Ann Arbor Area Community News
Earlier this Fall, the City Council approved a measure to reduce the requirement that developments in PUD zones (Planned Unit Development) make 20% of housing units “affordable”. The new requirement allows developers to pay into the city’s affordable housing trust fund instead of providing the units, with the city to use the money to subsidize affordable housing construction.
On Monday, 22 November, the City Council will hear two petitions from PUD developments hoping to modify their already-approved projects, and will hold public hearings on those petitions. The developers would like to add the new cash-out option to their existing approvals. The change would eliminate up to seven affordable units, 2 in the 1310 S. Main condo development and up to 5 in the Kingsley Lane development, and add up to $270,000 to the city’s housing fund.
Mayor Hieftje told urban planning students, before the election, that he supported the buy-out option as a way to provide the most affordable housing at the lowest cost, noting that the trust fund was more flexible, and could be applied towards the most cost-effective housing possible, rather than requiring developers to include the affordable housing—and possibly scaring off the developers with the cost of those units. Both of the petitioners to be heard on Monday have cited unexpected financial difficulties as the reason they are seeking the buy-out option.
More info on the proposals is available in the minutes from the Planning Commission meetings at which the proposals were first heard. The minutes can be read in the Council packet for Monday’s meeting (warning: a 234-page pdf). The proposals are items D-4 and D-5 on the agenda.
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