This is your weekly Council Capsule, summarizing what happened this week at East Lansing’s City Council.
New building along Valley Court Park to have large art display: To address the “percent for art” requirement, the building under construction at 300 West Grand River Avenue (just west of Biggby Coffee and just south of Valley Court Park) will see the addition of a large art installation as shown above.
Above: the project site at the northeast corner of Grand River Avenue and Spartan Avenue.
The East Lansing City Council voted yesterday on both the site plan and Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan for the White Oak Place project at Spartan and Grand River Avenues (just west of Brookfield Plaza). But in both cases, what the Council approved was significantly different from what the developer had proposed.
As a key Parks millage is due to expire later this year, East Lansing’s City Council held a tense conversation about whether the upcoming November election is the right time to try to get East Lansing voters to renew that millage. ELi's Alice Dreger reports.
Photo: East Lansing Aquatic Center, Courtesy City of East Lansing
The City Council must adopt the budget for Fiscal Year 2017 at its next meeting on May 24 to meet the annual State deadline, so Tuesday night’s 5:00 p.m. meeting was the last of the Council’s special budget work sessions to prepare the details of its budget resolution.
Above: Some of the vacant buildings downtown set to be demolished this year.
Every week, East Lansing Info (ELi) sends one or more reporters to City Council to bring you a complete "Council Capsule."
Permit parking debate reaches some resolution: Tuesday night’s City Council meeting was again dominated by the issue of residential parking permits (RPP), the only item on the Business Agenda. See our special separate report on that.
The City of East Lansing has been missing out on income that could have amounted to millions of dollars per year because—unlike every other municipality that has electric service provided to it by the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL)—East Lansing has been lacking a franchise agreement with BWL. While required by state law, that franchise agreement has been missing for East Lansing for over a hundred years.
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.
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: 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.
The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority has granted the City of East Lansing its request for $99,000 to demolish the vacant, blighted “little bank building” at the corner of Abbot Road and Albert Street, shown above.