Stories indexed with the term ‘State Street Corridor Plan’

Pittsfield CIA to Capture County Taxes

Washtenaw County government will have a portion of its taxes captured by Pittsfield Township’s State Street corridor improvement authority (CIA), following final approval by county commissioners at their Nov. 6, 2013 meeting. The final vote was unanimous. An initial vote had been taken on Oct. 16, 2013, over dissent by Dan Smith (R-District 2).

The resolution authorizes the county administrator to sign a tax-sharing agreement with Pittsfield Township and the State Street CIA, which is overseen by an appointed board. [.pdf of agreement] The agreement would allow the CIA to capture 50% of any county taxes levied on new development within the corridor boundaries, not to exceed $3,850,464 over a 20-year period, through 2033. The purpose is to … [Full Story]

July 15, 2013 Ann Arbor Council: Final

After its Monday, July 15, 2013 session, the Ann Arbor city council will depart from the more familiar rhythm of meeting every two weeks – by pausing 24 days before its next meeting on Aug. 8.

Door to Ann Arbor city council chambers

Door to the Ann Arbor city council chamber.

The longer-than-usual break stems from the regular meeting schedule, which actually calls for a meeting on the first and third Monday of the month, not every two weeks. The traditional shift from Monday to Thursday to accommodate the Tuesday, Aug. 6 Democratic primary will add three more days to the break.

Two councilmembers have primary challenges this year – incumbent Stephen Kunselman is competing with Julie Grand for the Democratic nomination in Ward 3; and incumbent Marcia Higgins is competing with Jack Eaton for the Ward 4 nomination.

At its last meeting before the Aug. 6 election, the council’s agenda is relatively full. Dominant themes cutting across several agenda items are concrete and water.

In the category of concrete, the council will be asked to approve $15,000 for the design of a section of sidewalk along Barton Drive. The council approved similar design budgets for a sidewalk on Newport Road at its Jan. 22, 2013 meeting and for a sidewalk on Scio Church Road on Nov. 19, 2012. The interest in having sidewalks was supported by petitions submitted by adjoining property owners.

The council will also be asked to accept some easements and the dedication of right-of-way near the intersection of Platt Road and Washtenaw Avenue – in connection with the Arbor Hills Crossing development, where construction is well underway. A sidewalk is to be built along Platt Road as part of the intersection work.

Sidewalks also appear in connection with an agenda item that would approve a $212,784 engineering services contract with CDM Smith Michigan. The contract covers design for a street reconstruction project in the Springwater subdivision, located southeast of Buhr Park, south of Packard Road. The work is scheduled for FY 2014-16, and includes the construction of new sidewalks.

The council will also be asked to approve a $965,990 contract with MacKenzie Co. for street reconstruction between South University Avenue and Hill Street on Forest Avenue. The scope of the project includes the reconstruction of sidewalk.

Adding to the concrete on the agenda is the $1,031,592 construction contract with Krull Construction to build a concrete skatepark at Veterans Memorial Park. Among the features of the skatepark will be pools and bowls.

Although they won’t be skate-able, bowls show up in another agenda item that asks the council to approve $216,000 for renovations of 13 restrooms in the old city hall building. The bathrooms are 50 years old.

In the category of water, the council will be asked to approve a $33,743 annual contract with the Huron River Watershed Council to assist in compliance with the city’s stormwater permit from the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality. HRWC’s work includes public education efforts, water quality monitoring and reporting assistance.

Stormwater is also on the agenda in the form of a Stone School Road reconstruction project. Of the $4 million project total, $1.2 million of it involves stormwater work on the county drain north of Ellsworth Road between Varsity Drive and Stone School Road. The council will be asked to approve a petition to the office of the county water resources commissioner for a loan under the state’s revolving fund (SRF) program. If approved by the state, the loan repayment would come from the city’s stormwater fund.

A loan that’s already been secured through the SRF will pay for another item on the agenda – a $509,125 contract with Margolis Companies Inc. for the purchase and planting of trees, as well as stump removal along city streets. The stormwater fund is used for this work because of the positive impact trees have on stormwater runoff.

