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Planning Commission Considers New Developments

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The East Lansing Planning Commission met last night (October 9), reviewing several important proposals in enough depth to have the meeting run over four hours. No votes were taking on these projects. The meeting concluded with one commissioner challenging critical remarks made by Mayor Nathan Triplett about the Commission on Triplett’s Facebook page. (ELi covers that in a separate report.)

Objection Raised to Mayor’s Online Criticism of Planning Commission

Thursday, October 9, 2014

At the East Lansing Planning Commission last night (October 8), during the period reserved for commissioners’ reports, Commissioner Erik Altmann took issue with Mayor Nathan Triplett’s online criticisms of East Lansing’s Planning Commissioners. Altmann specifically objected to Triplett’s characterization of Planning Commissioners as being afraid of new technologies and as perhaps hiding political agendas.

Council Capsule: October 7, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Note: ELi is instituting new weekly features! Today we introduce our new Wednesday feature, “Council Capsule,” which gives you a run-down of what happened at City Council the night before. Capsules will include major votes including tallies and reporting (as well as non-reporting) of potential conflicts-of-interest. Video recordings of Council can be viewed at the City of East Lansing website.

Ordinance 1339, Funding for Art, Passes 3-1 at Council

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

On Tuesday, October 7, City Council passed Ordinance 1339 which provides for private and public funding of public art in East Lansing. The vote occurred after a debate between Mayor Nathan Triplett and Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris about the state of the city’s finances. The ordinance ultimately passed by a vote of 3-1, with Goddeeris voting against and Council member Susan Woods recusing herself.

In 3-2 Vote, Council Grants Developer TIF Boost

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Following a highly contentious discussion between Mayor Nathan Triplett and City Council member Ruth Beier, the City Council voted 3-2 to grant the Trowbridge Plaza developer his wish for as much as $1.2 million more in reimbursement from tax revenues over 16 years, funds that would otherwise have gone to public services. Triplett was joined by Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris and Council member Susan Woods in voting for changing the TIF plan from a 50/50 division to a 65/35 split in favor of the developer. Beier and Council member Kathy Boyle voted against.

Daycare Director Reveals Reasons for Departure

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When Nora Thompson (shown above) took over the daycare at the Bailey Community Center in July of 2013, she found significant problems with the way the program was being run. She told me in an email interview, “I quickly determined the staffing was not at state mandated levels, there were inadequate materials in the classrooms, and significant building issues that needed to be remedied.”

BWL Asserts Legal Right to Trim

Monday, October 6, 2014

Does BWL have the right to come onto privately-owned property and trim or remove trees without the owner’s permission in the absence of a written legal easement? The BWL Director of Communications is suggesting the answer is “yes,” but an MSU property rights legal expert says the details would be complicated.

I asked Steve Serkiain, BWL’s Director of Communications, to answer three questions, on the record:

City Council to Decide on Trowbridge Developer’s Request to Change Tax Plan

Monday, October 6, 2014

On Tuesday night (October 7), East Lansing City Council is expected to make the final ruling on a request from the redeveloper of Trowbridge Plaza, the former location of Goodrich Shoprite, to give the developer hundreds of thousands of dollars more than previously planned under Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

Bailey Daycare Alternative Budget Proposed

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The major reason given by the City Manager for the planned closure of the Bailey daycare is budgetary. Now a finance expert who is also a resident of Bailey has proposed to City Council an alternative budget that could, she says, keep the daycare running.

A Word from Our Publisher

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Photo credit: Jenny Stevenson Phtography

EastLansingInfo.org (ELi) has been up and running for about a month and the response has been tremendous! People all over town are sharing our articles and are talking about how refreshing it is to have an independent, nonpartisan news source focused on our otherwise-overlooked small city. The excitement is palpable, and the level of participation is terrific!

City Has Leased Land to Developers; Could Do So Again if Ballot Measure Fails

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Advocates of a “yes” vote on the November ballot question—a question about whether the City Council should be authorized to sell three parking lots—say that this is necessary for development to proceed in the Park District (Valley Court) area. But it is possible the City Council could decide to long-term lease City-owned land, essentially bypassing direct-voter input on the question. A long-term land-lease was employed with the University Place (downtown Marriott) property almost 30 years ago.

Bailey Residents Concerned that Community Center on List for Sale

Thursday, October 2, 2014

In an effort to push development within city limits, City of East Lansing Planning staff have produced a recommended list of “redevelopment ready” properties. This is essentially a list meant to attract potential developers, and although Bailey neighborhood residents thought the Bailey Community Center had come off the redevelopment-ready list at their request, according to a recent disclosure by City Planning staff, the Bailey Community Center is back on the draft list.

New Yard Sign Campaign Questions BWL’s Right to Cut

Friday, September 26, 2014

East Lansing residents are seeing fewer tree trimming crews out working for Lansing’s Board of Water and Light (BWL), the major provider of electricity to East Lansing. But tensions remain very high between BWL and homeowners. Some homeowners who have already experienced damage to their properties from trimmer crews are being offered compensation by BWL. Others, worried about future damage, have joined a new yard sign campaign.

Brownfield Redevelopment Authority Approves Trowbridge Developer’s Request

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) voted at its meeting on September 25 to favorably recommend to the City Council a second amendment to the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plan requested by River Caddis Development for the Trowbridge Road development that is underway.
 

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