Council to discuss ordinance changes

By Jack Turman, Daily Staff Reporter
Published October 19, 2014

This week’s Ann Arbor City Council meeting will include discussion of resolutions regarding the closure of North University Avenue for a University of Michigan homecoming block party, approval of a state grant for improving routes to local schools and an ordinance to amend the city’s non-discrimination ordinance.

North University Avenue Closing

Councilmember Sabra Briere (D–Ward 1) is sponsoring a resolution to close North University Avenue between State and Thayer streets Friday, Oct. 31, for a Homecoming Block Party. The State Street Association and Ashley’s, a nearby restaurant, have requested the closure of this area.

The street closure will last from 2 p.m. until midnight, but the actual event will run from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., which allows time for setup and cleanup.

Grant to construct sidewalks

The Council will discuss approval of a grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation for the Clague Safe Routes to School Project. The project includes the construction of sidewalks along a portion of Nixon Road and the installation of a Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon on Green Road to improve the safety of students walking to and from nearby schools.

The project is funded by the Safe Routes to School grant, which covers 100 percent of eligible construction costs, and by the Alternative Transportation Fund and Special Assessments, which covers other project costs such as design and testing. The project is expected to total $221,067 and construction will start in 2015.

Non-discrimination ordinance

Councilmembers Jack Eaton (D–Ward 4), Sumi Kailasapathy (D–Ward 1), Christopher Taylor (D–Ward 3), Margie Teall (D–Ward 4) and Chuck Warpehoski (D–Ward 5), together with the city’s Human Rights Commission, sponsored an amendment to the non-discrimination ordinance. The ordinance currently does not comply with state law since affirmative action was banned by Proposal 2, a 2006 ballot initiative.

The amendment features extensive changes, such as clarification to some language throughout the ordinance, alignment of provisions with state and federal legislation and additional protections based on gender expression, veteran status, victims of domestic violence, political alignment, genetic information, arrest record and familial status.