Ann Arbor planning commission meeting (June 7, 2011): The main action item on the planning commission’s agenda was a resolution to approve the site plan for Arbor Hills Crossing, a proposed retail and office complex at Platt and Washtenaw.
The project involves tearing down several vacant structures and putting up four one- and two-story buildings throughout the 7.45-acre site – a total of 90,700-square-feet of space for retail stores and offices. Three of the buildings would face Washtenaw Avenue, across the street from the retail complex where Whole Foods grocery is located. The site is also directly north of the new location for Summers-Knoll School. Planning commissioners had approved the Summers-Knoll project at their May 17 meeting.
Comments from commissioners about Arbor Hills Crossing ranged from disappointment in the lack of density to concerns about pedestrian safety. Commissioners generally expressed the sense that they were glad to see the site developed.
Citing some outstanding issues, planning staff recommended postponing action on the plan. Several commissioners raised other issues they’d like to see addressed before the site plans come back to the commission for approval. Among those issues: future plans for bike lanes along Washtenaw Avenue, as identified in the city’s non-motorized transportation plan; and possible pedestrian access to a wetland area. The vote to pospone was unanimous.
Later in the meeting, planning manager Wendy Rampson got feedback on a draft memo to Pittsfield Township, providing input from the commission on the township’s draft master plan. In part, the memo states an objection to the township’s description of itself as “providing an Ann Arbor mailing address while placing a much lower tax burden on businesses.” The memo points out that the plan could be improved by emphasizing regional cooperation.