AppHarvest: "Plants with a Purpose"

60 acres under glass and polycarbonate.  Tomato vines as long as 13m.   That's what this is about.



2021/10/13   Interview with Jonathan Webb, Founder and CEO of AppHarvest, FutureFoodFinance






2021/8/8   The Future of Farming: AppHarvest Unveils 60 acre, Kentucky greenhouse,

by Kristie Lou Stout, CNN






2021/06/21   "Greenwashing" Doesn't Work: Jonathan Webb, Founder & CEO, AppHarvest






This is a link to an MLive report by Justine Lofton

HARPER WOODS, MI – One of the oldest malls in the Detroit area will soon be gone because “The majority of you all shop at Amazon,” Mayor Valerie Kindle said at a news conference. “That’s one of the reasons that the demise of malls has happened."



Why Warehouses Are Taking Over The U.S., Youtube, CNBC










Split Board Approves Chestnut LLC Rezoning by One Vote

Centennial Leland Farm to become Apartment Complex

By David Gordon, 5/28/21

Hello Neighbors:

In Brief:

  • On a 4/3 vote May 25th, the Board approved a preliminary rezoning from “Low Density” of 1 house per two acres to nearly 7 “units” per two acres; the majority claiming it was “compatible” with the surrounding neighborhood and “fit” the Master Plan.

  • Opponents said it was not harmonious and violated the Master Plan. They are considering a referendum on the ballot to overturn the expected rezoning, as was done successfully in 2005 on the same Centennial Farm owned by the Leland family.

  • The “preliminary” approval by the Board now goes back to the Planning Commission for review before coming back for a final vote (date unknown, probably this summer).

  • The Chestnut LLC developer plans to erect 208 rental apartments/condos and 61 rowhouses. The Master Plan specifically calls for single family residential on the site.




The Rest of the Story:

Voting to approve the preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD) were Trustees Jacki Otto, Janet Chick, newly elected Supervisor Ken Dignan, and newly elected Trustee Josh Nelson.

Clerk Kathy Manley, Treasurer Lenore Zelenock and newly elected Trustee Nate Muchow all voted against the proposal at the NE corner of Whitmore Lake and N. Territorial roads.

Manley, Zelenock and Muchow wanted the proposal sent back to the Planning Commission (PC) for improvements – namely a development that was true to the Master Plan. Their main point was that the Master Plan calls for single-family homes, not apartments and rowhouses, which they said was more suited to land closer to Whitmore Lake.

Because of the Board’s vote, the PC has much less leverage to negotiate with Chestnut on density or appearance of the project. For instance, the PC members who initially voted against the project, complained that all of the rowhouses have their garages facing the road, something they found both unwelcoming and unappealing.

garage – garage – garage – garage – garage – garage – garage – garage

This is “innovative”?


About 20 members of the public spoke during the Public Hearing, both for and against the project. Most of those speaking against the proposal lived in the area and argued that the project violated the Master Plan and placed the township in legal jeopardy from future developers.

They also voiced concerns about increased taxes to pay for services, impacts on the water table, increased traffic congestion at N. Territorial & Whitmore Lake roads (which is already pretty bad during rush hour and this project will add about 2,400 car trips/day, and crime.

They pointed to the diagram of the project, saying it was unharmonious and incompatible with the surrounding area, as required by the Master Plan and township zoning codes. The footprint of the 269 units covers about 35 acres, or 8 units per acre. That is 20 times denser than the 1 house/five acre zoning of the surrounding agricultural parcels.

The pro-Chestnut speakers claimed the density was 3.5 units/acre and therefore met the Master Plan, which envisions up to four houses per acre on the farm. Their calculation was based on all the acreage of the project, including areas on which the developer could not build.  Even though the calculation fits, the Master Plan calls for single family houses on small-ish individual lots, not rental apartments/condos and rowhouses.

Decide for yourself if it is compatible or harmonious with an agricultural district?


(link here to the Chestnut Plan as presented at the Planning Commission on April 7, 2021)

Warning: This is a 377-page document. The Planning Commission was given less than four business days to review it before voting.

One potential glitch was raised by Planning Commissioner John Zarzecki, who warned that the layout of the buildings – especially the apartments – violated of state fire codes and would require major changes. His warning went unheeded.