Water also shows up in a consent agenda item that asks the council to approve a $43,788 annual contract with the Ecology Center to give tours of the city’s materials recovery facility (MRF). The cost of the contract is split 60%-40% between the solid waste fund and the drinking water fund. The drinking water funding is related to a Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources requirement that the city engage in source water protection educational efforts.

Leftover business from the council’s July 1, 2013 meeting includes changes to the council’s rules and the approval of the State Street corridor plan. Rules changes include reductions in speaking times for public commentary as well as for councilmembers.

Details of other meeting agenda items are available on the city’s Legistar system. Readers can also follow the live meeting proceedings on Channel 16, streamed online by Community Television Network.

The Chronicle will be filing live updates from city council chambers during the meeting, published in this article “below the fold.” The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. [Full Story]

South State Street Corridor Plan Delayed

The addition of the South State Street corridor plan to Ann Arbor’s master plan has been postponed by the city council. The action to postpone took place at the council’s July 1, 2013 meeting.

The city planning commission had voted unanimously to adopt the plan at its May 21, 2013 meeting. More commonly when the planning commission votes on a matter, it’s to recommend action by the city council. For master plans, however, the planning commission is on equal footing with the council: both groups must adopt the same plan.

Planning commissioners and staff have been working on this project for more than two years. [For additional background, see Chronicle coverage: "State Street Corridor Study Planned," “Sustainability Goals Shape ... [Full Story]

July 1, 2013 Ann Arbor Council: Final

Land use is frequently a dominant theme of Ann Arbor city council meetings – and the July 1, 2013 meeting agenda fits that pattern.

Door to Ann Arbor city council chambers

Door to the Ann Arbor city council chamber.

The council will be giving final consideration to an ordinance change that expands the definition of “sidewalk” – to include any sidewalks the city has formally accepted for public use. The change has implications for owners of property adjacent to several “cross-lot paths” in the city – which are on the meeting agenda for acceptance for public use.

One consequence of the definition change is that those property owners will not be responsible for the repair of those paths – because the paths will be eligible for sidewalk millage repair funds. But the adjacent property owners would become responsible for clearing snow from the paths.

Also related to land use on the meeting agenda are rezoning requests associated with two proposed developments. Up for an initial vote is the rezoning from PUD (planned unit development) to D2 (downtown interface) for the parcels on North Main and Fourth Avenue where Kerrytown Place is planned. The 18-unit townhouse development is much smaller than The Gallery, for which the PUD zoning had originally been approved.

Also up for initial consideration is a rezoning request for 2271 S. State St., where the owner would like to be able to sell automobiles. The planning commission recommended denial of that request, in part because that land use was not felt to be consistent with the draft South State Street corridor plan. At its July 1 meeting, the council will also be asked to adopt that corridor plan.

The re-establishment of a citizens advisory committee on changes to R4C zoning in the city also appears on the meeting agenda. The origins of that committee date back to 2009. The reconstitution of the 12-member committee comes as the planning commission has recommended changes to R4C zoning that the council will be weighing – to decide if ordinance language should be drafted to reflect those changes.

Another committee with its origins in 2009 is set to be reconstituted at the council’s July 1 meeting, but it’s not related to land use. The council will be asked to re-establish a “mutually beneficial” committee to work through recommendations to changes in the city ordinance that regulates the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s tax increment finance (TIF) capture. The council has already given initial approval to some ordinance changes. Committee members will be working with their DDA counterparts with a two-month window of time – because the council has postponed final action on DDA ordinance changes until Sept. 3.

The council will also be asked to take an initial vote on a video privacy ordinance, having postponed that initial vote several times previously.

And finally, Ward 2 will not have a city council primary election a month from now, but it appears on the agenda in connection with polling places. The Precinct 2-8 polling location will be changed for all future elections to the First United Methodist Church on Green Road.

Details of other meeting agenda items are available on the city’s Legistar system. Readers can also follow the live meeting proceedings on Channel 16, streamed online by Community Television Network.

The Chronicle will be filing live updates from city council chambers during the meeting, published in this article “below the fold.” The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. [Full Story]