N 0 R T H E A S T A R E A P L A N ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN Adopted by, the Ann Arbor City Council April 6, 1989 Gerald Jernigan, Mayor Liz Brater Ann Marie Coleman Kathy Edgren Jeff Epton Larry Hunter Terry Martin Mark Ouimet Tom Richardson Jerry Schleicher Ingrid Sheldon Del Borgsdorf, City Administrator Adopted bv the Ann Arbor City Planning Commission April 25, 1989 Samuel Offen, Chairman Janice Caldwell Isaac Campbell Raymond Chase Franz Mogdis Ingrid Sheldon Tom Shipley Claire Turcotte Ilene Tyler Martin Overhiser, Planning Director Prepared for: Ann Arbor City Planning Commission Prepared by: Ann Arbor City Planning Department with assistance from the Northeast Area Plan Review Task Force Northeast Area Plan Review Task Force Lois Bovee Wendy Carman Libby Davenport Chris Grant Ron Lipp Fred Mayer Sam Offen Herb Rickloff Steve Rogers Kevin Rulkowski Ed Surovell Jim Szumko Kwanwen Teng City Planning Department Project Staff Joy Bisaro, Assistant to City Planner Glenn Bowles, City Planner Martin Overhiser, Planning Director Wendy Rampson, City Planner Jill St. John, Clerk Steno II
TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements i INTRODUCTION 1 Purpose Process Framework II. BACKGROUND 2 Study Area History Planning Background Demographics Intergovernmental Coordination III. GUIDING POLICIES 8 Land Use Public Facilities Circulation Historic Preservation Urban Design Environmental Quality Other Policies Annexation Affordable Housing IV. LAND USE 10 Residential Use Area I Area II Area III Area IV Area V Area VI Commercial Use Research Use Institutional Use Other Recommendations Historic Districts Natural Features V. CIRCULATION 22 Framework Clark Road Extension Fuller/Geddes Corridor Huron Parkway/Inner Belt System Highway Interchanges Mass Transit Corridor Design VI. PUBLIC FACILITIES 26 Utility Systems Storm Sewer Water Distribution Sanitary Sewer Schools Fire Stations Parks Recycling Other Facilities VII. PLAN IMPLEMENTATION 33 Ordinances Capital Improvements Plan Other Approaches VIII. APPENDIX (Published Separately) 1988 Northeast Land Use Inventory Data ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The City Planning Commission wishes to thank each of the Northeast Area Plan Review Task Force members who participated in the plan review process, the over 130 residents who took the time to provide insight and comments, the City Department representatives and other local planning agencies who informed the Task Force about their planning efforts, and especially to Planning Department staff members Glenn Bowles and Wendy Rampson for coordinating this effort. Special thanks go to the staff of Community Access for their instruction and assistance in preparing the video production highlighting this planning process, to Joy Bisaro, who developed the graphics for the plan, and Jill St. John, who provided patient secretarial assistance throughout the process. INTRODUCTION Purpose The City Planning Commission has resolved to periodically review and update the City Master Plan. The Northeast Area Plan is a sub-element of the Master Plan, serving to pull together and update the recommendations of previous plans and studies as they relate to the northeast area of the City. This plan document is meant to provide a guide for future decisions related to land use, circulation and public facilities in the northeast area. While concerned primarily with the future development of remaining vacant land, the plan also provides guidelines for redevelopment, infill development and the preservation of existing neighborhoods. Process This plan is the culmination of a year of review and citizen input. In December 1987, the City Planning Commission appointed a citizen task force to review and recommend changes to the Master Plan elements as they applied to the northeast area of the City. Staff completed an inventory of the land use and population in February, 1988. Following six months of review and discussion, the Northeast Area Task Plan Review Task Force presented its recommendations to the City Planning Commission on June 28, 1988. After two public hearings, the City Planning Commission voted to accept the Task Force report on July 26, 1988, and directed Planning Department staff to develop a plan document based on the current Master Plan and the suggested revisions. The time line shown in Figure 1 outlines the steps taken in this process. Framework The Northeast Area Plan is comprised of six main sections: background, guiding policies, land use, circulation, public facilities, and implementation guidelines. The background section provides a brief framework of the history and demographics of the northeast area. The core of the document outlines planning recommendations related to guiding policies, land use, circulation and public facilities. Strategies for implementation of the plan recommendations are outlined in the final section. BACKGROUND Study Area The northeast area is bounded by M-14/US-23 on the north, US-23 on the east, Washtenaw Avenue on the south, and Ferdon Avenue, the Huron River and M-14 on the west. It contains approximately 7,313 acres, of which 2,267 acres, or 31 percent of the land area, is currently located in Ann Arbor Township's jurisdiction. Based on sanitary sewer agreements with Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Townships, this plan assumes that all land within the study area will eventually fall under the City's jurisdiction. Therefore, the sewer agreement boundary corresponds with the study area boundary. For data analysis purposes, the study area has been divided into 15 planning neighborhoods (Figure 2). History The northeast area contains some of the oldest commercial buildings in the City. The "Lower Town" area, located on the north side of the river at the base of the Broadway bridge, thrived as a commercial center in the early 1830's, but its growth, and that of the surrounding countryside, was curtailed when the railroad was constructed on the south side of the river. What residential development did occur radiated north from Lower Town along Pontiac Trail and Traver Street to Barton Drive and along Broadway Avenue to Plymouth Road, which represented the City's northeasterly limits until the 1940's. Early residential development also occurred south of the river, expanding east from the campus area along Washtenaw and Geddes Avenues. The remainder of the area north of the river was used largely for agriculture until the early 1950's, when the University of Michigan purchased 800 acres of land to establish the North Campus and the Michigan Department of Transportation started acquiring land for construction of a new highway, US-23. These two events, more than any other factors, spurred on the dramatic growth which has characterized the northeast area for the last 30 years. During the late 1950's and early 1960's, research firms located along Plymouth Road, due in part to active encouragement by the University and easy access to US-23. As these research sites developed, they were annexed into the City to allow connection with City services. This