for postponing included a desire to see commitments to affordable housing written into the development agreement.

In the end, the 8-vote requirement was moot.

Details of the deliberations to follow in a Meeting Watch report.


  1. By Bob Martel
    January 6, 2009 at 10:05 am | permalink

    Good, I’m glad they did this. I always thought that this property should be a purely public facility like a park or green way with a rail stop should that ever materialize. We won’t need any more condos downtown for quite some time.

  2. January 6, 2009 at 12:25 pm | permalink

    You’re thinking of the 415 W. Washington project. City Place is the proposed apartment building on S. Fifth.

  3. By Bob Martel
    January 6, 2009 at 1:47 pm | permalink

    Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification, Bob.

  4. By Duane Collicott
    January 6, 2009 at 10:57 pm | permalink

    What’s a PUD?

  5. By Dave Askins
    January 6, 2009 at 11:06 pm | permalink


    The letters stand for “planned unit development.” It’s a mechanism by which a project, which does not conform to the existing zoning standards, can still be approved if in the judgment of city council, there is sufficient public benefit from the project to compensate for the harm it causes by not meeting the existing zoning standards.

    The earlier caucus preview article gives a bit more insight, but here’s the relevant code definition:

    5:10.27. PUD planned unit development district. (1) Intent. The purpose of this district is to permit flexibility in the regulation of land development; to encourage innovation in land use and variety in design, layout and type of structures constructed; to achieve economy and efficiency in the use of land, natural resources, energy and the provision of public services and utilities; to encourage provision of usable open space and protection of natural features; to provide adequate housing, employment and shopping opportunities particularly suited to the needs of the residents of the city; to expand the supply of affordable housing for lower income households and to encourage the use, reuse and improvement of existing sites and buildings which will be developed in a compatible way with surrounding uses but where the uniform regulations contained in other zoning districts do not provide adequate protections and safeguards for the site or surrounding area. The district is intended to accommodate developments with one or more land uses, sites with unusual topography or unique settings within the community or sites which exhibit difficult or costly development problems or any combination of these factors. This zoning district shall not be allowed where this zoning classification is sought primarily to avoid the imposition of standards and requirements of other zoning classifications or other city regulations rather than to achieve the stated purposes above.

  6. By Stew Nelson
    January 7, 2009 at 10:11 am | permalink

    Maybe we should change it to FUD? Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.