What has been the Gatehouse Suites Extended-Stay Hotel in East Lansing will soon be converted to apartments under a redevelopment plan approved Tuesday night by East Lansing’s City Council. The plan received unanimous support by Council, with Mayor Mark Meadows and Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier telling the owner they see this as an opportunity to provide rental housing to non-students near campus.
Photo credit: Greg Thompson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia Commons
East Lansing’s City Council is set tonight to continue discussion of a possible deer cull in two City parks. In response to questions from Council members, City staff has prepared answers to questions about deer sterilization, whether organized kills will really reduce local populations, and whether it is possible to put reflectors on deer to reduce deer-car accidents. Tonight’s meeting could see a vote on an ordinance that would allow the culls to occur.
This week, the East Lansing City Council held its third in a series of dedicated meetings focused on developing Strategic Priorities for the City. All members of Council were present. This week’s meeting followed seven hours of presentations from City department heads and discussion among Council members at meetings on Saturday, January 9 and Tuesday, January 12, and included consideration of possible new initiatives for the City to undertake.
Facing numerous financial challenges—including the funding of MSU emergency services and substantial employee-related costs—City of East Lansing staffers and City Council members convened Saturday morning for a special budget meeting. The meeting, held at Hannah Community Center, included an overview of the City’s budget, a review of the City’s General Fund five-year forecast and discussion of preliminary budget assumptions for fiscal year 2017.
This Tuesday’s East Lansing City Council meeting began with a special presentation to recognize citizens who had recently completed serving two full terms on a City Board or Commission.
East Lansing’s municipal government encourages the active participation of its citizens through appointments to its 23 boards and commissions. These groups have varying scopes and responsibilities, with some meeting frequently and others annually or only as needed.
Logistical update: All Council members were present at tonight’s meeting, including Mayor Mark Meadows, Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Beier, and members Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, and Susan Woods. Before the meeting’s official start, Meadows noted that Tuesday’s meeting was being recorded and broadcast via fixed-position cameras in accordance with Council’s new schedule and frequency of video recording meetings, as previously reported by ELi’s Coleen Moyerbrailean.
Following the lead of other Michigan cities like Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, the City of East Lansing is gearing up to fight back to retain local control of its historic districts, even while some believe the districts impede productive redevelopment in East Lansing and elsewhere.
Townhouses on Albert Street (above), photo courtesy of Hagan Realty
In a pair of unanimous votes, this week East Lansing’s City Council put through a group of zoning changes that appear designed to encourage more housing for non-students in high-density areas of the City and to discourage housing of large number of students in single dwelling units.
Above: Tom Yeadon and the McGinty firm offices along Abbot Road
Without discussion, last night East Lansing’s City Council passed a resolution authorizing City Manager George Lahanas to put out a call for proposals for a new City Attorney. This follows the City maintaining no-bid contracts for counsel with the East Lansing-based McGinty firm since the 1960s. Tom Yeadon of the McGinty firm has acted as our City’s chief counsel since 2012.
Above: One version of what the City thought the East Village could look like if redeveloped
Tomorrow, the City of East Lansing will host the first meeting of the group convened by City Council to address landlords’ concern about the City telling them they may not make improvements on certain properties. Since 2011, the City has determined that landlords cannot make certain changes to their buildings if they are “nonconforming”—that is, if the buildings don’t meet the zoning for that property.