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City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

City may gain more parking downtown

Ypsilanti City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with Eastern Michigan University Tuesday, giving the city control of enforcement for the Washington Street lot downtown. Photo by Dan DuChene

Ypsilanti City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with Eastern Michigan University Tuesday, giving the city control of enforcement for the Washington Street lot downtown.
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Council approves lease agreement for Washington Street lot

By Dan DuChene
Jan. 13, 2010    ·    11:38 a.m.


The city of Ypsilanti is looking to take control of the Washington Street parking lot behind the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s transit center on Pearl Street.

In a unanimous decision Tuesday night, Ypsilanti City Council voted to approve a 10-year lease with Eastern Michigan University that allows the city to regulate parking in the long neglected lot downtown.

The agreement, which charges the city $1 a year, would still need approval from the EMU Board of Regents in February.

The lot is co-owned by the city, EMU and AATA. Of the 169 spaces in the lot, the city owns 91 in the middle of the lot. The university owns 72 spaces along the northern edge and northeast corner. The remaining spaces in the southeast corner are owned by AATA.

The city began pursuing an agreement to control the lot after allowing EMU to move the stop for its shuttle south along Adams Street, which occupied four paid parking spaces instead of the previous one. The city agreed, charging EMU $35 per meter per week.

Although the agreement absolves EMU from the responsibility to pay for the meters on Adams Street for its shuttle during the lease, it does not forgive the fees charged beforehand. The university has yet to pay the city for the use of the meters, and if the fees began accumulating immediately after City Council approved the plan to move the bus stop, then EMU would owe the city $2,660.

There is no stipulation in the lease for the Washington Street lot that requires the university to pay the sum owed, which is likely less than amount above.

Teresa Gillotti, an urban collaborator for the city, presented the proposal to City Council Tuesday night. She said the lot is currently used during the day as a park-and-ride for students to obtain free parking downtown and then catch the free shuttle to campus and as free parking for downtown residents and visitors during nights and weekends.

If EMU approves the agreement next month, then the lease would begin on March 1. Gillotti said the city would immediately post signage allowing free two-hour and permit parking. She said the lot would then be re-striped as soon as the weather permitted.

She said the city would begin collecting revenue from the lot through the $15 fee charged to vehicles parked more than the permitted two hours.

Gillotti said the lot needs to be restriped because of the lack of attention it has received from its three current owners, and it is difficult to distinguish where spaces are currently located. She even pointed out that a community organization, the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti, has been volunteering to pick up trash and broken glass in the lot for the past several months.

After the initial enforcement plan, Gillotti said the city hopes to set up paid parking from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the hours parking is currently enforced downtown. She said over-night parking wouldn’t be allowed in the lot except for those with a residential permit.

She said the fee to park, both by meter and permit, would be in line with the current fee schedule downtown.

Gillotti said the third phase would be to evaluate the situation, as little is known about paid parking patterns in the lot as it has not been enforced.

“I have no idea how you’re going to enforce this stuff,” Councilmember Brian Robb, D-Ward 3, said during the meeting.

Gillotti said she had discussed enforcement with the Ypsilanti Police Department, but there were questions on how to enforce a ban on overnight parking and what type of metering to use in the lot. She said she will be asking Ann Arbor for extra meters, the same source for the meters currently in the Adams Street lot, but the city could use a paymaster or gated parking.

Related Article:
EMU shuttle to move again



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