Adrian Armory

Adrian Armory could be redeveloped into apartments

A proposal for two new apartment buildings downtown has shifted focus, but is still in the works. Last summer, Peter Jobson, president of Excel Realty Group in Ohio, spoke to the Adrian City Commission about building two affordable housing complexes on spaces that are currently occupied by city parking lots. One would have been on the site of the Maiden Lane parking lot on the east side of South Winter Street, and the other would have been on Church Street across from the Lenawee County Historical Museum. In order to provide enough parking for residents and to replace the parking spaces that would have been lost, the apartments would have sat on top of three-story parking structures, bringing the total height of the buildings to six stories. However, city administrator Shane Horn said, the developer is now looking at two different downtown locations. Continue Reading

Downtown Adrian

City commission says no to four-story limit on buildings downtown

The Adrian City Commission on Monday shot down a proposal to ban any building higher than 60 feet or four stories in Adrian’s central business district, but left the door open to considering a more limited list of height restrictions in the future. The proposed ordinance, which was recommended by the planning commission in a 6-3 vote, would have applied to the entire B3 central business district. Planning commission chairman Mike Jacobitz said the concern is that with no height limits whatsoever, the door is currently open to buildings of any height anywhere downtown, which could damage the appearance of the downtown historic district. Most buildings downtown are shorter than four stories, with only a few having four. “It’s not a development issue. Continue Reading

City election forum

Listen to last night’s Adrian city election forum online

Both candidates for mayor and six candidates for Adrian City Commission took part in a forum Tuesday night at Siena Heights University organized by the Lenawee County chapter of NAACP. The candidates for mayor are Jim Berryman and Kirk Valentine. The candidates for city commission who attended the forum were Chuck Chase, Tom Faulhaber, Allen Heldt, Ray Lennard and Lad Strayer, who are on the ballot, and Devin Stevens, who is running as a write-in candidate. The sixth candidate on the ballot, Nicole Gestwite, was unable to attend. Continue Reading

Devin Stevens

Write-in candidate Stevens expands city commission candidate list to seven

Though only six candidates are on the ballot, a seventh person is in the race for Adrian City Commission, with an announcement by Devin Stevens that he plans to run as a write-in. Stevens, who has been active in conservative political circles since well before his graduation from Madison High School in 2013, works at Old National Bank. In his campaign announcement on Oct. 7, he listed public safety as his first priority. He also talked about economic development and changing the way city commissioners are elected to get more representation from the east side of Adrian. Continue Reading

Kiwanis Trail

Who uses the Kiwanis Trail? Resident surveys trail users to find out

After a discussion at an Adrian City Commission meeting earlier this summer about resurfacing part of the Kiwanis Trail, which runs from Adrian almost all the way to Tecumseh, city resident John Kuschell started wondering what kind of use the trail gets. But instead of just wondering, he decided to find out. He designed a survey and visited the trail 21 times during July and August, taking three hours per visit and traveling the entire length. With the help of Tom MacNaughton, Re-Bicycle Lenawee, Adrian Locksmith and Cyclery, Maple City Wheelers and the YMCA of Lenawee County, he conducted 233 face-to-face interviews along the trail and gathered offsite responses from trail users, as well as counting the number of people using the trail at different times of day. The final tally was the result of counting 720 trail users, conducting face-to-face interviews with 233, and collecting written surveys from 71 more. We’ll post more about the findings later, but in the meantime, here’s what the survey found. Continue Reading

Maple Avenue

City to keep parking lanes on Maple after residents object to removal

After receiving objections from several residents at Tuesday night’s Adrian City Commission meeting, commissioners decided not to remove parking from West Maple Avenue when it’s restriped later this year. The road is scheduled to be resurfaced, and as a result will need restriping. That led to a discussion last month about the possibility of putting in bike lanes on both sides and prohibiting on-street parking. However, a number of residents said that because their homes don’t have large driveways, they depend on on-street parking, especially when friends and family visit. Maple Avenue resident Marcia Harrington said only a handful of cyclists use Maple, and the idea of prohibiting residents from parking in front of their homes is “not fair to us as homeowners that live on the street and pay our taxes.” Continue Reading

Maple Avenue

Bike lanes, turn lane, or no change? Maple Avenue on city commission’s agenda

Maple Avenue will need its stripes repainted after an upcoming resurfacing project — but it might not look the same. The Adrian City Commission will consider three options at its next meeting, which is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the City Chambers Building. The options are:

Removing the on-street parking area and adding bike lanes. Removing the on-street parking area and adding a center turn lane. Keeping the street as-is except for adding a turn lane between Main and Winter streets. Continue Reading

Second Taco Bell in Adrian

Last major obstacle to North Main Taco Bell is out of the way

The last major roadblock to a new Taco Bell restaurant on the north side of Adrian has been removed. At issue is 0.27 acre of land adjacent to Island Park that the developer, Sundance Inc., wants to buy from the city in order to get the restaurant’s entrance far away from Albert Street to avoid causing problems with that intersection. A variety of problems were discovered in the process of trying to sell the property, including a clause giving 70 percent of any mineral rights to the state, and a requirement for the city to acquire an equivalent amount of land for recreational purposes; these stemmed from the city originally using DNR funds to buy the land. For more background, see this previous story. City administrator Shane Horn said Monday that the state has cleared the mineral rights restriction, which was the last major obstacle. Continue Reading

Maple Avenue

Should West Maple Avenue have bike lanes?

The city of Adrian is considering adding bike lanes to West Maple Avenue after the road is resurfaced later this year. The city commission discussed the idea at a study session before Monday night’s meeting. City administrator Shane Horn said the lanes would run from U.S. 223 on the west side of town to the downtown area, connecting to the Kiwanis Trail. He said the Kiwanis Trail is well-utilized and this would make it easier to access. Maple Avenue is 40 feet wide on the west end of town, out toward U.S. 223, and narrows to between 30 and 32 feet past Scott Street. Continue Reading

Police Chief Vince Emrick addresses Adrian city commissioners at a work session before their Aug. 3 meeting.

Issues faced by APD include gang rivalries, increase in calls, decrease in applicants

Calls to the Adrian Police Department have risen dramatically during the past few years, police chief Vince Emrick told city commissioners during a work session before Monday’s commission meeting. Emrick showed commissioners a graph of how many calls for service the department has received each year since 2012, with estimates for 2015 based on call volume so far:

Year
Calls for service

2012
10,599

2013
12,591

2014
17,049

2015
 19,477 (estimate)

“As you can see, we’ve had a steady rise since 2012,” Emrick said. Part of the difference from 2012 to 2013 could be attributable to a better record-keeping system implemented at that time, but the number has continued to rise since then, he said. Emrick updated the commission on several recent incidents, including the Church Street shooting in July and the drug raids that came immediately before it. He said those incidents involved two rival criminal groups. Continue Reading