Welcome to my Ann Arbor City Council newsletter, where you can connect with primary sources to understand the work of your local government. My goal is to provide clear explanations of all the issues your elected representatives will be discussing at their next meeting and alert you to local policy and decisions that have been assigned to unelected Mayoral appointees.
This week, City Council considers an extremely long agenda: 30 items on the consent agenda, alone. Highlights include final approval for ordinances related to pet stores, impounded bicycles, and the repeal of an ordinance requiring landlords to share local voter information with tenants. Council will also consider final approval of a rezoning at 721 S Forest and amendment to the conditional zoning of 1140 Broadway. At first reading, Council will consider ordinance amendments concerning household items left on the public right-of-way and law enforcement policy around traffic stops. This week’s meeting is on Tuesday, due to the Juneteenth holiday.
In Case You Missed It…
On my YouTube channel, you can find recordings of public meetings that are open to attend live (online or in-person) but are not made available by the City to view later. Please reach out if you have suggestions about public meetings that should be recorded. Subscribe to my YouTube channel if you would like to be alerted to new content as it gets added.
Council Administration Committee: June 13, 2023
This is a recording I made of a Zoom audio meeting held on Tuesday, June 13, 2023 by the Ann Arbor Council Administration Committee. Video was not made available. Note that the Zoom audio began shortly after the meeting started.
Council Policy Agenda Committee: June 15, 2023
This is a recording I made of a Zoom audio meeting held on Tuesday, April 20, 2023 by the Ann Arbor Council Policy Agenda Committee. Video was not made available.
Ann Arbor City Council Meeting Agenda
Below is my summary of issues on the City Council Agenda this week, with links to more information about each of them. If you have comments about any of these issues, you can email all of Council at CityCouncil@a2gov.org
Ann Arbor City Council Meeting
Tuesday June 20, 2023 7:00PM
Ann Arbor City Hall (2nd Floor)
301 E Huron St, Ann Arbor 48104
The full agenda (including a link to the latest published PDF agenda, and instructions for dialing into the meeting) is on the A2Gov Legistar website:
City Council meetings are broadcast live by CTN on Comcast (channel 16) and AT&T (channel 99) and online at a2gov.org/watchCTN
Meetings are also streamed live on the CTN YouTube channel:
How to reserve public comment
People that wish to comment at a City Council meeting must sign up with the City Clerk’s office in advance. Speakers are allotted 3 minutes, with the first 15 speakers allowed to speak in a 45 minute session near the beginning of the meeting. Remaining speakers will speak at the end of the Council meeting. Public comment can be made either in person or remotely via phone/Zoom audio.
To sign up for public comment, please go to or call the City Clerk’s Office at 734-794-6140 on the day of the meeting between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. At 4:00 PM, all speakers that have signed up are randomly ordered in “priority groups”. After 4:00 PM, speakers are added to the end of the applicable priority group in the order received. No new speakers will be added to the list after 5:00 PM. For more information, visit the City Clerk’s webpage about electronic meetings, section “City Council Public Commentary Time”
Questions to the Agenda
In preparation for a Council meeting, Council members can ask questions of staff about scheduled agenda items. Questions must be submitted by noon on the Wednesday before a Council Meeting, and answers are returned the next day (Thursday) by 5pm.
AC-1 (23-1111) Agenda Response Memo and eComments – June 20, 2023
This agenda item has a PDF attachment with all questions raised by Council Members, and the answers provided by staff.
Communications from the Mayor
MC-1 (23-0952) Appointments – Confirmations
This appointment from the Mayor was presented at the previous meeting, and will therefore be voted on at this Council meeting.
- Jacob Sendra – Energy Commission Youth Member
MC-2 (23-1079) Nominations and Appointments for June 20, 2023
This appointment from the Mayor is being presented at this meeting, and will therefore be voted on at the next Council meeting.
- Fang Zhang – Public Art Commission
Below is the list of items included on the Consent Agenda. If no one on Council specifically requests that an item be pulled for discussion, the whole of this list will be approved in a single vote.
