At their April 15, 2014 meeting, Ann Arbor planning commissioners recommended approval for a “planned project” site plan at 515 Oxford – a house originally designed by architect George Brigham in 1940. The project will roughly double the square footage, including a large addition in the rear. Commissioners also granted a special exception use that will allow up to 20 residents of the Delta Gamma sorority to use the structure, which is designed as an annex to the main sorority house down the street.
At its April 2, 2014 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners discussed short-term needs and long-term strategy for dealing with homelessness. They were briefed on the 2013 audit, and gave initial approval to a two-year pricing proposal for police services. The board took final action to add autism coverage as a health benefit for employees, and moved forward a brownfield redevelopment plan for the Thompson Block in Ypsilanti. Action on a road commission resolution was postponed until May 7.
Continuing a process that began more than four years ago, members of Ann Arbor’s planning and energy commissions received an overview of the draft sustainability action plan and gave feedback toward finalizing the document. The joint working session, held on April 8, 2014, was led by the city’s sustainability associate, Jamie Kidwell.
The main discussion at the March 18, 2014 meeting of the Ann Arbor park advisory commission focused on implications from city council action regarding the Library Lane site – the surface of an underground parking garage. The council has voted to reserve part of that site as a public urban park, but PAC’s role in developing it is unclear. Commissioners also were briefed about volunteer efforts in the parks system, and voted to recommend applying for a grant to improve the trail system at Gallup Park.
At their April 1, 2014 meeting, Ann Arbor planning commissioners were briefed about proposed artwork on the East Stadium bridge. They also recommended approval of the site plan for a new Ruth’s Chris Steak House in downtown Ann Arbor, and voted to recommend ordinance changes related to drive-thru businesses.
Budget and finance issues were the focus of several items at the March 19, 2014 meeting of the Washtenaw County board of commissioners, including a report that the county saw a $3.92 million surplus for its general fund in 2013. Commissioners authorized the hiring of a contract employee who will support budget-related work this year, and got an update from their Lansing lobbyist, Kirk Profit, about how state action might impact future budgets. The board also appointed Bill McFarlane to the road commission, gave initial approval to provide autism coverage as an employee health benefit, and passed a resolution to oppose a mining operation in Lyndon Township, where the county parks system owns land.