Tuesday night’s regular East Lansing City Council meeting lasted nearly two hours, with much of the time devoted to ongoing concerns over residential permit parking (RPP) in Chesterfield Hills. For more information regarding that issue, see ELi's special report.
East Lansing’s City Manager George Lahanas announced today that a series of long-blighted commercial buildings on Grand River Avenue near Abbot Road will be demolished by the end of this year. According the announcement, the new owners of the “Big Bank Building” at the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Abbot Road and the commercial property between that structure and People’s Church have agreed to a “stipulation and consent order to demolish the properties” by December 31, 2016.
Above: The image taken by and mentioned at Council by Councilmember Erik Altmann.
When the application to open the Tin Can bar on Grand River Avenue came before the last East Lansing City Council in October, it led to a contentious 3-2 vote, with then-Mayor Nathan Triplett, then-Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, and City Councilmember Susan Woods voting in favor, and Councilmembers Ruth Beier and Kathy Boyle voting against.
On Tuesday evening, at the East Lansing City Council’s first special meeting to consider the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, City Manager George Lahanas told the Council that the City staff spent the last four weeks developing the proposed budget for the year running from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. It is now up to the Council to spend the next four to five weeks in deliberations on the matter. The Council currently plans to adopt the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget on May 24, 2016.
Above: Architect’s drawings of the plans for the redevelopment of the Bailey Community Center showing north and south sides
On Tuesday night, East Lansing’s City Council approved changes to the redevelopment plan for the Bailey Community Center and heard from City staff about plans for a daycare, playground equipment, and parking. City Council voted 4-0 to approve a revised application from Capital Area Housing Partnership (CAHP) for the property. (Mayor Mark Meadows was recused from the discussion and vote because he serves on the board of CAHP.)
Image: The leafed-out white oak tree of “White Oak Place” as seen from Spartan Avenue last fall.
Following a request by the developer Joe Goodsir, East Lansing City Council opted last night to defer decision-making on the White Oak Place project proposal until May 24. Mayor Mark Meadows said the delay will allow the City to seek its own environmental assessment of what is needed in terms of clean-up at the site, which includes a former gas station.
Above: Artist’s rendering of the proposed project as seen looking east from Spartan Avenue
If two votes go as expected, tonight East Lansing’s City Council will set a pair of public hearings for April 12 to consider a site plan and tax increment financing (TIF) plan for a major new apartment complex near Hagadorn Road. If built as planned, the project, a six-story mixed-used development to be named White Oak Place, will sit on the corner of East Grand River and Spartan Avenues, just west of Brookfield Plaza.
Bicycle advocates in East Lansing are concerned that CATA’s plan for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) does not include more and better provisions for bicycle use in the downtown East Lansing/Grand River Avenue corridor. But City Planning staff told Council last week that CATA it is doing what it can while being hampered by space and funding limitations.
Tomorrow at 4 p.m. marks the deadline for law firms to submit their proposals to become East Lansing’s latest legal representative. As ELi reported earlier, on February 2, absent public discussion of the matter, East Lansing’s City Council passed a resolution instructing the City Manager to issue a request for proposals.
Image: The audible crosswalk at Grand River Avenue and Division Street
East Lansing’s City Council met last night for a “discussion-only” meeting at the Hannah Community Center that lasted almost three hours. Mayor Mark Meadows was in attendance along with Councilmembers Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, and Susan Woods. Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier was absent.
Last night at its regularly-scheduled meeting, East Lansing’s City Council passed an ordinance that gives Council the ability to authorize the killing of deer by government-authorized hunters on City-owned land. Council members were divided on the question of whether organized culls should begin soon. A previous proposal had called for government-employed hunters killing as many deer as possible in East Lansing’s White Park and Harrison Meadows Park.