Planning Group OKs Sustainability Goals

A set of 16 sustainability goals could be incorporated into the city’s master plan, if the Ann Arbor city council follows a recommendation made unanimously by the planning commission at its June 5, 2012 meeting.

The commission voted to recommend sustainability goals in four categories: resource management; land use and access; climate and energy; and community. The goals were culled from more than 200 already found in existing city planning documents, as part of a project that began in early 2011. It’s been funded by the Home Depot Foundation grant. [.pdf of sustainability goals]

This work by city staff was initially guided by volunteers who serve on four city advisory commissions: park, planning, energy and environmental. Members from those groups met at a joint working session in late September of 2011. Since then, the city’s housing commission and housing and human services commission have been added to the conversation. A series of panel discussions on each category topic was held earlier this year, as was a public forum to solicit input.

Additional background on the Ann Arbor sustainability initiative is on the city’s website. See also Chronicle coverage: “Building a Sustainable Ann Arbor,” “Sustaining Ann Arbor’s Environmental Quality,” “Land Use, Transit Factor Into Sustainability,“ and “Final Forum: What Sustains Community?

Jamie Kidwell, who has served as the staff point person for this project, reported that four other commissions have already recommended approval of the goals. The housing commission will vote on a recommendation later this month. If approved, these relatively general goals would be fleshed out with more detailed objectives and action items.

This brief was filed from the second-floor council chambers of city hall at 301 E. Huron, where planning commission meetings are held. A more detailed report will follow: [link]