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We moved some introductory material to the About SMG page.

Updates

November 8, 2018 The site plan for the Midtown Ann Arbor Condominiums is on the City Council Agenda for November 8. There will be a public hearing before the Council votes on the site plan.

Staff provided this response to my inquiry about the use of the narrow land bridge to connect the two sites:

You are correct, the City Code clearly prioritizes mitigation on site. Despite the non- rectilinear arrangement of this parcel, which is not replicated with significant frequency in the City, the proposed mitigation is meeting the standard set forth in code:

Chapter 55 - 5.23.9.F.5.a Mitigation shall be provided on-site where practical and beneficial to the Wetland Resources.

Mitigation efforts relating to sub-watersheds are a secondary standard, when accommodation on-site isn’t achieved. Findings of “inappropriate and impractical” only come into to play when other mitigation efforts have not been achieved.

As you note, the site contains three sub-watersheds, Honeycreek, Mallets Creek and Allen Creek; there are proposed disturbances of low-quality wetlands in each of the three sub-watersheds on the site. The proposed wetland mitigation area falls within the Honeycreek and Allen Creek sub-watersheds. Wetland mitigation is most successful when it is adjacent to an existing wetland, where the hydrology and soil supports wetland mitigation vegetation. The proposed wetland mitigation for Midtown Condominiums is proposed adjacent to existing wetlands, and thus the favorable technical review by City staff in this circumstance.


August 8, 2018 Planning Commission approved the site plan for a project called Midtown Ann Arbor Condominiums on August 8, 2018. The plan describes the project as follows:

"The petitioners are seeking approval to develop the 20.46 acre site and construct 256 dwelling units with 600 bedrooms in 17 buildings. The proposed density is 12.51 dwelling units per acre."

The set plan shows the wetland mitigation as being placed on property to the north of the church and to the east of Hansen Park.


The City code (and the recently adopted UDC) express a clear preference for wetland mitigation on-site. Where the mitigation is not feasible to avoid impact, the code requires mitigation to happen within the same sub-watershed as the displace wetland.

Chapter 60 (Wetlands Preservation Ordinance) of the city code, in section 5:213(2) says:
“ ... Mitigation shall not be considered when it is feasible and prudent to avoid impacts ...”
Chapter 60 section 5:213(5)(b) says that when mitigation isn’t provided on-site:
“ ... mitigation shall be within the same sub-watershed of the Huron River within which the proposed wetland use is located (i.e., the Allen Creek, Fleming Creek, Honey Creek, Malletts Creek, Miller Creek, Swift Run Creek, or Traver Creek sub-watersheds.”

The site plan seems to use an odd configuration where the remote mitigation site is connected with the actual project site by way of a narrow land bridge. I asked staff to inform me of any other site plan that has been approved using this method of connecting two separate areas with a narrow land bridge?

As you may recall, the project site is the point where there separate creek sheds originate - Honey Creek, Allen Creek and Malletts Creek. Placing mitigation of wetland destruction form one watershed to another is poor practice. Creating the artificial link between these sites is an attempt to remove the limitations for off-site mitigating.


Citizens Participation
On August 21, 2017, we received a post card announcing a public participation meeting for a new project on the the 42 North site. The meeting is scheduled for September 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Pittsfield Branch Library, 2359 Oak Valley Road.

https://sites.google.com/site/southmaplegroup/home/HH-1.jpg?attredirects=0
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Note: The 2015 proposed project site plan was withdrawn. Materials about that project have been moved to the Fifth Plan (2015) page. Click on that link or on the link in the menu to the left. If another project is proposed, we will post details here.
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On October 29, 2015 the developer sent an email to the city informing planning staff that the site plan was being withdrawn. Click here to see the email.