Hannan House 4750 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Attendees: Councilman Scott Benson, Kathleen Klein, Christopher Cynar, Kathryn Underwood, Ahmina Maxey, Charles Stokes, LaReina Wheeler, Khalil Mogassabi, Erma Leaphart, Patrick Smithbauer, Todd Scott, Jacob Corudar, Sandra Yu, Patrick Donovan, Jeffery Nolish, Arzel Foster, Margaret Weber, Jeri Stroupe, Khalil Ligon, Simone Sagovai.
Minutes recorded by Chief Media Coordinator/Reporter Jazznae Sharee (GreeningDetroit.com).
Meeting not captured on audio-tape or film.
Meeting lead by: Councilman Scott Benson
• 3:00pm: Meeting called to order
• 3:03pm: Welcome
• 3:05pm: General Introductions
• 3:08pm: Councilman Scott Benson’s Vision for the Green Task Force
Benson would like to use the Green Task Force to create jobs.
Past issues with bringing visions to life discussed. Councilman Benson says focus on what is possible to pull together quickly (low hanging fruit).
Past issues between City Council and Mayor’s Office discussed.
Issues: Making things green in the city for a better environment for children and the city at large, lack of jobs (jobs must be a priority):
Quality of life needs to be addressed verses cutting costs (clean air, water, and recycling).
Green jobs agreed upon as a great priority to focus on.
Green is profitable economically, better for the community, trending issue right now among people.
BEWARE OF GREEN WASHING. Must make sure companies claiming to be green are truly green (fake green companies jumping on bandwagon)
Benson agrees with an attendee that incentives for green development should be looked into.
Possible incentives for storm water talked about (for green roofs).
Tax incentives suggested as a good idea for green buildings (In motion).
Place making meetings are taking place to help companies market (green).
Need a clear vision of what in the city is currently green; must identify green jobs…
Must spread the word of Green Task Force Accomplishments
Discussed ways to identify low hanging fruit and help turn Detroit Green both quickly and inexpensively (agreed by all).
Task force new direction must be out in their mission statement (agreed by all).
Green Task Force to be put on the City web page (Benson Agrees).
3:23pm: Water Sub-Committee Updates
Must have understanding for MOU (get Green Task Force on board).
MOU very important… city departments need to commit to promote green infrastructure & green buildings at department level.
Reducing pavement for storm water discussed.
Code Revisions discussed.
Water Sub committee provided draft of MOU to city departments & the green task force.
PDD working on updates to master plan (must find out if including water agenda is part of the plan) which is currently being looked into.
3:42pm Other Updates
Greenways Commission (Todd Scott)
Greenways is growing… hopes to get more done… meeting next month.
Trying for 20 million dollar grant.
Looking to build, hopes to be done by October with bike lanes.
Belle Isle is now a state park… politics holding up progress for bike lanes construction there.
Drainage issue discussed (being looked after).
Flooding is to be looked into.
Road project money Discussed (must be spent by September).
Handout passed around city council meeting: public meeting for the inner circle greenway
Railroad is expanding tunnel, plans to put greenway on top.
Traffic ordinance being looked over due to many outdated issues (bike laws)
Discussion of train coming from Pontiac to river walk as a possibility or idea.
Demolition and Deconstruction (Sandra Yu)
Report being prepared at for end of April (almost 400 properties)
App for residence discussed showing things like demolition site locations (data base) in process of funding this venture.
Demolition money must be spent by April 2015.
Active HHF (hardest hit funds)… Demolition for city currently being organized.
Opportunities: incentives for local hires
CAUTION: THE WAY BUILDINGS ARE TAKEN DOWN IS VERY IMPORTANT!!! MUST BE WATCHED AND DONE CORRECTLY (ACCORDING TO GREEN)
PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE: LEAD CLOUD OVER THE CITY, MUST BE MINDFUL OF DEMOLITION PRACTICES.
Dust issues discussed… dust inspection advised.
Demolition activity to be aggressive.
Data on best way to handle demolitions currently being analyzed.
LEAD POISIONING LINKED TO LOWER IQ LEVELS AND INCREASE IN CRIME RATES. LEAD POISION IS VERY EASY TO TRANSMIT.
Bridge project needs best value bid instead of low cost.
Understanding needed of who is to do demolitions.
Lead dust discussed as an economic issue. Learning disabilities means less people in the work force, which affects the cities earning potential. This issue is to be brought to the attention of The Department of Neighborhoods.
Discussion of watering down lead and its effect of soil (complex issue).
Discussion on Detroit land being contaminated due to rules being broken. Too costly to handle soil. Someone suggest compost that binds lead.
Detroit Climate Action Collaborative (Kahlil Ligon)
Discussion of creating the cities first climate plan, they have been planning for a year. Pollution reduction is part of the plan. Would like consideration…
Urban Ag/ Livestock (Kathryn Underwood)
Agriculture discussed… city needs to be better equipped for agriculture.
Ordinance to be revised.
April: helping people understand the ordinance.
Discussion of livestock, what to have here and what not… community split 50/50 on having animals. Plans to change approach with reviews.
Michigan Humane Society to figure out grazing for urban shepherding.
City concerns: how to regulate livestock… discussion of creating a guild to handle that and take strain off of the city.
Idea Suggested: Guild for rental property owners
Issue: Too many agriculture committees, report out to task force (Benson agrees).
Question asked to Benson: “Is there education for council staff for green info?”…. Benson said he was unaware of lead cloud and so is the council.
Presentations suggested to educate city council (Benson Agrees).
Sandra to info to inform public of possibilities… read city agenda suggested.
Benson wants to know what the people are thinking. Suggested that developers fill out forms for city council to stay informed.
Discussion of last year’s grants and stipulations surrounding them.
Benson ask task force for help and task force agreed.
Stated that community Economic Development handles grants.
Discussion of pros and cons to city council meeting locations. Agreed that most feel more comfortable off site.
Benson calls Time check (4:33pm)
Discussion of meeting running over and someone needing to leave.
Sub-Committees to be discussed next month at the next meeting.
Discussion held: Detroit Climate Action Plan/Idea for sub-committee/supporter of Kahlil.
Benson ask Kahlil to take on project.
Limitation of legislations discussed briefly.
Curb recycling starting soon, need to get residence on board.
Benson says projects are in motion to educate the city/RIZZO being scheduled.
Kathy is from Waste Management (RIZZO’s competitor)/asked to present for education… says she needs to follow up with coworkers.
Question asked: Did master plan and zoning come up? What will zoning and changes be? Answer: They are in the process, nothing has kicked in, nothing formal has happened.
CPC working on zoning and master plan
Discussion about confusion concerning meeting whereabouts.
Benson calls meeting adjourned at approximately 4:44pm.
NOTES (all that follows occurred after meeting was called adjourned):
Decided that meetings will be held once a month for an hour and a half, same location (keep out of downtown). MSU suggested as a better place (larger and free parking).
Benson suggested presentation for lead dust/20th of May/Evening City Council
Meeting/15 minutes allowed.
Suggested by Patrick Donovan that the Detroit Green Task Force Facebook page be reopened and set up if spreading the word is part of the concern. Benson agrees and appoints Mr. Donovan in charge of that project.
Reporter: Jazznae Sharee