In the final column for The Ann Arbor Chronicle, publisher Mary Morgan reflects on the past six years of publication and describes what the future might hold.
Action by Ann Arbor planning commissioners at their Aug. 19, 2014 meeting will allow two projects to move forward: a new “modern lifestyle health spa” on West Liberty, and a new location for the Community Music School of Ann Arbor. Commissioners granted special exception uses for both projects. They also recommended the annexation and zoning of 2115 Victoria Circle, a half-acre vacant site west of Newport and north of M-14.
Liberty Plaza was the focus of two items that appeared on the Aug. 19, 2014 agenda for the Ann Arbor park advisory commission: (1) extension of a fee waiver for events held at Liberty Plaza; and (2) feedback in response to city council action, which addressed Liberty Plaza and the potential park atop the Library Lane underground parking structure. PAC voted to form a subcommittee to study these issues based on increased programming at those sites, and to report back to city council by October 2015.
Continuing a tradition that began in 2011, The Ann Arbor Chronicle recognizes remarkable people and organizations in this community with the 4th annual Bezonki awards. The 2014 Bezonki winners were honored at an Aug. 15 reception: Ryan Burns, Linh and Dug Song, the Finding Your Political Voice program, Mary Jo Callan, Tom Fitzsimmons, and Jeannine Palms.
At their Aug. 12, 2014 working session, Ann Arbor planning commissioners gave feedback on new guides that staff have developed for residents and developers, aimed at improving communication about proposed development projects. The “Citizens’ Guide to Effective Communication” and “Developers’ Guide to Leading Effective Citizen Participation Meetings” were drafted by planning staff, based in part on suggestions from the planning commission’s citizen outreach committee.
A proposal to establish a county-issued ID card program is being reviewed by the board of commissioners, who were briefed on the recommendations of a task force at their Aug. 7, 2014 working session. A county identification card would allow residents who don’t have a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID to access services that require that kind of identification, like renting an apartment or opening a bank account.