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Oct 15

Ypsilanti Hurting Ann Arbor’s Quality Of Life

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In BREAKING NEWS, the Ann Arbor News reports that Tree Town’s drug problems are the result of Ypsilanti.

Police target problems at Maple Meadows
Posted by Tom Gantert | The Ann Arbor News October 15, 2007 07:17AM

Ann Arbor Police and city officials say they are making a difference at a public housing complex on South Maple Road, despite the claims of a handful of upset residents about ongoing problems with drugs and other illegal activities.

Maple Meadows has 30 apartments that are located between Liberty Street and Scio Church Road on the west side of South Maple and is managed and maintained by the Ann Arbor Housing Commission.

City officials say it has been the focus of police efforts over the last six months to clean up some of the problems.

According to a recently released report, by Police Chief Barnett Jones:

  • The police conducted raids on three housing units.
  • Police arrested a Ypsilanti man who was coming to 800 South Maple to deal crack cocaine out of the parking lot.
  • The Housing Commission has evicted residents at two units for drug activity. Residents at two other units have been given “Notices to Quit” based on the presence of an illegal gun, said Betsy Lindsley, executive director of the Ann Arbor Housing Commission. Lindsley said the “Notices to Quit” are the early steps in the eviction process.
  • Ten people have been stopped and read the trespass law in the complex. Ten arrest warrants were completed at the complex.

“We dedicated significant resources to spending time in the area,” said Deputy Police Chief Greg O’Dell. “And we’ve been very productive.”

O’Dell said there are two police officers who spent most of their time at Maple Meadows.

Several residents of Maple Meadows complained at a recent City Council meeting about what they claimed was inaction on the part of the city to the criminal element in the complex.

Council Member Wendy Woods, D-5th Ward, said some the complaints are legitimate, but noted that those type of activities occur in other parts of the city, too.

Woods said some residents of Maple Meadows showed up to a caucus meeting and complaining about the conduct of children at the housing complex.

She said parents of the children also have to be a part of the solution.

“It’s a complex issue,” Woods said. “It’s not going to be solved anytime soon.”

“We have looked into the issue, I feel confident the police are doing what is necessary to make the area safe for the residents,” said Council Member Chris Easthope, D-5th Ward. “It’s been bad for a long time but it is a complex issue that requires various community resources, not just the police.”

Woods said the Peace Neighborhood Center and Second Baptist Church have tried to help improve the area. She said Peace Neighborhood Center offers tutoring and after-school activities and Second Baptist Church, which Woods is a member, has cleaned up a nearby park and recently started sporting activities for the children.

Tom Gantert can be reached at or 734-994-6701.

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