At its March 4, 2014 meeting, the Ann Arbor planning commission reviewed a gym expansion at Concordia University, a project that signals a larger effort to double the size of the current institution’s enrollment of 740 students. Commissioners also voted to support a recommendation that the city fill a vacant full-time position to focus on implementing the city’s climate action plan.
At a March 1, 2014 meeting, the subcommittee that’s been exploring possible organizational options for the Washtenaw County road commission recommended that it remain an independent operation, and not be absorbed into the county government. No recommendation was made about expanding the road commission board from three to five members, or about possible funding options. The recommendations will be forwarded to the county board of commissioners, which created the subcommittee last fall.
At its Feb. 19, 2014 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners gave final approval for broad community planning process for the future of county-owned Platt Road property, but postponed action on an appointment to a new Act 88 advisory committee. The board also approved a “fee holiday” for marriage licenses and authorized a new dental clinic in Ypsilanti for low-income residents.
At its Feb. 20, 2014 meeting, the Ann Arbor planning commission voted to revise its bylaws related to two issues: how city councilmembers interact with the commission, and public hearings. The commission also recommended rezoning a 2.2-acre parcel of donated land to public land. It will be added to the Stapp Nature Area on the city’s north side.
Work on a dramatic redesign to the front entrance of the downtown Ann Arbor library is moving forward, following action by the Ann Arbor District Library board at its Feb. 17, 2014 meeting. The work is being done by InForm Studio, and will likely be presented to the board for formal approval in April. The board also created a special committee to develop the 2015-2020 strategic plan, and approved revisions to more than a dozen library policies.
At its Feb. 6, 2014 working session, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners were briefed on services to the homeless by Ellen Schulmeister, executive director of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County. Also, Barbara Niess-May of SafeHouse Center, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, described funding cuts and asked the board to increase support for the nonprofit.
Continuing a discussion that began last year, Ann Arbor planning commissioners debated two aspects of their bylaws during a Feb. 4, 2014 working session, in preparation for a vote on proposed revisions at their Feb. 20 meeting. One revision relates to how city councilmembers interact with the planning commission. Another revision addresses public hearings.
At their Feb. 5, 2014 meeting, Washtenaw County commissioners gave initial approval to recommendations for the future use of county-owned property Platt Road, with a commitment to use part of the site for affordable housing. They also gave initial approval to create a new dental clinic for low-income residents, but postponed action on hiring a contract employee to help with budget-related work. Getting final approval were a countywide PACE program and a new dog licensing ordinance.