Council Capsule: June 16, 2015

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 12:32 am
By: 
Alice Dreger

Image: City Council last night

Watch Council: You can watch a videotape of yesterday’s Council meeting for yourself by clicking here.

Present: Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Councilmembers Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

Absent: Mayor Nathan Triplett was absent because he was meeting with Delta Township about the Lansing area Taxi Authority.

Councilmembers unhappy with MSU's response on Red Cedar Neighborhood: As we reported, at last week’s meeting of City Council, all five Councilmembers signed a letter to the MSU Board of Trustees asking them to take seriously concerns on the part of the Red Cedar Neighborhood with regard to development planned by MSU at the site of the old State Police headquarters. Council has now received a response and two Councilmembers, Kathy Boyle (who organized the letter) and Ruth Beier, expressed serious frustration with MSU’s response. See our special report.

Reports from Councilmembers, City Manager, and City Attorney: Councilmember Susan Woods told Council she was happy to announce that “a dream of mine” that she had “mentioned in my campaign” was coming to fruition: a street dance party to welcome back students and to bring them together with other community members in the fall. The event is planned for Friday, September 18, from 5-11 pm in Lot 1 downtown. There will be a tent as for the Jazz Festival. Woods said that the City Manager, City planners, the Responsible Hospitality Commission, the Downtown Management Board, and the East Lansing Police Department are all working on this. She said the event will include two cover bands, two DJ’s, and a “headliner” who will be paid for by Pat and Trish Reilly, owners of Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub.

Acting City Manager Tim Dempsey reported that 13 of the City’s senior administrators and directors participated in a simulated emergency operations center training.

Councilmembers Boyle and Beier limited their remarks to the Red Cedar Neighborhood/MSU Trustees dispute, so their remarks are covered in that special report. The mayor was absent, as noted, and the City Attorney had no report.

Communications from the public: No individuals came forward to speak to Council but the agenda packet included a number of written communications from the public. Included in the June 16 packet (available here) was a series of communications on the Red Cedar Neighborhood dispute with MSU on development (see our special report); two letters from Robert Phipps of the Phipps Company expressing concerns about planned development next to Brookfield Plaza set to be 6 stories tall about three foot from the property line as well as very close to the sidewalk (see pp. 4-7 of the packet); and a letter from Mazin and Mary Heiderson objecting to the exclusion of Highland Avenue from the resurfacing plan for the Chesterfield Neighborhood (see pp. 31 of the packet). Included in the June 9 packet was a letter from Bailey resident Sally Silver regarding the question of removing the landmark and historic district status of 343 MAC Avenue. (On that issue, see our report.)

Consent agenda: The following items were approved on a consent agenda, which means they were approved as a block with no discussion:

  • Approval of reappointment of George Lahanas to the Local Development Finance Authority for a full term ending June 30, 2019.
  • Approval of reappointment of Nathan Triplett to the Local Development Finance Authority for a full term ending June 30, 2019.
  • Approval of reappointment of John Czarnecki to the Building Authority for a full term ending June 30, 2020; see memo.
  • Approval of reappointment of Chuck Peterson to the East Lansing-Meridian Water/Sewer Authority for a full term ending June 30, 2015; see memo.
  • Approval of the appointment of Justin Hodge to the Human Relations Commission for a partial term ending December 31, 2017; see memo.
  • Approval of the appointment of Kacie Kefgen to the Housing Commission for a partial term ending December 31, 2015; see memo.
  • Approval of the appointment of Mike O'Callaghan to the Housing Commission for a partial term ending December 31, 2016; see memo.
  • Approval of the appointment of Robert Scheuerman as an alternate to the East Lansing/Meridian Water- Sewer Authority board.
  • Approval of a Partnership Agreement with the Michigan Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) to implement a "Pathway to a Healthier Michigan" grant program and authorize the City Manager to sign. The City of East Lansing will receive $24,340 for programs and activities that will run from June 2015 through October 2016; see the memo and the agreement.
  • Introduce and refer to Planning Commission Ordinance No. 1347; a City-initiated Ordinance to restrict dwelling units in multiple-residential and business district to a maximum of four bedrooms; see the memo and the ordinance.
  • Introduce and refer to Planning Commission Ordinance No. 1348; a City-initiated Ordinance to set a minimum building height of four-stories or 64 feet in the B-3 District; see the memo and the ordinance.
  • Introduce and set a public hearing for August 4, 2015 to consider a Special Use Permit application from Sixty North, LLC to convert the building at 855 Grove Street for use as a Sorority with occupancy for up to 50 persons. See the staff memo, revised request, and staff report.
  • Approval of a right-of-way agreement for MNC East Lansing, LLC d/b/a Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Cheez, located at 547 E. Grand River Avenue; see the application.
  • Approval of a request by the Michigan State University (MSU) Museum to close streets and parking lots, use amplified sound and regulate vendors within the festival site for the Great Lakes Folk Festival, August 6-7, 2015.
  • Introduce and refer to Planning Commission Ordinance No. 1349; a city-initiated ordinance to amend the language of the zoning code to allow for additional uses in the Community Facilities District; see the staff memo and the ordinance.
  • Approval of a resolution to support submission of a Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Transportation Economic Development Category A grant application for the reconfiguration and extension of Wilson Road as necessary to support the FRIB Development on the campus of Michigan State University; see the memo.
  • Approval of Policy Resolution 2015-8; a resolution amending PR 2013-6, a resolution establishing liability insurance requirements; see the memo.

 

Reminder: You can communicate with Council in person at its weekly meetings or write to Council directly at council@cityofeastlansing.com. You can speak or write on any issue involving the City, not only what is on the published agenda.

 

 

 

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