At its May 16, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council gave initial approval to an amendment of its land use control ordinance that will establish design guidelines for new projects in downtown Ann Arbor, as well as a seven-member design review board (DRB) to provide developers with feedback on their projects’ conformance to the design guidelines.
All city of Ann Arbor ordinances require approval at an initial first reading before the council, a public hearing, and final approval at a meeting following the initial approval.
The timing of project review by the DRB will come before a meeting with nearby residents – which is already required as part of the citizen participation ordinance. While the DRB process is required, conformance with the recommendations of that body is voluntary.
The city council had previously approved the design guideline review program at its Feb. 7, 2011 meeting. The city planning commission unanimously recommended the change to the city’s ordinance at its April 5, 2011 meeting. [Previous Chronicle coverage, which includes a detailed timeline of the design guidelines work, dating back to a work group formed in 2006: "Ann Arbor Hotel First to Get Design Review?"]
This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]