Council Votes to Create Parking and Age-Friendly Committees, and More

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 11:07 am
Alice Dreger

Last week, East Lansing’s City Council held two back-to-back meetings (9/20/16), the first being a short, simple-vote meeting, the second being a marathon discussion-only meeting. This Council Capsule provides what happened at the first (voting) meeting based on the agenda and synopsis. We’ll soon be bringing you a separate report from Ian Hoopingarner on the longer second meeting.

With all members present, Council voted to do the following:

Create a new Parking Requirements Committee: Council has been finding itself subject to a lot of complaints about parking rules and regulation. The resolution passed by Council last Tuesday on parking calls for the creation of a nine-member committee comprised of two people each from the Downtown Development Authority, the Downtown Management Board, and the Transportation Commission, plus three people from the Planning Commission.

The resolution aims to “ensure an appropriate balance between sufficient parking and encouraging alternative modes of transportation.” The group will be advisory to Council.

Create a Steering Committee to mark East Lansing “Age-Friendly”: The AARP (an association of people 50-years-of-age and older) designates certain communities “Age-Friendly,” and City Council wants East Lansing to be so designated. Consequently, Council passed a resolution to create a steering committee to work on this. The idea is to “become great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.”

Committee members will be drawn from the East Lansing Public Schools, Elder Care (a private sector company), Friends of East Lansing Seniors, Housing Commission, Human Relations Commission, the Library Board of Trustees, Michigan State University, Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, Planning Commission, Senior Commission, Transportation Commission, and University Student Commission. Phase 1 will involve planning for the designation and Phase 2 will be on working to obtain the designation.

Costco rezoning moving forward: Council voted to send to Planning Commission for review a plan to rezone the East Lansing property on which Costco plans to build a store. (See our previous reports on the plan to build the store; Transportation Commission’s discussion of the project; and Costco’s plan to seek tax incentives for the project.)

Park District rezoning moves forward: Council voted to send to Planning Commission a set of two rezoning ordinances in preparation for the Park District area redevelopment. The ordinances refer to the properties at 341-345 Evergreen Avenue, the site of the former Evergreen Arms Apartments (now an empty lot). The current plan calls for building an eight-story apartment building on that property, but the full plan has not been provided or approved.

Background set for granting Tin Can an entertainment license: The relatively new downtown bar called Tin Can has requested an entertainment license to allow patrons to play certain types of games. City Council has to change an existing law if it wishes to grant a license that strictly limits what games are allowed. Council voted to hold a public hearing on the matter at its October 11, 2016, meeting.


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