At their Dec. 3, 2013 meeting, Ann Arbor planning commissioners finalized a set of recommendations to revise parts of the city’s downtown zoning. Those recommendations will now be forwarded to the city council, possibly at its Jan. 20 meeting. The commission also reviewed and approved the updated 2015-2020 capital improvements plan (CIP).
At their Nov. 19, 2013 meeting, Ann Arbor planning commissioners adjourned after midnight before completing their final recommendations for city council on downtown zoning changes. Commissioners OK’d a restaurant expansion at Briarwood Mall, and a four-story addition to the Montgomery Building in downtown Ann Arbor, but postponed action on a proposed expansion at Germain Motors on South State.
After a final debate at their Nov. 20, 2013 meeting, Washtenaw County commissioners adopted the 2014-2017 general fund budget, an unprecedented long-term document that some commissioners believe will improve strategic investments and organizational stability. However, it’s likely the budget will be amended soon, as negotiations with the sheriff continue in an attempt to lessen the proposed cuts to public safety. The 2014-2017 budget also reflects a new approach to strategic investing based on “community outcomes.”
The main agenda item at the Nov. 19, 2013 meeting of the Ann Arbor park advisory commission was a project that PAC had acted on over a year ago: The relocation of tennis courts at Windemere Park. Based on feedback from residents, PAC voted to hold another public meeting and possibly reconsider its earlier recommendation. Commissioners also got an update on the first four months of the fiscal year, with forecasts of higher-than-expected revenues and lower costs than budgeted.
Following about three hours of debate and some minor amendments at their Nov. 6, 2013 meeting, Washtenaw County commissioners gave initial approval to the proposed four-year general fund budget, for the years 2014-2017. The 7-2 vote came over the dissent of Dan Smith (R-District 2) and Ronnie Peterson (D-District 6), who cited concerns over a budget cycle extending for four years rather than two. The board also handled several other major action items, including approval of an increase to the Act 88 tax for economic development, and approval of a tax-sharing agreement for the Pittsfield Township State Street corridor improvement authority.