Midtown Neighborhood

Midtown Neighborhood Association

Meeting Minutes

February 13, 2006

Harvey started the meeting at 7:15 PM. He introduced the agenda for the night. For attendance see attendance sheet.

Down zoning Discussion

Harvey: there was a city council meeting last week on down zoning. There was pre-planning at the NLDP.

Roberta: I had the first meeting at my house in January with hopes of meeting with the mayor. The meeting became ruckus with everyone expressing his or her views and we adjourned for another meeting. The second meeting was really productive. Everyone there - no one there was against down zoning. Everyone realized it was going to happen but some of the concerns were about in case of total loss; people with huge homes; the exact down zoning labels; and bad landlords. We came up with a bunch of ideas and one was the idea of the R-1A (accessory apartment for large houses). Rebuilding with a total loss that there would be w/ insurance and mortgage issues.

Out of that came a discussion that well, if we cut this out altogether- how does this prevent the landlord from making something unsightly? We came up with design issues for that. After that, I'm not sure what happened. There was a lot of miscommunication. I just want to make sure that me as a resident, and not as a landlord, goes on the record to say that the course of the meeting was to have a consensus, not be a landlord run meeting.

Joe (lives at 212 South Huron- owns 601 Emmet street, 209 N. Huron street): that was the first meeting I have ever attended where there was actual discussion to find common ground instead of speeches, etc.

Roberta: the mayor was very open and willing to come to my house and RachelÕs house after the meeting but nothing really happened after that.

Rachel: we were not going to be able to get consensus from the whole neighborhood until we were able to talk to the entire meeting.

Harvey: Some city council members didnÕt know the boundaries of our midtown association and didnÕt know who we were.

Joe: Let me tell you why IÕm here. There isnÕt time to go through all of the background but IÕm looking for a solution. I got a telephone from someone that I respect, and the mayor respects, I want to ask is there anyone that would not endorse the concept that owner occupied housing? If we accept that, would we agree generally that we donÕt need anymore? Everyone said yes.

Roberta: and landlords would benefit, the way the market is right now.

Joe: what markets hate the most is instability. What we have here is a completely destabilized situation, both for residential homesteaders and landlords. Having said that, here is the question: what if, Joe presented us w/ his new idea. University Area, Normal Park, and midtown: ALL R-1A. R-1A is a good idea. Joe says we should just go to the city council and figure it out.

Steve: R-2 is two units, no site plan revealed. R-3 allows three units and is not primarily residential.

Joe: And, the compromise would be for them to take everything else out (special use, etc.), Roberta and Robert: We can have design rules: you have to rebuild to look like a home in the neighborhood. But you can have the same number of apartments.

Rachel: Bill Nickels (swanson, and a staff) contacted her to say that the mayor has made a subcommittee to meet with any interested parties. The meeting is February 20th, next Monday, in the evening.

Harvey asked for a show of hands to see if everyone agrees. All hands were raised.

Eli said that he did have a concern about how this would reduce rental properties.

A further discussion ensued.

Steve Wild talked about how his two-nonconforming houses in Ann Arbor would sell for more if he did rebuild them as single homes. So you drive the market to stabilize it and to make fewer renters.

Opportunities for Involvement- "The ongoing teamwork in Midtown"

Harvey will look at the sign up sheet from last time. Rachel stated that we need to have a person signed up for party planning. (Please see minutes from the last meeting for further explanation of the subcommittee's).

Neighborhood Finance Report

Eli Morrissey deposited $95.00 today and so our current total is $265.00.

Next month begins the membership donation drive. Kristen and Eli will make a form for the website and put it up.

Just as a reminder: there is a proposed $10 per household minumum donation (voluntary but more is accepted).The thought was that Businesses (landlords/rental companies/restaurants) could also donate association fees and with their donation have a link on the website.

Neighborhood Incidents

Rodney Nanney asked for a 2nd volunteer for COPAC to be the alternative member. Roberta agreed to be the 2nd COPAC representative.

Police report: no reports of anything. The Officer asked us if we had any questions and Rodney noted the speeding on Summit Street. The Officer said that there is not much that can be done but that he will note it.


Rachel announced that she will be leaving Ypsilanti so she has to step down from the VP. She will have a party to sell her house. She noted that there are things that she has been doing that other people are going to have to take up: the university task force and following up with the Greek system participation.Everyone thanked her for her undying support of the neighborhood and wished her well.

Rodney brought up having the meetings changed to every other month and we said we would put it on the agenda. Kristen stated she wanted a more neighborly meeting and thus wanted it to continue each month. Paul suggested making the meetings be more ÒinformalÓ for the off months. You could have the sub committeeÕs meet as well as the leadership team and the public welcome as well.

New Business

Upcoming Meetings at the Senior Center

The meeting was adjourned at 8:36 PM.