CA-1 (23-1025) Resolution to Approve Closing Maynard Street between East Liberty and East William Streets for the Firefighter Spray Park in the District on Friday, July 14, 2023
CA-2 (23-1029) Resolution to Approve Street Closures for the A2 Artoberfest from 7:00 AM on Friday, October 27, 2023 through 9:00 PM on Sunday, October 29, 2023
CA-3 (23-0951) Resolution to Accept a Fair Food Network Grant for the Ann Arbor Farmers Market for $50,000.00 and Appropriate Funds (8 Votes Required)
CA-4 (23-1021) Resolution To Approve Amendment No. 1 to the Professional Services Agreement with Wade Trim Associates, Inc. for Gallup Park Vehicle and Pedestrian Bridge Design RFP No. 22-51 ($341,127.06)
CA-5 (23-0785) Resolution to Approve Discharge of Prohibited Restrictions from Allmendinger Park Deeds
CA-6 (23-0911) Resolution to Approve Temporary Outdoor Sales, Service and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages during the 2023 Ann Arbor Art Fair
CA-7 (23-0909) Resolution to Approve the Public Defender Services Contract with Washtenaw County ($210,621)
CA-8 (23-0910) Resolution to Approve an Agreement with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office for Weapons Screening Services in the Justice Center (NTE $245,000.00)
CA-9 (23-1020) Resolution to Approve the Ann Arbor Affordable Housing Millage Fund Grant Agreement Between the City of Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Housing Commission, and the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation
CA-10 (23-0972) Resolution to Approve Insurance Policy Renewal Agreements with Midwest Employers’ Casualty for Excess Worker’s Compensation Coverage (estimated annual premium of $201,932.00) and Allianz for Auto Physical Damage Coverage effective July 1, 2023 (annual premium of $101,474.00)
CA-11 (22-1973) Resolution to Approve Amendment Number 2 to the Professional Services Agreement with OHM Advisors for General Engineering Services ($106,500.00 Amendment; $706,500.00 Total Contract)
CA-12 (23-0751) Resolution to Approve the Installation of Traffic Calming Devices on Granger Avenue (Packard Street to State Street) ($198,000.00) and to Appropriate $110,000.00 from the County Mental Health Millage Fund Balance (8 Votes Required)
CA-13 (23-0870) Resolution to Approve a Construction Contract with Z Contractors, Inc. for the 2190 South State Street Retaining Wall Replacement Project, RFP 23-11 ($179,746.05).
CA-14 (23-0921) Resolution to Approve a Construction Contract with Cadillac Asphalt, LLC for the Ellsworth Road Resurfacing Project (RFP No. 23-23, $1,003,000.00)
CA-15 (23-0873) Resolution to Approve Bulk Chemical Purchases for the Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants of Sodium Hypochlorite (JCI Jones Chemical – Approximately $350,000.00/year), Hydrofluorosilicic Acid (Alexander Chemical- Approximately $39,576.00/year), Pebble Quicklime (Graymont – Approximately $860,000.00/year) and Ferric Chloride (PVS Technologies – Approximately $140,300.00/year) (estimated $1,389,876.00/year)
CA-16 (23-0877) Resolution to Approve Purchase of Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda) for Water Treatment from JCI Jones Chemicals, Inc. (ITB 4730, Estimated $450,000.00/year)
CA-18 (23-0912) Resolution to Accept Grant Award from the Michigan Office of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) ($491,122.00) for the PFAS Treatment Drain Upgrade Project, to Approve a Related Grant Agreement, and to Appropriate $291,000.00 from the Water Supply System Fund Balance (8 Votes Required)
CA-17 (23-0955) Resolution to Approve Change Order No. 5 with Weiss Construction Co. LLC, for the Barton Pump Station Valve Improvement Project ($590,960.00 Increase, Total Contract Amount $5,637,998.50) and to Appropriate $600,000.00 from the Water System Supply Fund (8 Votes Required)
CA-20 (23-0900) Resolution to Authorize the Purchase of Gasoline and Diesel Fuel for the City’s Fleet for Five Years Beginning FY2024
CA-19 (23-0920) Resolution to Approve the First Amended and Restated General Services Agreement with Recycle Ann Arbor (RAA) for Operation of the Drop-Off Station (Total Estimated Contract Value is $120,000.00 for two years)
CA-21 (23-0902) Resolution to Authorize the Purchase of Vehicle and Equipment Fluids for the City’s Fleet for Five Years Beginning FY2024
CA-22 (23-0903) Resolution to Authorize a Sole Source Purchase Order to Interstate Trucksource, Inc., of Romulus, Michigan, for Fleet Parts and Service (Not to Exceed $60,000.00)
CA-23 (23-0905) Resolution to Authorize a Sole Source Purchase Order to Fredrickson Supply LLC, of Wyoming, Michigan, for Fleet Parts and Service (Not to Exceed $90,000.00)
CA-24 (23-0906) Resolution to Authorize a Sole Source Purchase Order to MacQueen Equipment, LLC of Lake Orion, Michigan, for Fleet Parts (Not to Exceed $110,000.00)
CA-26 (23-0967) Resolution to Authorize the Purchase of One Front Load Refuse Truck from MacQueen Equipment, LLC (Sourcewell – $455,200.00)
CA-25 (23-0907) Resolution to Authorize a Sole Source Purchase Order to AIS Construction Equipment Corporation, of New Hudson, Michigan, for Fleet Parts and Service (Not to Exceed $70,000.00)
CA-27 (23-0960) Resolution to Approve a General Services Agreement with LGC Global Energy FM, LLC for Janitorial Services at the Ann Arbor Municipal Center, Wheeler Service Center, Water Treatment Plant, and Various Parks Locations ($1,140,000.00) RFP #23-28
CA-28 (23-0897) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with Harper Electric Inc. for On-Call Electrical Services (Not to Exceed $450,000.00) RFP #23-26
CA-29 (23-0950) Resolution to Approve a Professional Services Agreement with Liberty Security Group Inc. for Guest Services at the Guy C. Larcom City Hall ($345,000.00) RFP #23-29
CA-30 (23-0958) Resolution to Amend Ann Arbor City Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (8 Votes Required)
Anyone wanting to comment on these issues may speak for 3 minutes, without having specifically reserved time. Issues subject to public hearing will also be up for a vote by Council later in the meeting.
