Ann Arbor Community Solar May Allow for Denser Housing via A2Zero Plan

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The A2Zero carbon-neutrality plan in Michigan has called for an increase in housing in one of the state’s prime cities. As part of the plan, Ann Arbor community solar programs are being eyed to help justify more housing.

Ann Arbor’s A2Zero carbon-neutrality plan looks to power the community with 100% clean, renewable energy and promotes a reduction in vehicle use. The plan, however, also allows for mixed-use neighborhoods and recommends new policies in zoning to provide for the ability to create denser communities. According to the plan, the higher housing density will encourage residents to ride bikes and walk to get around.

Included in the documents for A2Zero carbon-neutrality is a financial breakdown for new Ann Arbor community solar programs. These programs would be constructed and developed to help power the multiplexes allowed by the new zoning.

Council Member Jack Eaton (D) spoke out against A2Zero, stating that the plan to increase housing density is not one he can support. Residents have also shown concern with the new zoning, which may allow quadruplexes and triplexes.

Along with plans for new community solar programs, A2Zero is expected to push for green housing rentals, charging stations for vehicles, renewable energy bulk purchases, and the construction of additional park-and-ride lots.

If approved, the $1 billion A2Zero plan would shift Ann Arbor to 100% renewable energy by 2030. The estimated overall city cost would be $13.7 million throughout implementing every stage of the plan.

A2Zero was expected to be up for consideration on June 1, 2020, but it has received pushback from Council Member Jane Lumm (I) and several colleagues calling for it to be postponed. They hope to keep the plan off the table until its flaws can be ironed out. In a statement about A2Zero, Lumm stated it would have negative effects on Ann Arbor and cost the city millions.

Though cities across the United States are pushing for additional community solar programs, A2Zero’s call for denser housing has also received criticism property tax concerns.


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