Ann Arbor Greenbelt 287w236h

At this meeting, PC Chairman Ken Dignan called for the creation of a Farmland Preservation Committee.  His proposal was welcomed by Commissioners Marlene Chockley and Janet Chick as well as members of the public who have been promoting this idea for several years.

Dignan suggested the committee would have to “take a look at PDR/TDR  in surrounding communities a how it’s worked and how it can work in cooperation with more regional authorities such as the (Ann Arbor) Greenbelt.

PDR/TDR is short for Purchase of Development Rights/Transfer of Development Rights, where a farmer can sell off or transfer his/her rights to develop the property for a period of time, usually 50 years, in exchange for a cash payment.  The farmer still owns the land.

More than $10 million has been paid to Washtenaw County farmers through the Greenbelt since Ann Arbor residents first voted to tax themselves for farmland preservation in November, 2003.

Ann Arbor residents tax themselves $2 million per year, and in the first 10 years of the Greenbelt, more than 4,000 acres were preserved in Washtenaw County.

The money raised by the Greenbelt as well as county, state and federal funds are available to communities that have their own preservation funds.

Since money would be needed to pay for the planning consultant to help create the new committee, Township Manager Howard Fink suggested the PC bring a proposal to the Board of Trustees for approval and funding.

Dignan also asked the community to share with the PC any ideas, resources or information that might be helpful.  “I know there are members of our community that have done a lot of work in this area; that have relationships that could benefit a committee like this,” he said.

Dignan said he would meet with the planner to outline the next steps needed in order for the PC to refine it’s plan to deliver to the Board.

You can watch and read the discussion with this: 8-17-2016 Northfield Township Planning Commission discussion of Agenda Item 10-D LiveTranscript

The rest of the meeting:

GyoaTruckingGuysCaptioned 241h384w 

Adoption of the Agenda stumbled over Commissioner Larry Roman's misgivings about considering Item 10-A, the discussion of the conditional use approval granted last year to Gyoa Leasing, which occupies the old Carter Lumber site on Territorial Road.  He said the Commission should have been better informed by documentation of the case in the meeting packet.  The packet contained only the minutes of the July 15, 2015 meeting where the Conditional Use was considered.  Roman also said that the issue was a matter of Staff enforcement.  Chairman Dignan countered by saying that with the power to grant conditional use came the power to rescind conditional use.  

Roman agreed to rescind his motion if Commissioners agreed not to make a decision at this meeting.  Consideration of Agenda Item 10-A went forward.   Ryan Steele, the owner of Gyoa, was represented by Todd Pascoe, PE, of Atwell.  

Below are the related documents included in the 7/15/2015 packet:

Also on the August 17th Agenda:

Item 10-B: A discussion about the Enterprise Service District Zoning rules.

Item 10-C: A discussion about the rules preventing the Ann Arbor Dog Training Club from adding a kennel facility at its Territorial Road location.

"Pepper's Puppy Playtime," two minutes inside the Ann Arbor Dog Training Club