In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Susan Pollay about development in downtown Ann Arbor and how it fits into a more sustainable future for the city. Susan Pollay is Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.
Ann Arbor City Council has once more postponed a decision on a policy to charge developers for the removal of on-street parking meters. Some fine tuning is expected before council votes on a policy to charge developers $45,000 if their project leads to the removal of on-street parking meters. The proposed policy was developed by the Downtown Development Authority in response to a growing number of parking meters being removed.
Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority has resolved a dispute with City Council on the replacement of lighpoles along Main Street by agreeing to fund the entire project. During the budget approval process in May City Council tweaked the DDA budget, leaving the city responsible for about $280,000 of the $580,000 cost to replace the poles that are rusting out at the base. In October however City Council failed to approve funding for their portion of the project.
DDA Board Chair Sandi Smith says this work is too important not to be completed. Smith says the additional funds will come from money leftover from a more than decade old State Street Improvements project, and next fiscal year's budget. She says based on how long the entire lightpole replacement project will take having the funds split between two budget years won't be a problem.
Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority has asked the city to commit the funds the DDA spent on the former YMCA lot to affordable housing projects. The DDA board yesterday passed a resolution to waive the reimbursement of their costs on the Y-Lot property, and encourage City Council to commit as much as possible to affordable housing as well.
DDA Board Member Keith Orr says to make a real impact on affordable housing as much money as possible is needed from the $5.25 million for the sale of the Y-Lot.
Ann Arbor City Council has delayed a vote on a proposed policy developed by the Downtown Development Authority to address the permanent removal of on-street parking meters. The two-week delay is so council can hold a public hearing on the issue.
The policy proposes a $45,000 fee per meter removed for reasons other than an overall benefit to the community.
DDA Executive Director Susan Pollay says the policy could help the DDA work with developers to get the best possible projects for all. Pollay says over the last few years about 150 parking meters have been removed for a variety of projects large and small. She says the policy includes an option for developers to appeal a fee to the city administrator to review if the meter removal is an overall benefit to the community.
A pair of consulting firms are working with Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority to create a framework to be used to make more active streetscapes. The DDA approved a $150,000 contract for the downtown street framework plan.
DDA board Member John Mouat says the framework will be designed so streets that face different challenges and issues can be tailored to meet their particular needs. He says the DDA, the city, or private developers should all be able to use the framework. Mouat says some additional civil engineering work may be done for the city to look at infrastructure under the streets.
A2 DDA approves expenditure for streetlight replacement project along main street, but expresses concerns over the city's request to fund three beat patrol police officers.
The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority has formally responded to one the funding requests that comes from the City of Ann Arbor. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, it also put off a decision on another request for money.
Ann Arbor City Council re-establieshes the "Mutually Beneficial Committee" with the DDA under the new name, "Joint DDA-Council Committee".
Ann Arbor city Council and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority will have reformed an old committee, with a new name and different method of operation. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the move last night comes as changes are considered to the ordinance that created the DDA.
Ann Arbor City Council meetings famously run long. Sometimes, meetings don't end until well after midnight. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, council tonight will consider some measures that may help shorten up the sessions.
If Ann Arbor City Council gets its way, there will soon be three, new beat officers patrolling the downtown area. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the council Monday night passed a resolution asking the Downtown Development Authority to provide the necessary funding for those positions.
Ann Arbor City Council will dip into fund balance a bit further next fiscal year to give a boost to affordable housing and human services. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, early this morning the City Council, passed an 83.1 million dollar general fund budget for the 2014 fiscal year.
Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority board members are speaking against a proposed city council ordinance amendment that would change the authority in several ways. Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.