Stories indexed with the term ‘process’

Caucus: Heritage Row, Public Notice, Grass

Ann Arbor City Council Sunday night caucus (June 6, 2010): The council’s Sunday night caucus continued to draw little interest from the council itself, with only Mike Anglin (Ward 5) and Sabra Briere (Ward 1) attending.

The meeting, which is scheduled for the Sunday evening before Monday council meetings, is described on the city’s website as an opportunity “to discuss and gather information on issues that are or will be coming before them for consideration.”


Developer Alex de Parry hams it up with councilmembers Mike Anglin (Ward 5) and Sabra Briere (Ward 1) before the Sunday caucus got started. (Photo by the writer.)

Yesterday evening, what was on the minds of residents Ethel Potts, Tom Whitaker, Scott Munzel and Alex de Parry was an issue coming to the council for consideration today, Monday, June 7 – the Heritage Row project proposed for South Fifth Avenue, south of William Street. De Parry is the developer for that project and Munzel is legal counsel.

Kathy Griswold gave a report out from a recent meeting on the city’s urban forestry plan, which she had attended from the perspective of sight lines for traffic at intersections – vegetation can interfere with visibility.

During the discussion about vegetation on lawn extensions, John Floyd, who’s running for the Ward 5 seat currently occupied by Carsten Hohnke, arrived at the meeting. And Floyd was able to settle a point of good-natured disagreement on the status of corn as a grass. [Full Story]

Planning Commission: A Matter of Timing

Ann Arbor City Planning Commission (June 1, 2010): City planning commissioner Evan Pratt’s garden doesn’t have any deadlines attached to the work he does in it. So there might not be any corn this year, he says.


Mike Rein of Bowers + Rein spoke to the Ann Arbor city planning commission in opposition to eliminating time deadlines for planning commission and city council review of site plan submissions. (Photos by the writer.)

He was illustrating why he thought deadlines in the approval process for site plans and other petitions were a good idea.

But Pratt was the lone dissenter on the commission, which recommended that deadlines in the city’s zoning code be replaced with a standard of “reasonable time.”

The current deadlines apply to two different stages of site plan reviews. The first is the maximum time between the planning commission’s receipt of a report from city staff and the commission’s recommendation – 60 days. The second stage is the time between the planning commission’s recommendation and city council action – 30 days. The commission voted to recommend replacement of the deadlines with language that refers to a “reasonable” time.

Currently, if the bodies do not act within the prescribed time parameters, site plan petitions are considered to be recommended or approved automatically – by default. At its Tuesday meeting, the automatic approval language was recommended to be dropped from the city code.

The code changes regarding timing would now need city council approval in order to take effect.

The timing issue joins two other technical revisions to the city’s zoning code, which the planning commission voted to recommend at its previous meeting. Those revisions involve fee reimbursements associated with applications and a requirement that up-to-date drawings for site plans be publicly accessible 24/7 for a week prior to public hearings.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the commission also heard a presentation from the city’s environmental coordinator, Matt Naud, on the city’s environmental indicators. Part of the background of the presentation was a recent joint meeting of the city’s planning, energy and environmental commissions that focused on sustainability. [Full Story]