THE CITY GETS INVOLVED IN REAL ESTATE SPECULATION AND LOSES
On the YMCA (Y) lot (next to the Blake Transit Center): “We prevailed without any qualification [in court], but it still took this property out of development for five years. Here we are again facing litigation that's likely to take multiple years, and nothing will happen during that litigation, so I believe that we should be trying to work with that developer to come to a reasonable settlement rather than tying up this property and making it inactive for another two or more years.” Michigan Daily, Apr. 12, 2018
The City of Ann Arbor’s involvement with the Y Lot, which it recently agreed to repurchase from Dennis Dahlmann, has been plagued with mistakes and a lack of leadership, much of it attributable to Mayor Christopher Taylor. In 2009, as a Councilman, Taylor voted to remove, from the Site Plan for the Library Lane underground parking garage, part of the structure which would have provided an interconnection to the Y Lot. In 2013 the city decided to sell the Y Lot. Taylor got City Council to insert into the negotiations with Dahlmann a requirement that he use the interconnection, which Taylor had voted not to build four years earlier. (Although Taylor authored a number of requirements for Dahlmann to comply with, there was no requirement for affordable housing.) He then voted to approve the sales agreement requiring the use of an “existing underground interconnection.” Taylor was Mayor when the problem of the nonexistent interconnection was raised with the city, but he did nothing to correct it. In June 2017, Taylor told The Observer that the city’s right to repurchase the Y Lot would come due on April 2, 2018 and that the action would require eight Council votes. He did nothing to set this up before that due date. Dahlmann sued the city, which had to pay an extra $1 million to get the property back.
"We’re telling every developer if you don't like the Master plan and if you don't like the designated zoning on the property just come to us and ask us to change it. I believe that we owe residents a duty of respecting the zoning where they buy their house. They should be able to have a sense of predictability if they buy a house … that the neighboring property is not suddenly going to be radically changed from one zoning district to another. "
Ann Arbor has 2 new options to resolve Y Lot dispute April 17, 2018