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R4C & R2A

June 18, 2013 Update
As you know, the Planning staff has been working on a study of R4C and R2A zoning regulations since early 2009. Staff led a pretty good public participation process and the citizens' committee made some important recommendations. Unfortunately, those recommendations have been altered by planning staff and the current proposals to revise the R4C zoning district include terrible amendments.

The email below is from Nancy Leff, who is active in the Lower Burns Park neighborhood group. She is seeking assistance in opposing the staff recommendations where those recommendations deviate from the citizens' committee report.

Importantly, the Lower Burns Park neighborhood is holding a short meeting in Rose White Park (Stadium Blvd, one block east of State St.) on Sunday June 23 at 5:00 pm. Please plan to attend and/or write your Council representatives to voice opposition to the staff proposals that disregard the citizens' committee recommendations.

I did not attached the documents that Nancy sent with her email. Instead, those documents are available by clicking the links at the end of this email.

From: Nancy
Sent: Friday, June 14, 2013 3:48 PM
To: lowerburnsparkneighborhoodassociation
Subject: Proposed R4C Rezoning- Meeting Sunday June 23 at 5pm Rose White Park

Hi LoBuPa and Others,

We would like to meet, 30 minutes max, Sunday, June 23 at 5pm in Rose - White Park (located between White St. and E. Park Pl. on Rose St. just north of Stadium Blvd next to the new Stadium Bridge) to discuss the potential rezoning aimed at student housing that City Council will soon be voting on.  Bring your own folding chair if you need a seat and a pen for signing a petition.

The Petition is attached as:

“We/I Reject Establishment and Designation of a new Student Zone Category and Reject the proposed No Limit on Lot Combinations for the proposed Student Zone Category, as part of the R4C-R2A City of Ann Arbor Planning Committee Recommendations”

The Planning Commission wants a specifically designated Student Zoning category and unlimited lot size combinations in this proposed new zoning category.

Can you come to hear a quick discussion of the pros & cons?  If you are persuaded that this is not a good idea for the neighborhood, we will have the petition for you to sign asking City Council to REJECT the City Planning Commission’s proposal to designate and define an official student zoning district with no lot size combination restrictions as follows:

 1. Planning Commission has recommended removing from the report by the CAC the setting of MAXIMUM SIZE OF LOT COMBINATIONS - 6525 sq. ft. of lot.  Planning Commission recommends NO maximum lot size for combinations in R4C.  Instead, Commission will at some point write standards by which Commission and Council can make case by case judgments.

2.   Planning Commission proposes a new zoning for a mapped area that is heavy with student rental houses. This zoning would have different standards, even premiums, to allow for "flexibility" to respond to the market.

I (Nancy Leff) was a member of the R4C-R2A Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC).  We met numerous times over the course of almost two years.  The Committee did NOT make a suggestion or recommend that a designated “Student Zoning Category” be established, nor did we suggest unlimited lot combinations.  The CAC did agree instead on a maximum lot combination size to prevent lot combination into large parcels. 

Here are three points that have been copied verbatim from the ALL Focus Groups Summary R4C R2A document, (which is attached and included comments from students, neighborhood associations, realtors, rental property owners and managers, UM focus groups, home owners, renters, among others) and contradict the Planning Commission’s proposed zoning and lot combination:
  • Support the Central Area Plan (CAP) and bring zoning into conformity with the goals of the plan – The CAP protects neighborhood interests and is pretty good as it is. 
  • Stick to the goals of the CAP. Protect, preserve, and enhance character, scale, and integrity to existing housing, recognizing distinctive character of each neighborhood. In some neighborhoods, rental housing does reflect the character of the neighborhood.
  • New construction and additions should fit into the scale and character of the surrounding neighborhood

I urge you to read this material and consider what it will mean to residents (home owners and renters alike) who live here, to the owners/property managers of small, single family type homes that are rental and income properties, and how the character of the neighborhood is likely to change due to this proposed zoning.  We will talk about these issues at the meeting.

If you are not able to attend and if you agree that these two aspects of the proposal should be eliminated:

Please print a copy of the petition, sign it, scan it, and email it back to me at:


Or drop a signed copy at my house:

                       1022 Granger Ave (pink stucco house at corner of Golden & Granger)

                Or just send an email to the effect that you support the petition                        

Please forward this message to any other groups or organizations who might be interested.

Thanks for your consideration.

Nancy Leff                                          Graydon Krapohl

1022 Granger Ave.                          1502 Golden Ave.

See the attached R4C-R2A proposal that the Planning Commission has approved and will present to City Council for a vote in the very near future:  “R4C R2A Planning commission report Apr. 5, 2013.

This is the link to the city’s page on the R4C-R2A study:

Below is a link to the recent article about the proposed zoning changes for LoBuPa and how high rise developments may change nature of urban neighborhoods such as ours:

Jack's links to Nancy's documents:

R4C-R2A Staff Report
Focus Group Summary
Map of Proposed Changes
Petition in Opposition to Proposed Changes

June 30, 2011 update. Without notice to the community members of the Committee, an announcement was made that the Advisory Committee was unable to reach agreement on recommendations for the R4C and R2A zoning districts. This Ann Arbor Chronicle article and the comments that follow the article describe the conclusion of the Committee's work.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 6:00 to 8:00pm. The R4C & R2A Zoning Advisory Committee will meet in the lower level of the Downtown Library. Planning Staff will present its DRAFT recommendations for changes to the zoning ordinance. Neighborhoods and landlords have vast areas of agreement, but the final product is in question because others have strong ideas about what should happen in these zoning districts. Click here for the city R4C/R2A web page.

R4C/R2A Recommendations - Recommendation report from the R4C/R2A zoning district study.

R4C and R2A Zoning District Study Advisory Committee

In a resolution passed during the Council's August 6, 2009 meeting, the Council created an advisory committee to study the R4C and R2A zoning districts. The resolution provided:

That the City Planning Commission and Planning staff are hereby directed
to work with the public to provide the City Council with a report and
recommendations for potential ordinance changes to the residential districts
within the Central Area in accordance with the attached process outline and

The Citizen Advisory Committee has met on eight occasions:
  1. September 22 at Cobblestone Farm.
  2. November 09, 2009;
  3. January 21, 2010;
  4. April 21, 2010;
  5. June 24, 2010;
  6. August 24, 2010;
  7. ??
  8. November 29, 2010.
Notes from each meeting are posed on the R4C/R2A web page linked at the bottom of this page.

The Council appointed the following individuals to the R4C & R2A Zoning District Study Advisory Committee:
• City Council Representative (1): Tony Derezinski
• City Planning Commission Representative (1): Jean Carlberg
• Rental Property Owner Representative (1):  Chuck Carver added 9/8/09
• Representative from each Ward (2 from each ward):
    1st Ward: Ilene Tyler, Dave Merchant
    2nd Ward: Wendy Carman, Carl Luckenbach
    3rd Ward: Ellen Rambo, Michelle Derr
    4th Ward: Julie Weatherbee, Nancy Leff
    5th Ward: Ethel Potts, Anya Dale

Click her to visit the City's R4C/R2A web page

Subpages (1): Amendments