Council Capsule: November 17, 2015

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 1:53 pm
By: 
Alice Dreger

Above: The “Little Bank Building” as seen from Evergreen Avenue, looking towards Dublin Square. This long-blighted building at the southwest corner of Abbot Road and Albert Street is set to be demolished soon.

Each week, East Lansing Info (ELi) brings you Council Capsule, our summary of what happened at City Council that week.

A new council, with a new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem: Newly elected Councilmembers Erik Altmann, Shanna Draheim, and Mark Meadows were sworn in by City Clerk Marie Wicks. They joined sitting Councilmembers Ruth Beier and Susan Woods. Mark Meadows was unanimously elected mayor, and Ruth Beier was unanimously elected Mayor Pro Tem. Various members of the public expressed their hopes and expectations. Read more.

“Little Bank Building” to be demolished: City Manager George Lahanas, responding to inquires from Beier, reported that the “little bank building” at 303 Abbot Road, in the blighted area, will be demolished within about 6 months. The building is owned by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Asbestos will first be removed, then the building will demolished sometime around May, 2016. Estimates are that it will cost about $150,000 to complete the demolition procedure. Read the history of this building’s (lack of) demolition here.

Deer debate continues: Much of the meeting was dedicated to debate and discussion of deer management in East Lansing. Read our special report.

Public comment: Written communication received by Council can be read here. Besides the comments covered in our other two reports on last night’s meeting, there were the following public comments:

Two representatives from the Citizen Climate Lobby asked for endorsement by Council of their work. The group lobbies members of Congress to pass a piece of national legislation, not yet introduced, called Carbon Fee and Dividend. It seeks to place a fee on fossil fuels at the source with the aim of ultimately making clean energies cheaper than fossil fuels. Money obtained from the fees would be returned to households as a monthly dividend check. The group estimates that two-thirds of households would come out ahead financially from this approach. Meadows said East Lansing’s Commission on the Environment would consider the requests from the group and advise Council on how to proceed.

In addition to his comments reported elsewhere, Jay Brant of Blanchard Drive gave a “shout-out” to ELi, saying the community is “fortunate” to have such an organization and that we did an “amazing job” during the elections. (This reporter had to wipe her eyes as a result of Brant’s kind remarks. The elections were objectively exhausting and stressful for this reporter and our Managing Editor.)

Consent agenda: The following items were passed on a consent agenda. Normally this occurs without further discussion, but in this case, there was some discussion of this agenda. See here for more details.

  • Approval of a request to close streets, use of amplified sound, and regulation of vendors at Annual Winter Glow event, December 5, 2015; read memo.
  • Approval of the Housing Commissions recommendation to approve a Class III conditional rental license for up to 2 unrelated persons or a family at 338 W Saginaw Street, Unit #41 with the condition that a local legal agent be on file.  The owner is Bagus D. Wijaya, Daly City, CA and the legal agent is Marketplace Homes, Livonia, MI. Read staff memo, staff report, application, and investigation report on renting without a license.
  • Approval of the Housing Commissions recommendation to approve a Class III conditional rental license for up to 2 unrelated persons or a family at 338 W Saginaw Street, Unit #16 with the condition that a local legal agent be on file.  The owner is Morning Star Glory, San Mateo, CA and the legal agent is Marketplace Homes, Livonia, MI. Read the staff memo, staff report, and application.
  • Approval Housing Commission recommendation to approve a Class III conditional rental license for up to 2 unrelated persons or a family at 3311 Wharton Street, with the additional conditions that the owner have a local legal agent that signs the rental license renewal forms as taking responsibility.  If the local legal agent is to change it is the responsibility of the owner communicate within 10 days of the change of local legal agent, failure to do so will result in the expiration of the rental license.  A copy of every new lease is to be provided to the department.  The owner is Raj Goswami, Detroit, MI and the local legal agent is Mark Grebner, East Lansing. Read the staff memo, staff report, application, and investigation report on renting without a license. 
  • Approval of the Housing Commission recommendation to approve a Class III rental license for up to 2 unrelated persons or a family at 419 Spartan Avenue, with a condition on the license that there is a local legal agent for the property if the owners were to move out of the state of Michigan.  The owner is Renee Maniaci, Okemos and the local legal agent is Chuck Maniaci, Okemos. Read the staff memo, staff report, and application.
  • Approval of the Housing Commission recommendation to approve a conditional Class III rental license for up to 2 unrelated persons or a family at 3308 Kresge Lane, with a condition on the license that there is a local legal agent for the property if the owners were to move out of the state of Michigan.  The owner is Faith Kaplan, Okemos and the local legal agent is David Johnson, Lansing. Read the staff memo, staff report, and application.
  • Approval of a request from Michigan State University Ice Hockey Team and Student-Athlete Support Services to hold food drive in East Lansing to benefit Greater Lansing Food Bank on Sunday, December 13, 2015, including passing out flyers on Tuesday, December 8, 2015. Read the associated letter and flyer.
  • Introduce and refer to Planning Commission, Housing Commission and University Student Commission Ordinance No. 1361; an Ordinance to amend Section 50-853 of Article X - Nonconforming Uses and Structures -  of Chapter 50 - Zoning - of the Code of the City of East Lansing to make changes to the nonconforming use of a structure provisions. See memo and ordinance.
  • Introduce and set a public hearing for December 1, 2015 for Ordinance No. 1360; an Ordinance to amend Sections 108.2 and 108.4 of the International Property Maintenance Code, 2006 Ed, as adopted by Section 6-171 and amended by Section 6-175 of Article III - Property Maintenance Code - of Chapter 6 - Building and Building Regulations - of the Code of the City of East Lansing to make amendments to the provisions regarding dangerous buildings. City attorney memo and ordinance.
  • Introduce and set a public hearing for December 1, 2015 for Ordinance No. 1362; an Ordinance to amend Sections 2-83 and 2-85 of Division 2 - Code of Ethics - of Article III - Officers and Employees - of Chapter 2 - Administration - of the Code of the City of East Lansing to prohibit the acceptance of certain campaign contributions and to require the council members’ to disclose  campaign contributions in excess of one hundred dollars from businesses when voting on issues affecting that business. Ordinance.
  • Introduce and set a public hearing for December 1, 2015 for Ordinance No. 1363; an Ordinance to amend Sections 48-91, 48-93, 48-94, and 48-95 of Chapter 48 of the Code of the City of East Lansing and to add Section 48-94A to Chapter 48 of the Code of the City of East Lansing to protect certain trees within the City of East Lansing. Ordinance.

 

 

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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