PH-1/B-1 (23-0640) An Ordinance to Amend Section 10:176 of Chapter 127 (Bicyclists) of Article III (Impounding) of Title X (Traffic) of the Ann Arbor City Code (ORD 23-16)
An ordinance amendment will clarify that bicycles impounded by the Ann Arbor Police Department may be sold at public sale or they may be donated to a charitable organization, such as Common Cycle Community Bicycle Repair, a local nonprofit.
PH-2/B-2 (23-0934) An Ordinance to Repeal Section 8:525(2) of Chapter 105 (Housing Code) of Title VIII (Building Regulations) of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (ORD-23-17)
An ordinance requiring landlords to provide their tenants with local voter registration information will be repealed. This is in response to court decisions that invalidated similar laws in Minneapolis and St. Paul (Minnesota), declaring them unconstitutional. Similar ordinances in East Lansing and Ypsilanti are currently the subject of litigation. City staff report that the Ann Arbor ordinance is not actively enforced and other methods of voter outreach are more effective.
PH-3/B-3 (23-0971) An Ordinance to Add Chapter 92 (Humane Pet Acquisition) to Title VII of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor (ORD-23-18)
An ordinance amendment will prohibit the sale of dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, long-lived birds, or large reptiles at pet stores, the roadside, public rights- of-way, commercial parking lots, outdoor special sales, swap meets, flea markets, or other similar events in the City of Ann Arbor. Animals may only be sold on the premises of a breeder, by a publicly operated shelter or rescue organization, or private nonprofit rescue organization. Pet stores may provide space and care for animals owned by a shelter/rescue organization, for the purpose of adoption.
Existing pet stores may continue sales for one year after the effective date of this ordinance. At the 6/5 Council meeting, it was explained that there are currently no pet stores in the City of Ann Arbor that will be impacted by this ordinance.
PH-4/B-4 (23-0643) An Ordinance to Amend Chapter 55 (Zoning), Rezoning of 1.2 Acres from R4C (Multiple-Family Residential) to PUD (Planned Unit Development District), 721 South Forest PUD Zoning and Supplemental Regulations, 721 South Forest (CPC Recommendation: Approval – 6 Yeas and 2 Nays) (ORD-23-15)
A parcel of 1.2 acres at 721 S. Forest will be re-zoned from R4C to Planned Unit Development (PUD) to permit the construction of a 12 story building with 228 residential units: 733 bedrooms in a mix of studio and one to six bedroom units. The PUD also includes 95 parking spots, rooftop pool, and a small retail space of less than 5,000 square feet. Supplemental regulations include a requirement for 15% affordable affordable units or payment in lieu. The developer has offered payment in lieu of $4.7 million to the Affordable Housing Fund and an additional $50,000 to the Ann Arbor Housing Development Corporation.
Multiple City departments recommended denial of the rezoning in a staff report: https://a2gov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=11951361&GUID=C8CEABF7-30ED-4283-89D0-618401EADBEF
From the report:
- Planning – Planning staff does not support the project as presented. While the site plan proposal does offer some positive aspects, the substantial increased height and massing over the Land Use Plan recommendation, the surrounding zoning district and the adjacent historic neighborhood is a significant hurdle to overcome.
- Office of Sustainability & Innovations (OSI) – OSI Staff does not support approval of this project. While LEED Silver certification is welcome, LEED does not inherently meet the strategy goals of the A2 ZERO plan and in some instances falls short of what is needed to move Ann Arbor successfully toward carbon neutrality by 2030.
