Sustainability Added to Ann Arbor Master Plan

A sustainability framework has now been formally adopted by both the Ann Arbor city council and the city planning commission, making it a part of the city’s master plan. The council’s vote came at its Feb. 19, 2013 meeting, while the planning commission had taken action at its Jan. 3, 2013 meeting. The vote by the planning commissioners was unanimous, as was that of the city council.

The item had originally been on the planning commission’s Dec. 4, 2012 agenda. Action was postponed at that time, after some commissioners raised concerns regarding a goal for high-performance buildings.

The city has been developing this framework for nearly two years. In June of 2012, the planning commission had recommended approval of the 16 overarching sustainability goals, which are organized into four categories: resource management; land use and access; climate and energy; and community. In September, commissioners voted to disseminate the framework to neighboring jurisdictions, which was a necessary step on the path toward including it in the city’s master plan.

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?

The sustainability framework will become the seventh element of the city’s master plan. Other elements are: (1) land use; (2) downtown plan; (3) transportation plan; (4) non-motorized plan; (5) parks and recreation open space (PROS) plan; and (6) natural features master plan.

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]