resulted in a patchwork pattern of City and township islands which exists even now in the northeast area. The 1960's were boom years for the northeast area. Single-family subdivisions were established in close proximity to the Plymouth corridor, which continued to attract new research firms. The major commercial developments in the area, including Arborland, Plymouth Mall, North Campus Plaza, Plymouth-Green and the Washtenaw strip", were developed during this time. Several multiple-family projects were also developed during the 1960's, including dormitories and married student housing located on North Campus. Development continued into the 1970's, particularly residential. The Arrowwood Hills Cooperative, a federally-subsidized residential development, was built in the early 1970's, as was the Traver Lakes development. This time period also saw the introduction of some constraints to the future growth of the City, as the waste water treatment agreements signed by Pittsfield Township in 1975 and Ann Arbor Township in 1976 identified township areas outside the freeway ring that could remain in the township's jurisdiction while receiving City sanitary sewer services. In the 1980's, development of the northeast area has continued with the construction of a variety of new multiple-family, commercial, office and research developments. Planning Background Although up until this time there has not been a comprehensive land use plan developed specifically for the northeast area, several approved City-wide plans contain recommendations for this area. These include:
General Land Use Model 1974 Transportation Plan for the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Urbanized Area 1975 Plan for Solving Circulation Problems - 1977 Plan for Transitional and Vacant Land Areas- 1981 1988-1994 Plan for Parks, Recreation and Open Space - 1988 North Main Street/Huron River Corridor Summary Land Use Policy Plan - 1988 A number of studies have also been done on specific aspects of the northeast area. These studies, in addition to providing an historical perspective, provide guidance in the framing of this plan's recommendations. They are: Area Plan for Northeast Ann Arbor - 1953 Fuller-Geddes Study - 1964 Northeast Area Study Policy Report (Draft) - 1974 Plan for Northeast Area - Potential Issues - No Date A Preliminary Opinion Survey For the East/Northeast Area Plan (Final Report) - 1978 Northside Character Study - No Date Household Survey - 1981, 1984, 1986, 1988 Northeast Area Commercial Needs Study - 1982 North Campus Plan - 1984 Traffic Analysis for the Northeast Ann Arbor Area (Memorandum) - 1986 Green Road Impact Assessment - 1987 Demographics According to a 1988 Planning Department land use inventory, the Northeast Area contains 13,607 dwelling units and an estimated 31,900 residents. The growth within the area is fairly recent. It has been spurred on largely by The University of Michigan's development of North Campus and active support of research activities, and the completion of US-23/M-14. In 1950, the United States Census shows the population of the northeast area to have been 5,400. By the 1960 Census, population had increased to 8,065. Following the major increase in development during the 1960's, the area's population mushroomed to over 22,000 by the 1970 Census. The population of the Northeast Area is projected to reach 38,800 people by the year 2005. It is possible that if the northeast area is developed according to current plans, the ultimate population may reach 46,500 people, a 46 percent increase over the present population of 31,900. Residential neighborhoods within the northeast differ considerably from each other. As Figures 3 and 4 illustrate, the neighborhoods South of the Huron River are predominantly owner-occupied, with median household incomes nearly double that of the entire City. Households in this area tend to have a greater percentage of elderly people (over 60 years old), and residential developments have a relatively low density (less than two dwelling units per acre exclusive of right-of-way).
The older neighborhoods west of the North Campus and the Ann Arbor Railroad, including Arrowwood Cooperative and the Huron Highlands Subdivision, tend to have lower incomes (generally less than 80 percent of the City median household level), a predominance of renter-occupied units, with residential densities ranging from about four units per acre to over ten dwellings per acre. More multiple-family dwellings exist in Neighborhoods 4, 5, 6 and 7 than in any other northeast neighborhoods. With the exception of the Northwood V and Greenbrier neighborhoods, housing in the area east of Nixon Road and Huron Parkway is predominantly owner-occupied. North of Plymouth Road, the density averages about five dwellings per acre. South of Plymouth Road, the single-family development density ranges from two to four units per acre and the multiple-family density ranges from seven to 15 units per acre. Income levels, with the exception of the Greenbrier and Northwood V neighborhoods, are well above the $30,000 City median. Currently, over 10,600 people are estimated to be employed within the study area. Over 80 percent of this employment is concentrated along the Plymouth Road corridor east of Broadway. Nearly 4,000 people are employed on the University of Michigan North Campus. Another 3,000 people are employed in the ten major research and development businesses located along Plymouth Road. The Arborland and Tuomy Hills commercial concentrations along Washtenaw Avenue employ nearly 1,500 people in retail commercial and office activities. Another 600 people are employed in the Lower Town service commercial center at Broadway and Maiden Lane. Employment is projected to double to 21,300 with the ultimate development of the area. Over 9,000, or 84 percent, of these new jobs are projected to be in research and development. Nearly all of the growth in employment is expected to be on the north side of the Plymouth Road corridor in the Plymouth Professional Park, the research and commercial development near Plymouth and Nixon Roads, and the proposed research areas north of Dhu Varren and Green Roads. Inter-Governmental Coordination In developing a plan for the northeast area, coordination is required between a number of governmental agencies which have plans for the area. These agencies include The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Township, Pittsfield Township, the Urban Area Transportation Study Group (UATS), the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA), and the Ann Arbor Board of Education. Several coordinating committees meet on a regular basis. These are: University of Michigan-City Coordinating Committee City-School Coordinating Committee UATS Technical and Steering Committees Special meetings set up by the Washtenaw Country Metropolitan Planning Commission provide additional opportunities for communication and coordination between planning jurisdictions. Wherever possible, elements of the plans and policies developed by these agencies have been incorporated into the Northeast Area Plan.