PH-5/DB-1 (23-0915) Resolution to Approve 721 South Forest PUD Site Plan and Development Agreement, 721 South Forest (CPC Recommendation: Approval – 6 Yeas and 2 Nays)
The PUD site plan and Development agreement for 721 S. Forest includes details about the proposed 12 story building. (See B-4) A ground floor “bicycle room” will hold 62 bicycles with two charging stations for electric bicycles. A public sidewalk will be widened from the site north to Forest Court. The developer has promised to purchase “offsets” – Renewable Energy Certificates representing green energy for 100% of the building’s energy consumption for 10 Years – but this is not part of their petition and not required.
Ordinances – Second Reading
In order to amend the city code, Council must vote to approve the change, via ordinance, at two Council meetings. The following proposed ordinances were approved at a previous Council meeting, and are also subject to a public hearing as listed above.
DB-1 (23-0915) is the same as PH-5 above
Ordinances – First Reading
In order to amend the city code, Council must vote to approve the change, via ordinance, at two Council meetings. The following proposed ordinances are being introduced for “first reading”. If approved, the ordinance will be voted on at a subsequent Council meeting (“second reading”), where it will also be subject to a public hearing.
C-1 (23-1022) An Ordinance to Amend the Zoning Map, Being a Part of Section 5.10.2 of Chapter 55 of Title V of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor, Zoning of 6.4 Acres from C1A/R With Conditions (Campus Business Residential District) to C1A/R With Conditions As Amended (Campus Business Residential District), 1140 Broadway/Beekman on Broadway Rezoning (CPC Recommendation: Approval – 9 Yeas and 0 Nays)
The Conditional Zoning Statement of Conditions for 1140 Broadway/Beekman would be amended, lifting the requirement that a future building conform to a site plan previously approved. In 2018, the 6.4 acre property was rezoned from PUD (Planned Unit Development) to C1A/R with conditions, including a site plan that would attach to the zoning designation. The development at 1140 Broadway is comprised of three buildings, two of which are already built. The amended conditional zoning will apply to the third building and “enable significantly more dwelling units to be constructed within approximately the same approved building mass.”
C-2 (23-1103) An Ordinance to Add Chapter 124 (Initiation of Traffic Stops) of Title IX (Police Regulations) of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor
An ordinance amendment will specifically prohibit law enforcement from making traffic stops based solely on the following circumstances:
- Cracked/chipped windshield
- Loud exhaust
- Tinted windows
- Object hanging from rearview mirror (unless obstructing vision)
- Cracked tail lamp
- Registration plate violations (lighting, height, attachment)
- Registration sticker location or expiration within prior 60 days.
Law enforcement may stop, detain, or issue a citation for the offenses above if:
- The motor vehicle has been lawfully stopped for another civil infraction or criminal offense.
- It is a commercial motor vehicle
- The driver or vehicle matches the description of a driver or vehicle involved in a criminal offense
- The officer is investigating a traffic crash.
C-3 (23-1110) An Ordinance to Amend Section 2:1 and Add Section 2:13 to Chapter 26 (Solid Waste Management) of Title II (Utilities and Services) of the Code of the City of Ann Arbor
The City ordinance for Solid Waste management will add a category – “Household Items” – that may be placed on the curb (public right of way) for up to 48 hours for the purpose of donation or re-use. The ordinance cites examples of “Household Items” in good condition (suitable for re-use) that may be placed in the public right-of-way. Toxic, hazardous, construction, commercial, and demolition waste are specifically prohibited. The City reserves the right to remove any item that’s an interference to use or maintenance of the public right-of-way, a safety hazard, or otherwise not in compliance with the definitions for “Household Items.” In order to prevent illegal street parking or blockage of bike lanes, residents and property owners consent to the use of their driveways by anyone interested in viewing or taking an item. Within ten feet of a crosswalk or sidewalk/road intersection, household items may not exceed three feet in height.
Motions and Resolutions
The following agenda items are motions and resolutions, which are approved or rejected in a single meeting. Agenda items marked “DC” are proposed by Council members, items marked “DB” are proposed by City boards and commissions, items marked “DS” are proposed by City staff.
DC-1 (23-1011) Resolution to Appoint Benjamin Calderon to the Historic District Commission (7 Votes Required)
This appointment from the Mayor was presented at the previous meeting, and will therefore be voted on at this Council meeting. 7 votes are required because the appointee is not a registered elector of the City.
- Benjamin Calderon – Historic District Commission
DC-2 (23-1063) Resolution to Direct the City Administrator to Engage with the Federal Government on the Redevelopment of Federal Plaza at 200 East Liberty Street
The City Administrator is directed to engage with the federal General Services Administration (GSA) to develop portions of the right of way along the 200 block of East Liberty Street for a new and expanded federal plaza.
