Ann Arbor OKs Receipt of Greenbelt Money

An award of $202,370 from the Federal Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program (FRPP) has been accepted by the city of Ann Arbor in action taken by the city council at its Aug. 8, 2013 meeting.

Ann Arbor greenbelt properties. Data from the city of Ann Arbor mapped by The Chronicle on Aug. 3, 2013 with

Ann Arbor greenbelt properties. The map shows properties currently protected through Ann Arbor’s greenbelt program (smaller green areas) in the context of the greenbelt boundary (larger squarish region). Lodi Township covers the southwest corner of the greenbelt boundary area. (Data from the city of Ann Arbor mapped by The Chronicle on Aug. 3, 2013 with

The award of FRPP money came in the context of the city’s greenbelt program, supported by a 0.5 mill tax approved by voters to acquire development rights on land to preserve open space.

At its Feb. 19, 2013 meeting, the council had approved an application to the FRPP for the purchase of development rights on two properties in Lodi Township – the 78-acre Donald Drake Farm on Waters Road, and for a 90-acre property owned by Carol Schumacher on Pleasant Lake Road. The city of Ann Arbor was notified recently that for the two properties, a total of $202,370 in matching dollars had been approved to fund the purchase of development rights – $50,960 for the Drake property and $151,410 for the Schumacher land.

In other greenbelt-related action taken by the council on Aug. 8, the appointment of John Ramsburgh to the city’s greenbelt advisory commission (GAC) was confirmed. The item had been postponed from the council’s July 15 meeting, which is customary for appointments to GAC. It’s one of the few boards or commissions whose members are nominated by the city council not the mayor. The usual two-step process associated with appointments – nomination at one council meeting followed by confirmation at the subsequent meeting – is mirrored for GAC appointments by postponing action on a resolution appointing a representative until the following meeting.

Ramsburgh is a development officer with the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science & the Arts. He also is the son of Ellen Ramsburgh, a long-time member of the Ann Arbor historic district commission, and its former chair. He is filling a position previously held by Dan Ezekiel, who was term limited.

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]