GUIDING POLICIES The 1973 General Development Plan and the policy components of the elements of the City Master Plan provide guidance and direction for the City's planning decisions. These general policies for land use, circulation, public facilities, historical preservation, urban design and environmental quality set the tone for the specific recommendations contained in the Northeast Area Plan. Highlights from these plans are summarized below. Land Use Within residential areas, established neighborhoods must be protected from the intrusion of incompatible land uses, increased traffic, deterioration and other negative environmental impacts. Amenities such as public parks, public facilities, convenience stores and a mix of housing types should be made available to all neighborhoods. Commercial use should be grouped into integrated units of mixed land uses, and new strip development along thoroughfares should be prohibited. Commercial centers must be consistent in scale and appearance with existing neighborhoods and sized to serve the needs of the market area for which they are intended. Office, industrial and research uses should be planned to be functionally, visually and environmentally compatible with surrounding residential areas. Public Facilities All neighborhoods should be provided with developed City-owned parklands to meet local recreational needs. Land or easements for public use should be acquired to form an interconnected greenway system. A policy of acquisition of lands along the Huron River Valley should be followed. The provision of municipal services should be provided to areas v(ithin the City sewer service area. Development of public facilities should proceed in- a direction that will permit their eventual linkage to major regional systems if this proves advantageous to the City in terms of environmental quality economic considerations. Circulation. The planning and funding of pedestrian, bicycle and public transportation systems should be emphasized as an alternative to automobile circulation. Land use patterns should be planned to minimize the need for private vehicular travel. Road patterns and alignments should respect major topographic features, contiguous developed areas and potential future neighborhood units. Local access roads should connect to minor arterials but not serve as short-cuts between them. Major arterials should not divide closely interrelated uses. Historical Preservation. The preservation of historically and culturally significant sites, structures, streetscapes and neighborhoods should be supported. Adaptive reuse of historically and culturally significant structures which would be compatible with surroundings uses should be encouraged.
Urban Design Al1 development should provide a visual enhancement to the City. An intensified design and implementation program for the visual improvement of all public lands, including street rights-of-way, is necessary. A high density of tree-cover should be maintained. Environmental Quality Woodlands, wetlands, and wildlife habitats should be maintained through sensitive land use planning. Major developments should evaluate environmental impacts and comply with established environmental regulations. Surface water runoff should be detained to minimize direct flow into the Huron River. Noise generating activities should be isolated. Alternative waste disposal systems should be investigated to conserve the landfill capacity. In addition to the policies described in above, guidelines related to annexation and affordable housing have been established by the Planning Commission and City Council since adoption of the 1973 General Development Plan. Annexation In the northeast area, all land within the City sewer service area should be annexed by the City in an orderly manner. Any property within this area should be serviced with municipal sewer and water if the land is developed for urban uses. Affordable Housing Because the northeast area contains concentrations of lower-income groups, such as college students, single-parent families, retirees, and low and moderate-income workers, housing opportunities should be encouraged to be made available to these groups. Private developers are encouraged to propose methods to reduce costs of housing while still meeting realistic building and land development standards. In selection of affordable housing sites, consideration must be given to accessibility to public services such as public transit, schools and parkland as well as shopping facilities. Planning techniques allowing greater open space and diversity of housing types should be encouraged.
With, the exception of the Lower Town and near-campus neighborhoods, most of the development in the northeast area has been guided by recent city plans and zoning regulations. As pressures to develop the remaining vacant land grow, it is particularly important to continue a consistent land use pattern for future development. The recommendations outlined in this section and illustrated in Figure 5 focus on the over 1,500 acres of undeveloped land which is within the City sanitary sewer service area. However, redevelopment proposals should also be evaluated with the plan in mind.
Residential Use
The study area has been divided into six planning areas, (Figure 6). Land use recommendations are discussed for sites within each planning area, recognizing that future land use must be viewed in relationship to the entire northeast area. In total there are approximately 1,000 acres of planned, potential large-tract and infill residential land available in the northeast area. Excluding the existing residences in township island properties, this planned residential development could produce over 4,800 new dwelling units. In discussing residential density, the ranges used to describe certain land uses can be translated into the residential zoning districts shown below. The zoning district densities are expressed as maximum permitted dwelling units per acre (DU/AC). Residential Zoning District Density (DU/AC) Housing Type RIA 2.2 Single-Family Dwelling RIB 4.4 Single-Family Dwelling RIC 6.0 Single-Family Dwelling RID 8.7 Single-Family Dwelling R2A 10.2 Two-Family Dwelling R3, R4A, R4A/B 10.1 Townhouse & Multiple- Family Dwelling R4B 15 Multiple-Family Dwelling R4C 20 Multiple-Family Dwelling R4D 25 Multiple-Family Dwelling R4C/D 75.1 Multiple-Family Dwelling Area I The Northside neighborhood contains the oldest residential and commercial structures in the northeast area. Conservation of existing neighborhoods should guide planning decisions for the area. Future development in this area is largely limited to residential infill projects on small parcels. Where development or redevelopment is proposed, residential densities should not exceed the existing range of three to six dwelling units per acre. The residential areas south and west of Barton Drive and west of the University of Michigan North Campus should be explored as a potential historic district in order to conserve the existing residential scale and character and preserve the many good examples of early Ann Arbor residences (see Historic Preservation recommendations at the end of this chapter). Area II This area contains a number of vacant parcels, most of which are still in township jurisdiction. Because of their development potential, this area and the area to the east are anticipated to experience a significant increase in population, an increasing demand for City services and generate additional traffic. Therefore, careful site design and circulation planning is extremely important in this area.
