What Counts as Outside “The Boundaries of Normal Messing-Up”? // Alice Dreger

Historic District - Sunset Ln - Copyright Raymond Holt

As  reported at ELi today , City Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday night to finally end the excruciating process of considering changes to the Oakwood Historic District boundaries. 

As was expected when this process started in 2013, the DDA’s Evergreen Avenue properties were removed to allow for redevelopment in order to deal with the looming $5.4 million debt on them. I’m happy to say the boundary was moved only two properties farther north, leaving largely intact the district I bought into in 1998 with the purchase of our … Read more →

Oakwood Historic District Boundary // Alice Dreger

Oakwood Historic District Home

Because I am trying to fight City Hall to defend my rights as a person who intentionally bought a home in the Oakwood Historic District, I am no longer reporting on the subject for East Lansing Info. I am instead compiling information as a citizen.I’ve spent a great deal of time researching what we know, with the help of multiple citizens who have been involved in this procedural mess, and have produced the attached document. I want to make clear I am not blaming the … Read more →

Selling and redeveloping city’s Evergreen properties is not financially necessary // Eliot Singer

Three of the EverGreen properties

With a new Council and an apparent willingness to look beyond the DDA for solutions to the Evergreen properties quagmire, I am going to revive my analysis from several years ago that it is not financially imperative to sell and redevelop the city’s Evergreen properties, which were originally bought with the intent of tearing them down and replacing with a massive parking garage.

Recall that the properties were bought 10 years ago for more than 3 times their assessed market value, at a time … Read more →

11/5/19 City Election Results // Matt Kazmierski

Vote - East Lansing Elections Results, November 2019

If you haven’t already read / heard, here are the results from yesterday’s City election – taken from multiple sources – which included a race for three open seats on City Council, and a ballot question regarding the sale of land that the City owns at the southwest corner of West and Coleman roads.

City Council

1. Jessy Gregg – 2,944 votes

2. Lisa Babcock – 2,871 votes

3. Mark Meadows – 1,951 votes

4. Erik Altmann – 1,949 votes

5. John Revitte – 1,397 votes

6. Warren Stanfield III – … Read more →

A Letter From Mark Grebner // Matt Kazmierski

Mark Grebner Letter - front

Long-time local political activist and consultant, and Ingham County Commissioner – Mark Grebner – recently sent out a mailer regarding the upcoming City Council election in East Lansing. The snail-mail was sent to around 1,300 addresses in East Lansing. Since it had limited reach, I thought others might be interested in hearing what Mr. Grebner had to say.

Below is the text of his letter, and a PDF of the actual mailer is attached as well.

-Matt Kazmierski
Public Response administrator

———-

If you care what I think . … Read more →

Failure to Reform // Eliot Singer

I thought it might be useful to provide some insights as to what reformers hoped to accomplish at the time of the 2015 Council election.

The context that was finally conducive to reform was: City Center II, St. Anne’s Lofts, and other public-private development fiascos; “retaining-wall-gate”; neglect of neighborhoods in favor of the downtown development agenda; the growing fiscal crisis, brought on by unfunded debt for big projects, tax diversion to development authorities, and legacy costs; and lack of accountability in city hall. Getting rid … Read more →

Albert Ave. // Alice Dreger

When the Center City District project was pitched, the idea was to institute a “woonerf” on Albert Ave. between About Road and MAC Ave. A woonerf is a European street style that has no markings and slopes from storefronts – basically there are no sidewalks, no lines, no lanes. In Europe, these are usually old-fashioned cobbled roads and everyone goes slowly on them. They’re not very welcoming to cars unless drivers are willing to go very slowly, and the visual cues tell drivers to … Read more →

The Quest for Answers on the Center City Ground Lease Payments // Alice Dreger

East Lansing’s City Council voted on Tuesday night to clarify the Center City District ground lease deal so the City can finally start getting paid for use of the public land. I explain the details of the deal in a  new report   up today at ELi . 

Readers of Public Response are often interested in the backstories of major stories, so I wanted to make sure you note you have the opportunity to see my correspondence with city officials and the developers in terms of trying … Read more →

The DDA’s Evergreen Avenue Debt: It’s Time to Think Creatively // Alice Dreger

Three of the EverGreen properties

Tomorrow night, Sept. 10, City Council will take up the question of whether to permanently rezone the DDA’s Evergreen Avenue properties (314-344 Evergreen on the east side) to B3. In a report published today at ELi, I explain what that would mean and list what are seen as the pros and cons of this rezoning: 

https://eastlansinginfo.org/content/rezone-big-redevelopment-near-park-complicated-question-coming-council

As a lot of Public Response readers know, these properties carry about $5.6 million in debt, a debt for with City taxpayers are ultimately responsible. 

That debt … Read more →

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