Once the PC work is done and outside agencies sign off (which is predicted to take months), the PC will either recommend approval or denial of the Final Draft and send it to the Board for action. Even if the PC votes against the project, the Board can still approve it.

The township planning consulting firm, McKenna Assoc., was on hand and was represented by its president, John Jackson. Nobody ask him how the 2019 Master Plan could be interpreted so differently, with some claiming the project met the Plan, others saying it was a clear violation.

About half of the pro-Chestnut speakers were out-of-towners including one Chestnut employee, two Chestnut contractors, a resident of a Chestnut rental property, and even the Livingston County Sheriff (!?!), and a pastor from Chelsea.

Aside from the claim that this plan fits the Master Plan, those in support said the apartment complex will help revitalize downtown Whitmore Lake and would add students to the enrollment at the Whitmore Lake school system which experienced a large drop since School-of-Choice became an option.





00:00 LiveTimeline
03:30 Motion to open public hearing 1. Preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD) Application - Chestnut Development Public Comments
04:20 Mary Devlin
06:20 John Zarzecki
08:52 Rachel Price
10:38 David Gordon
13:53 Gordon: cut off
14:23 Sue Shink
16:30 David Gordon
18:25 Angelina Robataro (SPELLING???)
21:20 Francine Dolins
24:46 Suzy Weinckowski
27:50 James D'Amour, former planning commissioner of Ann Arbor
31:18 Karen Alexa
34:24 Julie Franzenmay
37:30 Adam Olney "I may be out of turn but I'm sure it's acceptable." "These people weren't squawking about it then" "Concerns of shopping? Where do you want people to go downtown and shop at? We have Pollys. I highly doubt any of you do your weekly grocery shopping at Pollys. Why would you expect these people to? ... "
40:18 Joanne Pierson
42:30 Last Call for "Northfield's nattering nabobs of negativism" 
44:05 Dana Forrester "Reading 300 pages in three days [isn't] that much of a hardship."
45:50 Jean (no surname) this would actually fit better in the Pat Kelley farm, speaks about deferred maintenance of roads now and 10-20 years down the road, infrastructure, better locations closer to the hamlet area
48:05 Jim Rowell, Livingston County Building official
49:55 Joe Jeffries, Pastor of 1st Congregational Church, Chelsea. "Chestnut would be a beacon of hope and love and light."
52:22 Laura Schwennesen "I don't know; you don't know; we don't know." (WL School Board Treasurer, glib, articulate, facile, an attorney)
55:30 Christian Bugeja, Sales Manager, Chestnut Real Estate "Livingston County absorption rate: 4 weeks" Healthy market is 6 months worth of inventory 
58:20 Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy
1:00:35 LJ Walter
1:03:35 Aubrey Laurain, Realtor: Chestnut Real Estate
1:04:45 Brent LeVanway, Vice President, BOSS Engineering, representing Chestnut
1:07:50 James Trunko
1:10:09 Craig Warburton
1:13:55 Mark Stanalaczo riffs with his personal grab bag of cultivated grievance and cheap tropes, his usual sneering and self conciously resigned contempt, mutterings, mangled metaphors, and half digested William Safire. Stanalaczo's is the purity of confirmation bias. Those who disagree with Mark are dismissed as "casts of characters," interlopers among the shadows on the carbon footprint sooted cave walls of conservative self absorption. We're spewers of "scripted type negativism." We're "negative naysayers." He primps: "I learned the hard way." He caps his bigfooting down memory lane by shaming Northfield Township for winning the lawsuit against Grand Sakwa.
1:16:36 Heather Vandecar, Community Manager, Chestnut Crossing
1:19:45 Public Hearing closed
1:20:30 5 Minute Recess ends @ 8:26pm
1:27:40 Meeting resumes
OLD BUSINESS 1. Consider Preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD) Application - Chestnut Development.
1:28:50 Motion by Dignan re Chestnut PUD 77.8 acres, ~269 units

1] Justification: the requested zoning change is justified by an increased demand for accessible housing
2] Precedents: the failure to follow our master plan may set precedents
3] Capacity: the township has sufficient capacity to provide township services such as police, fire, and sewer facilities
4] PUD harmony: the PUD is in harmony with the master plan's future land use map