Single-family detached dwellings and attached dwellings such as townhouses and duplexes are suggested for the 140-acre Subarea "A" west of Pontiac Trail. The residential densi.ty of new development in this area should be within a range of four to eight units per acre. A design mixing detached single-family homes in clusters and several higher density attached single-family units should be considered. Buffering must be provided to minimize the highway impacts on residential uses. In Subarea "B", the vacant land south of the City's Black Pond Park is currently zoned for townhouse and multiple-family development with a maximum density of ten units per acre. Because of the topography and significant natural features on this site, it is recommended that development be clustered on the south portion of the site, with environmentally-sensitive land west and/or south of Black Pond being acquired for additional parkland. The township parcel located west of the Black Pond site is recommended for a mixture of single-family attached and single-family detached housing, with residential densities ranging from four to eight units per acre. The approximately 155-acre Subarea "C" located directly north and west of Leslie Park offers the potential to expand community and neighborhood recreational opportunities in coordination with new residential development and an improved local circulation system. Residential development should include a mix of single-family and multiple-family dwellings with an average density of eight units per acre. New public streets connecting Dhu Varren Road, Pontiac Trail and Traver Road are strongly encouraged to disperse local traffic and provide alternative access points. North of Dhu Varren Road and west of the Ann Arbor Railroad is the 55-acre Subarea "D", currently owned by the Washtenaw County Road Commission. If made available for private development, the east portion of the site should be developed for single-family attached and detached uses. Residential densities on this site should range from four to eight units per acre. Development of this site must provide buffering from the highway. Area III Much of the residential development in this area has occurred in the 1ast 15 years. Of the undeveloped land in the north portion, a large amount is already in the City's jurisdiction and zoned for residential use. Subarea "A" contains the previously proposed "Foxfire" development, a 245-acre site characterized by farm fields, woodlots and a major tributary of Traver Creek. Clustering of single-family detached and attached housing to preserve the creek channels and woodlots is proposed with residential densities ranging from six to ten units per acre. The 32 acres closest to US-23/M-14 'is zoned for multiple family residential use at a density of up to 15 units per acre. As with all other residential sites adjacent to the highway, proper buffering and building orientation is necessary to mitigate the noise and pollution impacts.
The 40-acre Subarea "B" north of Logan School is recommended for single-family detached and attached homes at a density of four to six units per acre. Clustering is encouraged to preserve the wetlands in the southwest corner of the site and provide additional recreation and open space to be acquired for Logan School. In Subarea "C", the area between Leslie Golf Course and the proposed north/south collector street is recommended for multiple-family use with a density of up to 25 units per acre. The use of midrise buildings, consistent with development to the west, is encouraged to preserve the significant wetlands, woodlots and landmark trees on the site. Duplex or multiple-family use is recommended as a redevelopment option for the two-acre automobile salvage site located at the intersection of Plymouth Road and Upland Drive, unless it is determined that soil contamination would make residential use undesirable. Area IV With the completion of Windemere Townhouses at the southeast corner of Nixon and Green Roads, the residential development of this planning area is nearly complete. Individual single-family homes may be added in the future on a few small infill sites and undeveloped platted lots in established neighborhoods. Infill development should not exceed the existing single-family detached density of four to five units per acre. Area V The approximately 80 acres of undeveloped land located north of Geddes Road is recommended for single-family detached development. Because of the nature of the existing residential development and the sensitive natural environment, residential densities in this area should be limited to no more than four units per acre. Development of additional housing for senior citizens is recommended on the Glacier Hills site. Area VI The west portion of this planning area is largely developed. The Geddes Avenue area contains nearly 120 acres of land in Ann Arbor Township, most of which contain single-family homes. Except for those properties which are connected to City sewer by special agreements, these properties will be annexed individually as their owners petition for City services. Sub area "A" contains 42 acres on the west side of Huron Parkway, north of Washtenaw Avenue which are zoned for a mix of single-family detached and single-family attached uses. Site design should be sensitive to the wooded areas and protect the watercourse through the site. A significant setback from the Huron Parkway is also recommended. A mix of dwelling types is recommended for Subarea "B", a 92-acre site north of the proposed Clark Road connection to Huron Parkway and east of Chalmers Drive. Multiple-family use at a density of up to ten units per acre is recommended for the east portion of the site adjacent to US-23 and the south portion adjacent to Arborland. Design of such a development must include buffering to reduce highway impacts. The west portion of the site is recommended for
a mixture of detached and attached single-family uses, with single family detached being located adjacent to existing single-family development. Because of the heavily wooded and hilly terrain of Subarea "C", single-family attached development is recommended. Clustered unit design with a residential density of six to ten units per acre should be used to preserve the natural features of the site.
Commercial Use
As both the residential and employment population of the northeast area grow, the need for commercial use increases. Because there is no authoritative formula by which to determine the amount or type of commercial use that will be needed to serve this growing population, recommendations for the location of commercially-zoned land contained in this plan are based on a range of the following rough projections, along with other standards of proximity, convenience and accessibility. Percentage of land area. Based on a February 1988 inventory, 2.27 percent of the developed City land in the northeast area is in commercial use. Applying this percentage to the total area of undeveloped or township land (2,267 acres), an additional 51 acres of commercial area would be needed to maintain the status quo. Per capita floor area. The amount of existing commercial floor area per resident in the northeast area is 33.4 square feet. This compares to an average of 61.8 square feet of commercial floor area per capita for the entire City. Using the existing 33.4 square feet per capita figure, population growth of 6,000 people by the year 2005 would indicate a need of 200,400 square feet of additional commercial floor area. Assuming an average floor area to lot area ratio of 22 percent, this amount of commercial floor area would require 21 acres of land. If the City-wide average of 61.8 were applied to the additional 6,000 people, this would result in a need for 39 acres. Shopping center standards. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) describes shopping centers in general categories of neighborhood, community or regional, although distinctions between these categories are often blurred. In general, neighborhood centers provide convenience goods and services and include a grocery store. Community centers may also provide convenience items, but provide a greater selection of merchandise than a neighborhood center. A community center usually includes a variety or department store or strong specialty store. A regional center is characterized by a major department store and a great variety of general merchandise. Each of these categories of centers is observed to exist within a general range of floor area and acreage, and requires a certain threshold of population to survive.
