Downtown Apartments to Have Public Hearing

Planning commission to consider 156-unit project
Notice of public hearing on Oct. 7 held by the planning commission. In the background, fans of State Radio with Bongo Love in line at the Blind Pig

Notice of public hearing on Oct. 7 held by the planning commission. In the background, fans of State Radio with Bongo Love in line at the Blind Pig

Here at The Chronicle, we enjoy gleaning information off ratty telephone poles, whether it’s a flyer about an upcoming show played by Tokyo Sex Whale or something a bit more staid – like an announcement of a planning commission public hearing. The planning commission’s notices are easy to spot: bright orange poster board strapped to a nearby vertical object with gray duct tape. This public hearing concerns the Ann Arbor City Apartments project, which is coming before planning commission proposed as a Planned Unit Development (PUD).

The text of the poster reads:


Public Hearing

Has been scheduled for the following petition: Ann Arbor City Apartments PUD Zoning + Site Plan: 156 dwelling units, 244 public parking spaces

The city planning commission will hold a public hearing for this petition on Oct 7, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in city hall, 100 N. Fifth Avenue, council chamber, second floor.

Additional information is available in planning and development services, 994-2800, sixth floor, city hall (100 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48107). All testimony regarding this petition should be filed in writing with planning and development services before the date of the hearing or presented in person at the time of the hearing.)

Date Posted 9-30-08

Not on the poster is the fact that the extension of the option-to-purchase agreement with developer of the project, Village Green Residential Properties, LLC was used as political leverage in March of this year, when councilmembers Steve Kunselman, Sabra Briere, Ron Suarez, and Mike Anglin banded together to vote against the extension. Needing eight votes to pass, the resolution to extend the option to purchase failed.

Councilmember Stephen Rapundalo, who joined his colleagues in voting no, brought back the resolution for reconsideration at the next council meeting in April (which under council rules was his privilege, having voted with the prevailing side). The resolution then passed, with one revision to the language: the proceeds from the purchase would be deposited into the general fund. Because the proceeds were a part of the funding plan for the proposed construction of a new police-courts facility (opposed by those voting no on the Village Green extension), deposit into the general fund would require at least the additional step of transfer from the general fund into a construction fund – a step that would provide a potential opportunity deny the police-courts project part of its funding.

Caught in the middle of the political maneuvering was Jon Frank, representing Village Green Companies, who came to the March council meeting and spoke during public commentary, making himself available to council for any questions they might have had about the City Apartments project.

Council had no questions for Frank about City Apartments that evening. Just as yesterday evening The Chronicle had no questions about the proposed development for Blind Pig patrons lined up for the show. The Blind Pig is across the street from the project site, which is currently serving as a surface parking lot. Fans were waiting to see State Radio with Bongo Love, which has added a second engagement tonight (Oct. 1) with doors opening at 8 p.m.

One Comment

  1. October 1, 2008 at 2:38 pm | permalink

    State Radio on myspace:

    Few bands are as outspoken and thought-provoking as State Radio, the musically inventive, socially and politically charged trio fronted by Chad Stokes. With its sophomore album, Year Of The Crow, the group–rounded out by bassist Chuck Fay and drummer Mad Dog–matches its conscience-raising messages with an inspiring amalgam of rock, punk and reggae that is as distinctive as it is sublime.

    For U.S. concert-goers, Stokes was first known as the voice behind agit-prop outfit Dispatch, a band that sold a whopping 600,000 albums by word of mouth. Although the outfit’s six-year tenure ended in 2002, its members have reunited for noble causes, including 2007’s epic three-night sold-out stand at Madison Square Garden to benefit the plight in Zimbabwe. In lieu of college, Stokes lived in Zimbabwe during his eighteenth year, and the experience not only galvanized his songs, but it also shaped his life with a commitment that is as strong as ever.

    Simply stated, it is impossible not to be moved by the sounds emanating from State Radio, whether it’s the genocide in Darfur, which is told through the eyes of a young boy on the alluring, rhythmic “Sudan,” the explosive, edgy, reggae-laden “C.I.A.” or the steamrolling rallying cry for justice known as “Unfortunates.”