Comments on: Future of County’s Platt Road Site Debated it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Flo Burke Flo Burke Mon, 17 Feb 2014 21:07:07 +0000 Very interested in hearing more about the concept of affordable housing in that section of Platt Road. Last week I attended a meeting led by the A2 Housing Commission where there was a lengthy discussion re greatly increasing the number of public housing spaces in the 3451- 3457 area of Platt. When many of us in attendance at that meeting expressed concerns about those plans the director mentioned how few other places there were to consider in Ann Arbor. The site near County Farm seems a far better location for the badly needed housing. Glad to hear that so many good people are looking into adding housing there. I look forward to hearing more details about how the space could be developed so that it does not warehouse low income people and adds to the neighborhood.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Thu, 13 Feb 2014 16:07:51 +0000 Congratulations to the BOC for its process and result regarding the Platt Road property. Yousef Rabhi has been a leader in this from his very early days on the BOC and Andy LaBarre has also been a positive force. I was particularly glad to see Jeannine Palms on the committee (her community and environmental leadership is an asset that belonged here).

I’m curious about the outcome for the $3 million HUD Sustainable Community grant that you reference. This is the same grant that has paid in part for the ReImagine Washtenaw project. It envisioned affordable housing along the Washtenaw corridor (which the Platt Road location nearly fits) that was also energy-efficient. It was evidently intended for the west Jackson Road area. From the grant application:

A green affordable demonstration project will be developed on the west end of Washtenaw Corridor, in a more affluent area to expand fair housing choices and reduce poverty.

The City of Ann Arbor will develop the green affordable housing demonstration sites in partnership with an affordable housing developer. These sites will be co-designed by the community, using cutting-edge techniques that will likely require revision of the local building codes. The construction of these sites will provide a hands-on opportunity for the local community, low-income people, nonprofit housing developers, and the construction trades to learn how to incorporate green methods into affordable housing units. The City will follow the Enterprise Green Communities standards and the units will have a minimum of a 4-star+ Energy Star Rating. Reduced utility and transportation costs will reduce overall housing costs. At least 30% of the new construction housing will be visitable or universally designed by including elements such as grade-level entrances, 32-inch interior door widths, and accessible bathrooms. The site will be co-developed with the City of Ann Arbor Parks Department, which will create an entrance and bike/walking pathway into a large park that is adjacent to the site, to provide recreational access to the residents.

The City of Ann Arbor committed parks funds to this project, from both the acquisition and maintenance millages. It was just about the only cash matching funds provided by any of the participating municipality. But evidently the parks acquisition along Jackson did not materialize.

Questions: will this matching fund commitment from the City of Ann Arbor be necessary to use the HUD funds for the Platt Road project? Will the Platt Road project fulfill the promises made in the grant application? Will Council and PAC be involved in any designation of parks funds to that location?