Based on general ULI standards, 21 acres of community commercial could be supported at this time in the portion of the northeast area north of the Huron River.This area is currently not served by a community commercial center. The standards also indicate that the existing development in the northeast area is adequately served by neighborhood commercial. Assuming a population growth of 6,000 people by the year 2005, an additional 6 acres of neighborhood commercial and 4.5 acres of community commercial will be necessary to serve the new population. This then results in a total need for 25.5 acres of community commercial and 6 acres of additional neighborhood commercial for the study area. It should be noted that these figures may be reduced by combining community and neighborhood functions into single centers. Two neighborhood commercial sites are recommended to serve the northern portion of the study area: a five to eight-acre site on one quadrant of the Pontiac Trail/Dhu Varren Road intersection, and a five to eight-acre site on the northwest corner of Dhu Varren and Nixon Roads. Because of its central location and proximity to three arterials, the ten to 15-acre site at the northwest corner of Plymouth and Nixon Roads is recommended for commercial use. Development of this site for commercial use will create a unified community-type commercial center for the northeast neighborhood. This commercial center should provide pedestrian and bicycle linkages to surrounding residential areas, generous landscaping, and provision for general community services.
Research, Office and Industrial Use
Since the establishment of the University of Michigan's North Campus in t e 1950's, the northeast area has become known as a research center. In addition to providing a stable employment base, research development contributes to the open, campus-like feeling which characterizes the area. In order to enhance this reputation, planning decisions should preserve and enhance the existing research and office development in the Plymouth Road corridor. Additional sites for research and related uses are recommended in several locations: the 50-acre site directly north and west of the Environmental Protection Agency, the 70-acre site west of Nixon and north of Dhu Varren Roads and the 93-acre site east of Nixon and south of M-14. In addition, a 77-acre planned unit development site north of Green Road is currently zoned for office and research development. Heavy industrial use is not recommended for the northeast area. Research and light industrial developments often allow the opportunity for a more environmentally-compatible design than other types of uses because of the large lot size preference and the
ability to concentrate buildings, parking and other site development impacts. All of the sites listed above contain wetlands and other significant natural features which should be considered in any development proposal.
Institutional Use
University of Michigan The University of Michigan follows the guideline contained in the North Campus Plan in making land use decisions for this area. The plan, adopted by the Regents in 1984, calls for a central academic/research core area of 100 acres north of Fuller Road between Murfin and Beal Avenues, and eventually extending east to Huron Parkway. This core area is to be surrounded by a campus housing area of 173 acres. The plan calls for 6,500 dwelling units in both married student and dormitory units. Presently, there are nearly 3,900 dwelling units on North Campus. The area of North Campus located east of Huron Parkway, which currently consists of service facilities and vacant land, is proposed to be used for open space, research and campus support facilities. Continued coordination between the City and the University is encouraged to assure compatible development. Veteran's Administration Due to a growing demand for space, the Veteran's Administration has developed plans to expand their hospital and parking facilities to the east. These plans involve the realignment of Fuller Road and the development of an improved traffic pattern in the area. Careful coordination is required between the City, Veteran's Administration and the University to insure that the expansion is consistent with City plans and policies for the area. Concordia College Concordia College, a private four-year institution associated with the Lutheran Church, is situated on three parcels totaling 400 acres which surround the intersection of Geddes and Earhart Roads. The school's master plan recommends retaining athletic fields north of Geddes and limiting development on the northeast parcel to residential uses, such as housing for married students. Academic buildings are to be concentrated between Geddes and the river. Because of the presence of significant natural features on or near the Concordia site, it is recommended that future development preserve these features.
Other Recommendations
Historic Districts Historic preservation has become the catalyst for the revitalization of entire neighborhoods, spurring private investment in older central neighborhoods. In Ann Arbor, historic preservation regulations have taken the form of overlay districts, supplementing the building code and zoning ordinance. In such districts, historic preservation standards are applied to certain types of exterior alterations of structures.
The northeast area currently contains one historic district, the Northern Brewery District, which contains a landmark structure on Jones Drive. The establishment of historic district ordinances for two neighborhoods located within the study area, Washtenaw-Hill and Northside, should be considered (Figure 7). The Washtenaw-Hill district is proposed to encompass the residential neighborhoods north and south of Geddes Avenue and extending east along Washtenaw Avenue. The Northside district would contain the residential neighborhoods south of Barton Drive between Longshore Drive on the west and Broadway on the east. Regulations for these districts should closely resemble those for existing residential historic districts, such as the Old West Side and the Old Fourth Ward. The establishment of residential historic districts has generally resulted in a very positive effect. Home ownership percentages and property values have increased in certain districts. However, since older neighborhoods have traditionally housed lower income, elderly, and minority families, care must be taken that the regulations do not result in displacement of these residents. Natural Features The northeast area contains a number of natural features on both developed and undeveloped land which should be preserved. These woodlots, wetlands, watercourses, and steep slopes provide a colorful, relaxing environment in which to live and work and can absorb many impacts of urban development if they are accounted for properly. New public and private development or redevelopment of sites containing these features should be designed to preserve as much as possible in undisturbed form. If properly designed, new urban development can coexist in close proximity to natural features without major negative impacts. The City of Ann Arbor has inventoried sites in the northeast area and identified a number of significant natural features which are of particular importance (Figure 8). These include the 30-acre wetlands north of Green Road and east of Nixon Road; landmark trees, woodlots, and wetland in the area between Traver Lakes and Dhu Varren Road; the woodlot west of Black Pond Park; the significant vegetation and wetlands east of Ruthven Park; and the wetlands and woodlot on the Traverwood site.
