Public input sought on proposed amendments to loosen restrictions on Accessory Dwelling Units. The first amendment would relax standards in current districts, the second amendment would open ADUs to more districts. Goals of the proposals include increasing housing options and use of public transportation. The Ann Arbor Planning Commission working session will meet on Zoom on February 9, passcode 361611.
Parents rally for return to in-person classes. Reasonable Return, a nonprofit formed in support of an in-person option for Ann Arbor Public Schools students, organized a demonstration outside the post office on Liberty street in Ann Arbor on Saturday. Dozens of AAPS parents, students, and healthcare workers gathered. MLive
AAPS had already set a goal to offer a “hybrid in-person learning experience” starting in March. With the pandemic still raging there’s no chance of meeting the “metrics” laid down last summer, but superintendent Jeanice Swift says the vaccine rollout and the promise of frequent, rapid in-school antigen testing make a phased safe return feasible. The Observer’s James Leonard has our story.
DTE Energy partners with Ann Arbor schools to deploy six electric school buses. While classes remain virtual, the zero-emission busses will be used to deliver 9,000 meals twice weekly to school children who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch. The busses save 40% on fuel and maintenance compared to traditional buses. DTE Energy
Greenbelt adds a 375-acre bicentennial farm to protected areas surrounding Ann Arbor. The Hamilton cattle farm is the largest purchase in the city-led preservation effort’s seventeen-year history. In addition to high quality farmland, portions of the property contain beech-maple forest, button-bush swamp, and wetlands. MLive, subscriber exclusive.
Sheriff’s office forgives debt for purchases made and services received in the county jail. People who accrued debt while incarcerated in the Washtenaw County Jail between January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2020 will have that debt forgiven, Sheriff Jerry Clayton announced today. Debt totalling $509,888 was accrued by 31,614 individuals, and includes purchases from the commissary and services like barber shop and doctors visits.
Food Gatherers’ CEO, Eileen Spring, was chosen by the United Way of Washtenaw County as the 2021 Woman of the Year for her ceaseless efforts to meet a surging need for food assistance since the onset of the pandemic. Ms. Spring will be honored at a UWWC fundraiser on March 10. Funds raised will support women’s programs in the county. Tickets are available here.
There are many ways to celebrate Black History Month in Ann Arbor. The Ann Arbor District Library is offering a series of events for all ages, from puppet shows to book readings and more. Click here for a complete listing.
Washtenaw Faces Race and three other partner organizations are co-sponsoring a two-part conversation, America Without Racism: Making the Vision a Reality. Experts will talk about the fundamental changes needed in the institutions of policing, work, health care, and the commons, with interludes by local musicians, poets, and artists. February 5, 6–9 p.m. and February 6, 1–4 p.m.