The addition of the South State Street corridor plan to Ann Arbor’s master plan has been postponed by the city council. The action to postpone took place at the council’s July 1, 2013 meeting.
The city planning commission had voted unanimously to adopt the plan at its May 21, 2013 meeting. More commonly when the planning commission votes on a matter, it’s to recommend action by the city council. For master plans, however, the planning commission is on equal footing with the council: both groups must adopt the same plan.
Planning commissioners and staff have been working on this project for more than two years. [For additional background, see Chronicle coverage: "State Street Corridor Study Planned," “Sustainability Goals Shape Corridor Study,” “Ideas Floated for South State Corridor.” and “South State Corridor Gets Closer Look.”]
Recommendations in the South State Street corridor plan are organized into categories of the city’s recently adopted sustainability framework: Land use and access, community, climate and energy, and resource management. Among the recommendations are: (1) Evaluate use of vacant parcels for alternative energy generation; (2) Evaluate integrating public art along the corridor; (3) Evaluate use of open land for community gardens; (4) Assess and improve high crash areas along the corridor; (5) create boulevard on State Street between Eisenhower and I‐94 to enable safer automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian movement; (6) Consider utilizing vacant parcels for athletic fields and recreation facilities; (7) Develop a pedestrian and bicycle path along the Ann Arbor railroad that will connect the planned Allen Creek bikeway to Pittsfield Township through the corridor; and (8) Resurface roads in the corridor.
Each recommendation includes several related action items. The report also provides a section that organizes the recommendations into each of three distinct sections of the corridor: (1) from Stimson on the north to Eisenhower Parkway; (2) from Eisenhower south to the I-94 interchange; and (3) from I-94 to Ellsworth. In addition, there are nine site-specific recommendations for areas including Briarwood Mall, the complex of hotels near Victors Way and Broadway, and the research park development near the corridor’s south end.
The postponement was requested by Marcia Higgins (Ward 4), who said she had concerns about adding it to the master plan.
This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]