Council Gives Initial OK for Sidewalk Repair Law

At its May 21, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council gave initial approval to a revision to the city’s sidewalk repair ordinance – in light of the voter-approved sidewalk repair millage, passed in November 2011. The basic idea is that for the period of the authorized millage – through fiscal year 2016 (which ends June 30, 2017) property owners will not be responsible for repairs to sidewalks abutting the property on which they pay taxes.

There are various wrinkles and contingencies in the revised ordinance for properties located within the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority tax increment finance (TIF) district.

Ann Arbor voters authorized an additional 0.125 mill to be levied as part of the street repair millage, which was also renewed at that election for 2.0 mills, for a total of 2.125 mills.

As part of the resolution passed by the city council to place the sidewalk millage question on the November 2011 ballot, the council directed the city attorney and other staff to provide the ordinance revision for the council’s consideration on or before Dec. 1, 2011. There was no comment at the council table about why the revision came to the council nearly half a year after the date specified.

As with all ordinance revisions, the council will need to vote a second time at a subsequent meeting, following a public hearing, in order for the ordinance to take effect.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]