Heritage Row Row Row Your Vote: No

At its Dec. 6, 2010 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council was set to take a sequence of three votes on the Heritage Row PUD (planned unit development) project, which would have concluded with the scheduling of a reconsideration of the proposal as a first reading agenda item on Dec. 20.

However, in the first of the votes, Carsten Hohnke (Ward 5) cast a vote against suspending the council rules which would have allowed the project to be brought back before the council to be reconsidered. Of the four councilmembers who have voted against the project previously, Hohnke was widely understood to be the likeliest to change his vote. The Heritage Row agenda item was conspicuously absent from Hohnke’s monthly email update to constituents sent on Dec. 6, which was one indication before the meeting that he was not prepared to change his vote. The project requires a super majority of eight councilmembers for approval, due to a petition signed by a sufficient number of nearby property owners. Joining Hohnke in voting against suspension of council rules were Sabra Briere (Ward 1), Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3), Marcia Higgins (Ward 4), and Mike Anglin (Ward 5).

The residential project, located on the east side of South Fifth Avenue, would renovate seven houses and construct three new 3.5-story apartment buildings behind those houses, with an underground parking garage. The city council has already reconsidered the project once before – at its July 6, 2010 meeting. That reconsideration came after the council had initially rejected it on June 21 with a 7-4 vote in favor.

The revised proposal included the following revisions: (1) the top floor of the new south building would be removed from the design; (2) the density would be reduced from 79 units to 76 units and the number of bedrooms would be reduced from 154 to 147; (3) the project would include five affordable units at the 50% AMI (average median income) level, in addition to six affordable units at the 80% AMI level; and (4) the three new buildings would be LEED certified [.pdf of current proposal] Previous coverage: ”Heritage Row Redux: Again.”

This brief was filed from city council chambers. A more detailed report of the meeting will follow: [link]