DC-3 (23-1072) Resolution to Ensure Transparency, Non-discrimination, and Equal Opportunity in Municipal Contracting and Procurement Practices
The City Administrator is directed to implement a process for the collection of demographic information for all contractors, suppliers of goods, and service providers who submit bids or proposals to supply goods or services to the City beginning in Fiscal Year 2024. This information will be collected but “not directly factored into decisions to approve contracts.”
DC-4 (23-1082) Resolution to Correct the Adopted Ann Arbor City Budget for Fiscal Year 2024 by Increasing the FY 2024 Major Street Fund Approved Revenue Budget by Appropriating $2,657,371.00 from the Major Street Unobligated Fund Balance (8 Votes Required)
The budget for FY 2024 (approved 5/15/23) will be amended to correct a clerical error that failed to program the planned use of fund balance for capital improvements. The Major Street Fund budget will be amended to add $2,657,371. The total FY 2024 Major Street Fund revenue budget will be $16,746,599.
DC-5 (23-1096) Resolution to Authorize Acquisition of an Easement for the South Boulevard Water Looping New Construction Project and the South Boulevard Lift Station Elimination and Gravity Sewer New Construction and Replacement Project (8 Votes Required)
The City will acquire a utility easement at the northeastern edge of Woodbury Gardens, abutting Coler Street and South Boulevard. The easement is needed in order to construct a sewage lift station. Two projects related to this easement – South Boulevard Water Looping project and South Boulevard Gravity Sewer and Lift Station Elimination project – will address “significant water quality issues” in the area. The City Administrator and City Attorney are authorized to determine final boundaries of the easement and make a good faith written offer of just compensation to the property owner, based on an appraisal.
DC-6 (23-1074) Resolution in Support of an RFP Issuance for the Unarmed Response Program
The City Administrator is directed to issue an RFP (Request for Proposals) in order to procure a a third party to implement an Unarmed Response program in the City of Ann Arbor.
In April 2021, Council directed the City Administrator to develop a program of Subject Matter Expert response (or report on obstacles to creating one) by December 2021. The report in response to that resolution can be found here:
In April 2022, Council allocated $3,500,000 of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the development of an Unarmed Response program. In June 2022, Council approved a $99,918 contract with Public Sector Consultants (PSC) to conduct community engagement around an unarmed crisis response program. In October 2022, the PSC contract was amended to add $5,000. In March 2023, PSC issued a report, which can be found here:
DC-7 (23-1105) Resolution to Authorize Settlement of Christine Harris v. City of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County Circuit Court Case No. 20-000265-NO
The case of Harris v City of Ann Arbor will be settled for $99,000. In 2019, Christine Harris suffered severe leg and ankle injuries from falling off a motorcycle as it hit a pothole on a street in Ann Arbor. The City has agreed to pay Harris $99,000 “without an admission of liability on the part of any party.”
More information about the case:
DC-8 (23-1120) Resolution to Allow Curbside Placement of Household Items to Promote the Circular Economy
By resolution, Council directs the Community Standards unit of the AAPD to comply with the terms of ordinance amendments contemplated in C-3. The terms of the ordinance amendment will be observed prior to Council approval and effective date.
Ann Arbor City Council Theater
In April 2022, Ann Arbor City Council approved allocating $1.6 million dollars in American Rescue Plan funds to a Universal Basic Income Program, in order to provide direct aid to families. On June 5, 2023, City Council approved an agreement with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan to use these funds for a Guaranteed Income program and academic study titled “Increasing Economic Security through Payments to Small Business Entrepreneurs.”
Watch Ann Arbor City Council script and choreograph discussion of this issue in advance of a public meeting.
Links from the YouTube video description:
- Emails sent during June 5, 2023 Ann Arbor City Council meeting: http://a2gov.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=12076475&GUID=C0E6DD03-7D7C-4E7A-B48E-9EDC1F0EEE89
- January 12, 2022 City video presentation of Universal Basic Income proposal (2022): https://youtu.be/fBRPDvc3cR4?t=1663
- April 4, 2022 City Council resolution to allocate ARPA funds, including $1.6 million toward Universal Basic Income program: http://a2gov.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5534294&GUID=E5B3011D-DF6A-474F-A18E-AC754BA50E6E&FullText=1
- June 5, 2023 City Council resolution to approve Agreement with UM Poverty Solutions for use of the $1.6 million: http://a2gov.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=6228984&GUID=6CC3297A-BCA8-437A-8245-F965749517CF&FullText=1
Thank you for taking the time to be informed about our local government!