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Ann Arbor Asking If Properties Are Available To Become Parkland

Jul 23, 2014

A pair of properties that developers have had a challenge in using could become Ann Arbor parks.  8 acres of Woods and brush separate U-S 23 from Ann Arbor's quiet Burton Road on the city's eastside. 

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The property is just south of Sylvan Park, and has been the proposed site of an affordable housing project for close to a decade.  With no movement on the project, and taxes often coming in late the city is now going to ask the property owner if they are interested in selling so it can become parkland. 

City Council member Stephen Kunselman says it shouldn't be a concern about coming off the tax rolls, "Affordable Housing Project doesn't pay property taxes, except for a dollar a year.  It becomes tax exempt for the most part.  So whether it's a park or an affordable housing project the result to the general fund tax base is the same."  

Kunselman believes the fact Burton is a gravel road, and  runs up against the expressway has made it difficult to get federal tax credits for affordable housing.

The city is also inquiring about 2.64  acres on Glendale on the city's west side.  This property includes an orchard, landmark trees, and nearby residents have offered private funds to preserve the land as open space.

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— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.