Framework Historically, northeast Ann Arbor has been served by four entry corridors; Washtenaw Avenue, Fuller/Geddes Roads, Plymouth Road, and Pontiac Trail. These corridors led into the downtown from outlying areas. These corridors, with the addition of the north/south Nixon Road/Huron Parkway corridor, continue to provide the basic circulation framework for the northeast area. The road network for the northeast area has been classified by dividing it into several categories: Regional Route - a route providing continuity and access to and from other parts of the state and region. Major Route - a route providing major access to regional routes and between parts of the Ann Arbor urbanized area and region. Intermediate Route - a route which "feeds" major routes and serves a general sector of the City of Ann Arbor. Minor Route - a route which collects local traffic and "feeds" intermediate routes Residential Collector Street - a street which conducts traffic from local streets to the above routes. Local Street - a street whose principal purpose is to provide vehicular and pedestrian access to property abutting the public right-of-way. Figure 9 illustrates the recommended road functional classification system for the year 2005. In large part, the vehicular circulation pattern for the northeast area has already been established. This plan provides recommendations for the refinement of these patterns. Major aspects of this plan are detailed below. Clark Road Extension to Huron Parkway US-23 restricts east/west access into Ann Arbor to five major routes. They are Plymouth Road, Geddes Road, Washtenaw Avenue, Packard Road, and Ellsworth Road. Traffic projections for the year 2005 estimate average daily trips (ADT) for Washtenaw Avenue to be 74,000 ADT, or 34,000 ADT over capacity. The extension of Clark Road west across US-23 to Huron Parkway is proposed in the Urban Area Transportation Study Committee Plan to add another route to the east-west street system. This additional route would carry some of the future traffic that will be using the Washtenaw corridor. The Clark Road extension over US-23 would function as an intermediate route, "feeding" major routes in the area if built. In addition to extending Clark Road, other traffic improvements should be pursued to address the problem of east-west traffic congestion. These include completion of the extension of Golfside Drive from Washtenaw to Huron River Drive, widening of Hogback/Dixboro from Washtenaw
Avenue to Plymouth Road, improvements to Huron River Drive west of Hogback Road, and improved traffic control at the Washtenaw/Carpenter intersection. Fuller/Geddes Corridor Fuller/Geddes Road is classified as a major route, serving as a significant entry corridor into The University of Michigan and the downtown area. Existing trips are from 12,000 ADT west of Huron Parkway to 11,600 ADT on the segment just west of US-23. This represents a use approximately 20 percent above the estimated capacity for the existing two-lane roadway. Because of this capacity problem, Fuller/Geddes Road is considered to be a deficient corridor. Improvements should be made to this corridor to relieve some of the pressure on the Washtenaw Avenue and Plymouth Road corridors. In order to improve the capacity and safety of the corridor, Fuller Road should be realigned to provide a two-way street north of the Veterans Administration Hospital and east of Oakway Drive. The entire street should be widened from a point west of the bridge over the Huron River to the Geddes/US-23 interchange. Special care must be taken in improving the capacity of this corridor to protect residential and historic structures fronting on the road and to reduce potential environmental impacts. Coordination is also required with Concordia College to insure that pedestrian access between the north and south portions of the campus is preserved. Huron Parkway/Inner Belt System During the 1950's, state and federal agencies developed the concept of a circumferential highway skirting the east side of Ann Arbor and proceeded to acquire right-of-way for its construction. City officials subsequently convinced these agencies to relocate the highway path further east and north in the present US-23/M-14 configuration. The concept of Huron Parkway was originally proposed in the 1959 Thoroughfare Plan as an "inner belt" for the northeast area, utilizing the right-of-way acquired for the original US-23 route. This parkway was to act as an intermediate route, providing access to major routes in the area. Traffic counts conducted by the City Transportation Department in 1985 showed traffic on Huron Parkway to be 10,810 ADT between Baxter and Plymouth Road and 4,090 ADT between Plymouth Road and Nixon Road. This plan recommends revision of the Huron Parkway "inner belt" concept, making use of existing roads to serve future development in the northwest portion of the study area and minimize disruption to Leslie Golf Course and adjacent residential developments. Under this concept, the Huron Parkway/Nixon Road corridor serves as a major north-south route bisecting the northern portion of the study area. The revised inner belt would consist of Nixon Road, Dhu Varren Road and Pontiac Trail, defining a large super-block north of Plymouth Road. East-west traffic movements through this area are considered to be less critical to efficient traffic movement than the north-south movement.
The segment of Huron Parkway proposed to extend from Nixon Road to Tuebingen Parkway is to be reduced to a collector street and the segment proposed to extend across Leslie Golf Course eliminated from the plan. A portion of the existing right-of-way east of Pontiac Trail should be retained in case there is a need for a residential collector to gain access to the property to the southeast. This access street would only be built to serve a public or private development after a review of possible neighborhood impacts. In order to function, this revised circulation system requires several additional north-south connections: Traver Road should be connected to Dhu Varren Road west of the railroad right-of-way, and Tuebingen Parkway should be connected to Dhu Varren Road east of the railroad right-of-way. Another proposed north-south connection would connect the Huron Parkway extension to Plymouth Road west of the Environmental Protection Agency property. Nixon Road between Plymouth Road and Huron Parkway should remain in i ts current configuration until a City traffic analysis indicates vacation of the street would improve traffic circulation. Highway Interchanges Currently there are four interchanges which provide access to the northeast area from regional routes: M-14/Barton Drive, and US-23/Plymouth Road, US-23/Geddes, and US-23/Washtenaw. Further development of this area calls for an additional access point somewhere between the Plymouth and Main Street interchanges, in addition to improvements to the operation and/or location of the existing interchanges. Because final approval of these projects rests with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the City and the Urban Area Transportation Study Committee need to coordinate local plans with MDOT officials and attempt to obtain a funding commitment. The Barton Drive/M-14 interchange is inadequately designed for the amount of traffic it services, and funnels a large amount of traffic through the adjacent residential neighborhood. The North Main Street/M-14 interchange is also inadequate for the volume of traffic it currently handles. Any improvements to the North Main Street/M-14 interchange might consider the construction of a connection from Pontiac Trail to M-14 utilizing the right-of-way that the City owns. A detailed study of the highway access problems in this area should be included as a part of the City's Transportation Plan Update. The Plymouth Road/US-23 interchange is inadequate for the volume of traffic it currently handles. To prevent further congestion of the Plymouth Road corridor, this interchange needs to be improved. An interchange should be considered in the Nixon Road and M-14/US23 area to provide an additional access point to the northeast area and reduce pressure on the two existing interchanges. However, the traffic impact of Ann Arbor Township development along the M14/Dixboro corridor must be evaluated for its impact on the need for a Nixon Road interchange. If constructed, the interchange should be located between the two US-23/M-14 junctions, west of existing Nixon Road.