1] there shall be strong paved pedestrian connections provided throughout the site and along whitmore lake road
2] there shall be a 100 foot buffer around the perimeter of the parcel ( a literal no man's land. brilliant )
3] the applicant resolve the issues identified in the OHM and McKenna reports
4] the applicant obtain permitting and approval from the agencies defined on page 2 of the OHM report referenced above

1:30:52 Support by Otto
1:31:00 Muchow suggests that if this motion fails the subject should be sent back to the PC
1:31:25 Chick's friendly amendment dictates landscaping with red maples, oak, and the environmental time bomb of ornamentals, the apotheosis of superficial utiity and conformity, the brutally adapted, invasive ecological marauder called the bradford pear.
1:33:44 Planner Jackson
1:35:52 Chick's amendment passes
1:36:11 Zelenock: affordable?
1:41:53 Dignan claims that two people with $15/hour incomes, $31,500/year each, could rent these places, that they meet definitions of affordable, accessible, barrier free housing, hinting at the original intent: retirement housing. Later Dignan flip flops, reverting to the glowy eyed fictioning we all know and love, characterizing the development as "high end."
1:45:51 Chick
1:49:08 Otto monotones two canned 'splainations
1:51:50 Josh "young elected official" Nelson
1:55:00 Muchow "Every one of us ran on supporting the Master Plan"
1:58:00 Planner  Mixed use issue
1:59:48 Manley
2:01:20 Chick
2:01:55 Planner Jackson "PUDs have no underlying zoning." That's the magic
2:03:35 Dignan
2:04:00 Planner Jackson schools Dignan on PUD districts vs zoning
2:05:25 Otto schools Dignan: "PUD circumvents zoning"
2:06:35 Manley
2:07:15 Otto: "You're going against our laws"
2:07:53 Planner Jackson: objections are arbitrary and capricious
2:08:30 Muchow The master plan's not worth the paper it's written on
2:09:20 Dignan
2:10:17 Zelenock: "I agree with Mr. Muchow. Give me the houses." "I did speak with Teresa [Gillotti?] who handles the affordable housing for Washtenaw County and she did indicate "it's not affordable."
Dignan "I'd like to know what she bases that on."
2:12:12 Chick conjures up spectre of "slippery slope"
2:12:50 Manley
2:13:35 Chick "I just wanna ask..."
2:14:00 Josh "What is the point of the master plan?" "I'm not seeing how the master plan fits into this at all."
2:14:50 Planner Jackson: yuppies and empty nesters. density: page 54
2:16:24 Manley calls the roll
2:16:55 Motion carries.
2:16:56 ANNOUNCEMENTS [None]
Last Call to the public:
2:17:50 Mary Devlin
2:20:30 David Gordon: "Tonight you cast aside the master plan."
2:24:00 Chick
2:24:43 Zelenock
2:26:00 Otto
2:27:40 Muchow "I'm surprised about the master plan."
2:28:33 Manley "We were also called elitist and I was personally offended by that"
2:29:18 Josh
2:30:25 Dignan "the innovation" was the PUD."
2:32:38 Motion to Adjourn passes, stream ends at 9:33:16 pm






12/15/2016   Same Song, Different Verse: Ann Arbor and the City Income Tax, by Vivienne Armentrout, Local in Ann Arbor 

2/17/2011   Ann Arbor’s Budget: The Case for a City Income Tax, Part 3, by Vivienne Armentrout, Local in Ann Arbor

2/10/2011   Ann Arbor’s Budget: The Case for a City Income Tax, Part 2by Vivienne Armentrout, Local in Ann Arbor

1/9/2011   Ann Arbor’s Budget: The Case for a City Income Tax, Part 1, by Vivienne Armentrout, Local in Ann Arbor


5/27/2021   2 Troy residents lose $143K to Publishers Clearing House scam, by Cassidy Johncox, ClickOn Detroit

According to the con artist, a lump sum windfall of more than $2.6 million was theirs -- but only if they paid $129,000 in state and local taxes first.


Between March 24 and April 16, the two suckers /pigeons /marks were instructed to send lottery claim forms and money to various addresses in Texas, Oklahoma and New York. In total, the victims sent $143,955 to the scammer.   The victims were also instructed to avoid using their computer or telling anyone about their sudden fortune, to prevent  scary "cyber attacks" leading to loss of their money.


