Center of the City Task Force

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​​​ Fourth floor, 301 E. Huron Street, PO Box 8647, Ann Arbor, MI 48107

Christopher Cespedes,
Management Assistant and Staff Liason

​​​​​Council of the C​​ommons

City Council has appointed members to ​the Council of the Common​s, a body that will help advance the work of the Center of the City Task Force and realize the vision of the Ann Arbor Commons. 

Task Force Final Report

This report (10 MB PDF) presents a vision and set of recommendations to guide City Council on next steps, as called for in the resolution establishing the Task Force, and should serve as an advisory document that suggests a path towards achieving the “Center of the City,” including an urban park and civic center commons.


As community feedback was reviewed and ideas were discussed by the Task Force, a vision for the “Center of the City” began to form.

Our vision is to create spaces that are:
  • Inclusive and welcoming to everyone
  • Safe, active, and foster a culture of peace and non-violence
  • Easy to see, easy to get to, and easy to get thorough
  • ​Flexible, adaptable and sustainable
  • Inspiring and promote life-long learning
It is important to continue to engage with the community in the co-creation of this vision.

A full appendix for the report is also available. ​


On November 6, 2018, voters approved Proposal A to amend the City ​Charter, which states that city-owned land bounded by Fifth Avenue, and William, Division and Liberty Streets, including Liberty Plaza, the surface of the Library Lane parking structure and Library Lane itself, “shall be retained in public ownership, in perpetuity, and developed as an urban central park and civic center commons known as the 'Center of the City;'"

In response, the City Council passed resolution R-19-135 to establish the Center of the City Task Force. The task force's charge is to convene with the goal of facilitating a shared vision of the Center of the City and develop a report with re​commendations for City Council to advance the shared vision.

Report Drafts

Below are drafts of the report as it was being developed:

Public meetings

Task Force Meeting 15 - Further discuss draft recommendation and draft report
Task Force Meeting 14 - Discuss draft recommendations
Task Force Meeting 13 - Review Jan. 15 Open House and determine next steps.​ - Jan. 22, 2020

Open House - The Task Force discussed key questions with the Community, which will help inform the direction of the report - Jan. 15, 2020. ​

Task Force Meeting 12 - Prepare for Jan. 15 Open House and workshops to develop preliminary recommendations - Jan. 8, 2020

Workshops - The Task Force engaged in two workshops to discuss preliminary recommendations and determine the plan for the Open House. These workshops were held at the Downtown branch of the Ann Arbor Public Library, 343 South Fifth Ave.,​ on:

  • Jan. 10, 2020 from 3-5 p.m. at the Third Floor Freespace
  • Jan.​ 11, 2020 from 10-12 a.m. at the Fourth Floor Meeting Room 
Task Force Meeting 11 – Discuss Feedback, Targeted Mailing, Work Session, Open House, and Conceptual Visuals - Dec. 18, 2019​

Task Force Meeting 10 - Hear special presentation, discuss feedback, targeted mailing and upcoming open house - Dec. 11, 2019​

​​​Task Force Meeting 9 – Hear Special Presentations, Develop Feedback Strategy, Discuss Targeted Mailings - Nov. 25, 2019​
Task Force Meeting 8 – Recap/Evaluate Engagement Efforts, Discuss Targeted Mailings, and Discuss Partnerships - Nov. 13, 2019​
​Task Force Meeting 7 – Finalize N​ov. 6 Open House and Other Input Opportunities - October 30, 2019
Task Force Meeting 6 – Prepare for Large Community Meeting and Other Outreach Activities - Oct. 16, 2019
Task Force Meeting 5 – Advance Public Engagement Plan
Task Force Meeting 4 – Review Library Block History and Discuss Small Group Action Plans - Sept. 18, 2019​
Task Force Meeting 3 – Public Engagement, Subcommittees, Schedule, Deadlines, Information/Data Collection, and Define Park, Civic Space, Commons, Open Space and Green Space ​- Sept. 4, 2019
Ad Hoc Committee Meeting – Discuss Deadlines & Small Working Groups - Sept. 3, 2019​

Task Force Meeting 2 – Establish Team Norms & Define Report Parameters - Aug. 21, 2019​ Task Force Meeting 1 – Get Organized - Aug. 1, 2019​

Neighborhood meetings​

These meetings were held by a Task Force subcommittee to gather perspectives from neighbors on what they think is important to developing a public Commons that would serve the entire community.

  • Library staff: Oct. 10, Downtown library
  • Kempf House/HDC: Oct. 14, Kempf House
  • Nearby residents: Oct. 15, Third floor library free space
  • Nearby business owners: Oct. 21, Third floor library free space
  • AATA representatives: Oct. 21, 3rd floor library free space
  • DDA members: Oct. 23, DDA offices​​​


In accordance with the resolution to create the Task Force, two Council Members serving on the Parks Advisory Commission appointed members of the Task Force, including two members of City Council to serve as advisory members. The Task Force members are:

Hannah BoettcherTask Force Group Photo.jpg
Ann Dilcher
Alan Haber
John Haines​
Jeff Hayner (council member)
Miles Klapthor, Vice Chair
Carolyn Loh
Meghan Musolff, Chair
Chip Smith (council member)
Norman Tyler
Dean Yang

Additional information

The following links connect to previous planning documents, studies, presentations, and any other materials that offer context and information regarding the focus area. ​

Master Plan

Planning Commission resource documents


1989 Library Lot Task Force