Mass Transit The five entry corridors within the northeast area are experiencing capacity overloading. The optimistic mass transit capture rates used in the 1977 Plan for Solving Circulation Problems have not been realized. With the continuing urban development within and surrounding the northeast area, alternatives to continued road construction must be explored and encouraged. Mass transit routes should be expanded into the surrounding townships. A fixed rail system utilizing existing railroad right-of-way should be examined. Official park-and-ride facilities should be established at easily accessible locations such as shopping centers and public buildings by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority and The University of Michigan. Most importantly, the 1977 circulation plan needs to be updated to provide a comprehensive transportation strategy and implementation guidelines. Corridor Design Since modern urban systems are predominately automobile oriented, many urban design issues pertain to transportation systems. Private development and public road construction along major entry corridors such as Plymouth Road and the Fuller/Geddes Road corridor should follow specific design policies. The Fuller/Geddes Road corridor may be designed with a boulevard center section provided where possible. Tree plantings and sidewalk/ bicycleways should also be part of the design. Access should be limited to existing curb cuts where possible. Road design of this corridor must respect the historical and residential structures and environmental features which front on portions of Fuller and Geddes Roads. The Plymouth Road corridor is one of the fastest growing areas in the City. Large amounts of open space provided by research facilities and the University of Michigan provides the distinctive appearance of the corridor. This park-like setting is further emphasized by the corridor's smooth, rolling horizontal and vertical alignments. The image of the park-like setting on the entire corridor should be preserved by 1) maintaining expanded front setbacks to both buildings and parking along the road frontage, 2) expanded earth berming and tree plantings in the front setbacks, 3) eliminating unneeded curb cuts, and consolidating cuts where possible, 4) where structures and parking lots intrude with 250 feet of the street right-of-way, the density of tree materials should be increased. The established Huron Parkway standards of large setbacks and limited curb cuts should be continued as much as possible along Nixon Road, which is proposed to serve as the northern extension of Huron Parkway.
Utility Systems Storm Sewer (Figure 10). Within the study area north of the Huron River, Traver Creek and the North Campus system are the most significant drainage areas. The developed area is serviced with an extensive, underground piped system. The undeveloped portions of the basins are served with open drains. The Traver Creek Valley system is the largest system. It drains most of the area between Pontiac Trail and Nixon Road south of M14/US-23. West of the Traver basin are three small urban systems, Huron Highlands, Huron River and Argo, which empty directly into the Huron River. The Fleming Creek drains the eastern fringe of the study area. South of the Huron River, the Pittsfield-Ann Arbor Drain is the most significant organized system. Swift Run drains the far eastern fringe. Because of the low-density residential use on generally hilly terrain, the area between the Huron River and the Pittsfield-Ann Arbor basin is not served by an,underground storm sewer system. Coordinated with improvements to Plymouth Road in 1989, the Traver Creek culvert under the roadway will be improved to correct drainage deficiencies. As development occurs in each drainage basin, each proposal will be required to provide on-site storm water detention designed to limit storm runoff to pre-development levels. Water Distribution (Figure 11). The older residential Northside neighborhood and the areas south of the Huron River are served with six and eight-inch mains, while the remainder of the area is serviced by 12, 16 and 20-inch water transmission lines. The northeast area is served by one storage facility, a five million gallon underground facility on Beal. A 500,000-gallon elevated tank facility on Plymouth Road west of Green Road maintains pressure in the system. A major transmission main is planned to loop around the north part of the study area by 1990. This facility is needed to provide improved capacity and pressure. Sanitary Sewer (Figure 12). Two main sewer trunklines, North Campus and Traver Creek, and two submains, Earhart/Greenhills and Northside, serve the area north of the Huron River. These systems generally correspond to the surface drainage basins and storm sewer districts. All of the existing urban development north of the Huron River in the City either is or can be served by the City sanitary sewer system. South of the Huron River, the Pittsfield-Ann Arbor trunkline services the drainage basin. The area north of the service area is generally not served with a sanitary sewer system except for the area accessed by the small submains shown on the map. The residential densities range up to two dwellings per acre. Some of
the township properties were allowed to tap into City utility lines without annexing into the City through special agreements. Two major sewer mains are programmed for 1989, the Northside Submain Relief and the Traver Creek Sewer Extension. The existing Northside Submain downstream of Barton Drive does not provide enough capacity and a relief sewer is recommended to provide sufficient capacity for the present and future flows. An increase in the service area is predicted to provide service to Barton Hills. Extension of existing sanitary sewer along Traver Road wi 1 1 be necessary to serve future development along Dhu Varren Road. Other major sewer main extensions will be necessary for the area north of Arborland and the areas north of Dhu Varren Road. Schools The northeast contains four elementary schools (Northside Thurston, Logan and King), two middle schools (Clague and Tappan) and a high school (Huron). In addition to public schools, there are three private schools: St. Paul's Lutheran School (elementary), Greenhills School (secondary), and the Michigan Islamic Academy (elementary and secondary). Statistics for 1986 show an elementary school enrollment of 1,490 students within the study area. The combined capacity of the four elementary schools serving the northeast area is 1,925 students. Ultimate residential growth projections would generate sufficient enrollment to create a deficit elementary school capacity. Part of this deficiency may be offset by reactivating Freeman School, located in Ann Arbor Township and presently leased to a day care operation. Middle school and senior high school capacities are considered sufficient for the planning period. The idea of reserving another elementary school site in the north part of the study area should be studied. The City and the Board of Education should work in concert to identify the need for such a site to accommodate the number of elementary school students generated by ultimate northeast area residential growth. Fire Stations Presently there are six fire stations within the City. The northeast area (Fire District #5) is served by the Beal Station, located on The University of Michigan North Campus. The station serves both the North Campus and the northeast area. Present fire service and response time in the northeast area is generally adequate, but future growth in the north portion of the study area may generate a need for an additional facility. Any plan for fire service in the northeast area must address needs generated by the maximum development of the area. Future expansion of City fire service facilities should explore sharing services with Ann Arbor Township. Parks The northeast area contains 600 acres of City-owned parkland. School property provides another 173 acres of recreational land available to residents. The University of Michigan provides 132 acres of programmed open space and recreational sites. The combined
