The U.S. Federal Building along with its 90 surface parking spaces is about to become a reality. Ann Arbor City Council approved the site plan at Monday's meeting, thus clearing the final hurtles slowing up the development. The parking lot comes at the expense of the historic Masonic Temple.
Following a public hearing, Council approved the building plan by a vote of six to four, with only the Republicans in support. But when it came to vacating an alleyway which could have held up construction, Council Democrats joined in the vote to make up the necessary eight votes needed for such an action. Only HRP Council member Kathy Kozachenko voted against the vacation.
Dick Ahern, a local architect and member of the People's Bicentennial Committee of Correspondence, said at the public hearing that court action against the development was still a possibility.
(Ahern authored the article on the building plan for the last issue of the SUN). Ahern said the environmental impact statement submitted by the feds was insufficient, and other buildings had been successfully challenged on this basis in the past. But unless the suit now becomes a reality, the federal building on Liberty and Fifth will.