Ann Arbor Area Community News
An item on tonight’s Planning Commission meeting is seeing a lot of neighborhood outcry,
Public Hearing and Action on 828 Greene Street Apartments Site Plan, 0.37 acre, 824 and 828 Greene Street. A proposal to remove the existing two houses and construct an 11,790-square foot, six-unit, three-story apartment building, and a ten-space parking lot â€“ Staff Recommendation: Approval
The petitioner noted, during the public hearing before the Commission, that the site plan, including parking, has been reviewed by the city’s planning staff, and that the proposal is following the staff’s recommendations.
In response, a string of neighbors and neighborhood association representatives have decried the plan, citing every imaginable excuse for not wanting student apartments (the petitioner “actually admitted that this is student housing – this is not useful to other people!” exclaims one neighbor). The hearing reads like a tutorial in how to attack student housing, and the neighbors seem skilled in the practice.
Complaints include noise, parking, litter, floodplain considerations, and sewer capacity. One speaker cites a problem with 36 bedrooms attracting boyfriends, girlfriends, family – with 36 residents quickly becoming 72 – while another claims that 6-bedroom units are hard to rent, and fears the property will go unfilled, and thus unmaintained, and will become an eyesore. One implores the Commission to demand the proposal be scaled back to affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments that “can help lower-income families get started in Ann Arbor.” Another, an architect, shows his modifications to floor plans, showing how the apartments could be divided up into even more bedrooms once approved, with just a few illegal wall additions.
The South Main Neighborhood Association representative claims, “I genuinely like students,” but not in her backyard. She defends her concern with the plans by saying she fears for the tenants’ quality-of-life, calling the building “a mini-dorm, without food service and without benefit of rules.”
After an hour of discussion, Commissioner Jean Carlberg moved to table the application, after support for the proposal from Carlberg and Chair Jennifer Hall failed to win over enough commissioners to pass the propsal.
The council meeting will be replayed on CTN Channel 16 at 10am Wednesday, November 17 and at 10am Saturday, November 20. The hearing on the 828 Greene apartments starts approximately half an hour into the Commission meeting.
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