park and total of 905 acres represents 12.4 percent of the 1and within the study area. Neighborhoods with either high demand or that are deficient in parkland have been identified. The Arrowwood and North Campus neighborhoods exhibit a high demand and the Bader/Ann Arbor Hills neighborhood is deficient in active neighborhood parkland. Neighborhoods with high demand tend to have larger household size, a higher percentage of households with children and lower median income. All neighborhoods should be provided with active recreational space. Neighborhoods with identified recreational deficiencies should be targeted for priority park acquisition and development. In addition to active recreational area, parkland containing significant natural features should be acquired to provide for passive recreation opportunities within the northeast area. The Leslie recreational complex should serve as the hub of parkland development north of Plymouth Road. This hub should be connected to other park and school facilities through a system of lineal parks and pedestrian/bicycle trails. The Huron River and Gallup Park should serve as the hub for the area between Plymouth Road and Washtenaw Avenue. Huron Parkway and Traver Creek are important elements in providing linkages between these two park systems. Specific parkland acquisition and development recommendations for the northeast area are contained in the 1988-1994- Parks, recreation and Open Space Plan and the North Main Street Plan (Figure 13). Because a joint responsibility to provide and maintain recreation- al space exists between the City of Ann Arbor and other local units of government such as the Ann Arbor Public Schools and Washtenaw County, increased coordination and communication between these different agencies is essential for a responsible park program. Recycling Currently, the only recycling facility located in the study area is a composting drop-off site at Leslie Science Center. Recycle Ann Arbor, in coordination with the City, provides curbside pickup of recyclable materials for residential households and collection programs for the commercial sector. City plans to expand the recycling program include development of small local collection sites to increase participation by residents of multiple-family developments. Additional programs and facilities should be developed to provide alternatives to landfill disposal of refuse. Other Facilities The northeast area contains several other facilities which are utilized by the public. A neighborhood branch of the Ann Arbor Public Library is located at Plymouth Mall. Northside Community Center, administered by the City Parks and Recreation Department, provides community services to low-income families and seniors. A privately-run community center, Green-Glacier, is operated by the Methodist Church and provides a number of neighborhood services.
Several methods may be used by the City to implement the recommendations contained in the Master Plan. These methods fall into two general categories: development of ordinances or regulations and the spending of public money on capital improvements. Ordinances State enabling legislation allows communities to zone land and adopt other land development regulations to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents. The Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 55 of the Ann Arbor City Code) establishes regulations for the use of the land, its maximum density and the height, size and placement of structures on the land. In order to be enforceable, objectives outlined in Master Plan must be translated into specific regulations and adopted as part of a zoning ordinance or land development regulations. In addition to the Zoning Ordinance, there are a number of other City ordinances which regulate the use of land: Chapter 26 - Refuse Chapter 61 - Signs Chapter 47 - Streets Chapter 62 - Landscape Chapter 55 - Zoning Chapter 63 - Soil Chapter 57 - Subdivision Erosion and Land Use Chapter 103 - Historic Chapter 59 - Off-Street Preservation Parking Chapter 104 - Fences The City Council has also adopted development policies requiring the installation of street trees and sidewalks or bike paths, and guidelines for the provision of parkland or off-site improvements by new developments. Because a development petition must be submitted to the City for review before land development regulations can be applied, their role in implementation of the Master Plan is limited. However, these guidelines also help shape other public decisions that relate to the development or improvement of City facilities or services. Capital Improvements Plan Regulations dictate what may or may not occur on a particular site, not if or when the development or redevelopment should occur. The timing of development can be influenced through the a City's capital improvement plan and the operating budget. Each year, the City Planning Commission develops a plan which specifies the priority of City-financed capital projects over the ensuing six years. These projects include utility line extensions and improvements, parkland acquisition and development, street construction and other major projects on City-controlled land or right-of-way. Once adopted, this plan is used by the City Council in making budget decisions throughout the year.
The 1988 Capital Improvement Plan identifies over 20 million dollars to be spent on projects located within the northeast area over the next six years. The table below indicates how these funds are proposed to be spent. 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 Park and Rec $2,570 652 1,018 400 75 200 225 Sanitary Sewer $1,513 150 600 321 442 - - Storm Sewer $563 563 - - - Water Mains $626 26 600 - - - Street Improve $15,628 4,050 6,562 2,816 - 200 2,000 TOTAL $20,900 $5,441 $8,780 $3,537 $517 $400 $2,225 Other Approaches A variety of supplementary approaches are used to implement the recommendations contained in this plan. One is the encouragement of annexation within the sewer service boundaries in coordination with improvements scheduled in the Capital Improvement Plan. Another important aspect of implementation is communication and coordination between planning agencies. Because development and circulation within the northeast area are impacted by the actions of the surrounding townships, the University, the Board of Education, the Urban Area Transportation Study Committee, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, and a variety of regional and state agencies; coordination with these decision-makers is necessary to insure that objectives contained in the City plan are met. This in turn requires a commitment on the part of the City to participate in joint coordinating efforts.