Only after the post office deemed the latest shipment of money to be suspicious and held onto the shipment did the victims learn that they were being scammed 

2/25/2021   Property tax increases aim to boost affordable housing inventories, by Haisten Willis, The Washington Post

Now Hall, chair of the board of commissioners in Kalamazoo County, Mich., has helped her county approve a millage hike that will help fund housing for hundreds in her community. One hundred miles to the east, voters in the city of Ann Arbor approved a similar millage hike, making the pair among the few local governments nationally to fund affordable housing through property taxes.


Ann Arbor’s millage is expected to create about 3,000 units of affordable housing and will last through 2041. An affluent city, home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor’s millage benefits those earning up to 60 percent of area median income, which is $42,540 for a one-person household and $48,600 for a two-person household.

12/30/2020   Cities pressure Michigan lawmakers for help as budgets shortages could exceed $250 million, by Jack Nissen, FOX2/Detroit

Officials with the Michigan Municipal League estimated the state's 24 cities that collect income tax on businesses and individuals would miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

The MML and its members are lobby the Michigan legislature to allow cities to collect income taxes "as if COVID-19 did not happen and employees were working from their normal places of business."

12/1/2020   Michigan cities ask legislators to ensure non-residents pay taxes, by David Eggert, ClickOnDetroit

The Michigan Municipal League also requested that the Republican-led Senate and House let public bodies meet virtually beyond Dec. 31 and tackle “unintended interactions" between a tax-limiting state constitutional amendment — known as Headlee — and Proposal A, a 1994 overhaul of the tax and school-finance systems. Mayors warned that COVID-19 is permanently closing businesses and reducing occupancy for retail and office space, which could reduce property values and result in cuts to tax revenue.

9/20/2020   Increased remote work could bring income tax revenue hit for Detroit and other Cities, Crains Detroit Business

6/1/2020   How Work From Home Orders Affect Lansing, East Lansing Income Taxes, by Scott Pohl, WKAR, MSU

5/20/2019   See which Michigan cities have a local income tax as two more consider the idea, by Lauren Gibbons, MLive

1/19/2019   Ann Arbor officials resuming city income tax talks, by Ryan Stanton, MLive

City income tax proposals have been twice rejected by Ann Arbor voters. In 1969, 61 percent were against the idea. In 1972, 59 percent were against it.

One of the reasons for a lack of support for a city income tax over the years is that a large percentage of Ann Arbor residents are renters.  

11/3/2017   East Lansing residents to vote on city income tax, by Doug Tribou, WUOM FM

9/16/2017   Ann Arbor Considering City Income Tax, Blames State, But City is collecting and spending more, not less, CapCon [Alt Right AgitProp]

8/18/2017   Initial thoughts on an Ann Arbor income tax, Damn Arbor


10/31/1969   Anti-Income Tax Group Cites "uncertainties", by John Feldip, The Ann Arbor News

7/21/1968  Study Group Urges City Income Tax, 1971 Adoption Suggested, by Ron Cordray (City Government Reporter) The Ann Arbor News


City of Ann Arbor Income Tax Feasibility FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What Michigan Cities impose an income tax?

I live in ann arbor, do i need city tax or not? it is not in the list and do i need to select detroit?

24 Michigan Cities That Make You Pay Income Tax


Property Tax Guidance from Washtenaw County Treasurer Catherine McClary

  • Delinquent Tax Timeline
  • Poverty Exemption Guidelines
  • Hardship Extension Application
  • Assessment Appeal Brochure 
  • Resources
  • Poverty Exemptions  Michigan law (MCL 211.7u) provides for a reduction in property taxes for eligible, low-income homeowners. Every city and township must offer an application process and set eligibility requirements that are no more restrictive than the federal poverty guidelines.  Applications must be filed annually at the March, July, or December Boards of Review. Contact your local city or township assessor for specific dates. You must submit a copy of your recently filed income tax returns with your application. Free income tax assistance is available for qualifying households.

Ann Arbor City poverty exemption Guidelines and Application

Northfield Twp poverty exemption Guidelines and Application



Income Tax Assistance