At their meeting Monday evening, Ann Arbor City Council is slated to a discuss a series of issues, including pedestrian safety, finding a new city administrator, and taking measures to protect birds. 

Pedestrian Safety and Access Task Force

At a session earlier this month, the council heard recommendations of the Pedestrian Safety and Access Task Force, which released an extensive study on pedestrian safety in Ann Arbor.

Recommendations included education efforts on traffic laws, improving physical conditions of the roadway and initiatives to reduce distracted driving.

The task force also recommended increasing regulations and ordinances regarding snow and ice removal in the winter to increase pedestrian safety.

Council will vote on the recommendations Monday.

City Administrator search

Council will also consider a resolution to approve the Council Administration Committee’s recommendations for the search for a new city administrator.

The committee doesn’t have final say on who will be selected and approved — that ability rests with the council members — but they are charged with finding at least three finalists who are suitable for the role.

Current City Administrator Steve Powers announced he was leaving the position in late August to accept a position as city manager in Salem, Oregon. Powers, after slightly more than four years in the position, will officially vacate the post in November.

The council has appointed Tom Crawford, the city’s chief financial officer, to serve as an interim city administrator, effective Nov. 18.

Support for Safe Passage Great Lakes Days

A resolution to support the Safe Passage Great Lake Days is also up for consideration.

In 2009, the Ann Arbor joined other Michigan cities in passing Safe Passage resolutions, which makes the periods between March 15 and May 31 and between Aug. 15 and Oct. 31 designated as Safe Passage Great Lakes days. Since birds use light to navigate, residents of Ann Arbor are encouraged to turn off lights above the fifth floor of buildings on those days between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Birds can often be confused by well-lit urban areas, 

The council will vote on the most recent addition to this resolution, which says the city should advise individuals to always turn off lights when they leave a building.

The resolution also encourages awareness of the problems light poses for birds and asks citizens to find ways to light their office buildings and homes at night that will conserve more of it.

Resolution to approve first site plan of First Street Housing

The council will be reviewing the first site plan for a new housing development on First Street.  The development would be a 47,1400-square-foot residential building with 25 dwelling units. There is also a plan to build a parking lot for approximately 35 vehicles underneath the apartments.

The City Planning Commission met Aug. 18 to discuss the housing development plan. They amended the site by including rooftop hookups, which could be used to house solar panels in the future.

The commission then recommended that council approve the plan because the development would comply with local, state and federal laws. They also said the development would not present a public nuisance, nor would it limit the disturbance of natural features.

The building received approval from the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office and the Systems Planning Staff, meaning the building would not pose a major threat of increasing flooding or stormwater runoff in the area.

Monday’s City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Larcom City Hall.

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