Unfairgrounds Update and Action – City Planning Commission Meeting

October 1, 2020

Last Thursday evening, September 24th 2020, nearly 200 Detroiters joined a marathon Detroit City Planning Commission zoom meeting to follow the State Fairgrounds development activity. The call went past midnight and the Commission delayed the vote. Thank you to everyone who supported this effort. 

Detroit People’s Platform members and supporters
take action on this update and call from our community partners:

Please share this update from the Future of the Michigan State Fairgrounds

We congratulate the Detroit City Planning Commission for pushing back against the City administration’s pressure to convert the Fairgrounds from its current “Regional Park” designation to all “Light industrial.” We urge the Planning Commission to stand its ground! The next CPC meeting will be Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5pm. (login details and agenda http://bit.ly/Unfairgrounds)

Mayor Duggan and his administration wants to pave the way for creating yet another polluted “Sacrifice zone” in Detroit in exchange for some of the worst back breaking jobs there are – Amazon warehouse jobs – and they’re not even promised to Detroiters!

Mayor Duggan brags that the City hasn’t granted the developers (who are fronting for Amazon) any tax giveaways and yet the City is pledged to pay for environmental remediation and building demolition – nearly $3 million in backdoor subsidies! *

Mayor Duggan is letting the developers and Amazon – one of the richest global corporations that avoids paying U.S. taxes -– off without a legally binding Community Benefits Agreement, as required by Detroit’s CBO ordinance.

Mayor Duggan hails that the developers are “gifting” Detroit with a new “$7 million transit center” to replace the current center on Woodward, but fails to report that it’s Amazon that’s demanding we literally spending money moving the current transit center so it can leverage public transit for free to drop workers off closer to its front door.

With so many flaws, it is no wonder the City wants to rush the “deal” through, thereby preventing the Planning Commission and the City Council from performing their due diligence.  We say we deserve better!

Planning commissioners should not approve changing the Master Plan unless, and until, the City of Detroit, Amazon, and the developers commit to a legally binding Community Benefits Agreement which includes:

  1. Preferential hiring for qualified Detroiters
  2. Freedom to organize a union without Amazon interference, consistent with US laws
  3. Protection of residents’ health & safety against 18-wheeler diesel truck pollution 24/7, 363 days/year – starting with an independent health impact assessment,  a commitment to only use electric, no emission vehicles, and immediately apply corrective measures in the event of harmful air or sound pollution.
  4. Developer guarantees to sustainability with an energy efficient development and requiring Amazon to use 100% renewable energy by 2025
  5. Equitable Procurement and economic opportunities for independent minority-owned and Detroit-based businesses (not “Amazon delivery partners”) and options for minority developers and community land trusts to develop other parcels
  6. Ample public green space and recreational opportunities that are free of charge
  7. Ongoing community engagement via a transparent and democratic forum for the life of the development
  8. A dedicated neighborhood fund, with annual allocations, to improve the housing and safety in the vicinity of the site
  9. Preservation and adaptive reuse strategies for the site’s historic buildings
  10. A public transportation solution designed with the direct input of transit riders



Commissioners        Term          District    
Henry Williams     District 4
Damion Ellis   2019 – 2022     District 5
David Esparza, AIA, LEED   2017 – 2020     District 6
Brenda Goss Andrews   2019 – 2022     At-large (Ayers)
Lauren Hood, MCD   2019 – 2022     At-large (Jones)
Alton James, Chair   2018 – 2021     District 3
Gregory Pawlowski   2017 – 2020     District 2
Frederick E. Russell, Jr.   2018 – 2021     District 1
Angy Webb   2018 – 2021     District 7
CONTACT: cpc@detroitmi.gov
City Planning Commission 2 Woodward Avenue, Suite 208, Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 224-6225