Boundary issues


In yesterday’s discussion about the new Chinese restaurant on Washtenaw Avenue, the question of boundaries came up again. Specifically, someone suggested that the new restaurant might not be in Ypsi at all, but in Ann Arbor. (It’s not, by the way. It’s technically in the Charter Township of Ypsilanti.) Well, it reminded me that I’d been meaning to move this comment by Ypsi’s outgoing city planner Richard Murphy up to the front page for a while now. The comment was left several months ago, during our last big debate on Ypsi/Arbor boundary issues.

Contributing to the fuzzy boundaries is the number of different definable boundaries available.

There’s the municipal boundaries, obviously, with the two Townships in between (Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti).

Culturally, though, people are more likely to attach themselves to the boundaries of school districts (pdf) or zip codes and postal addresses.

Going by school districts puts a hard line at Golfside. The Ann Arbor 48108 mostly stops at 23, but has a little peninsula between Washtenaw and Packard that extends as far as Golfside.

Political boundaries give more layers. The County Board of Commissioners ward map stops Ann Arbor at US-23, with Pittsfield finally getting the recognition it doesn’t from either the USPS or the school districts. The Michigan House of Representatives (pdf), though, returns to Golfside for the defining line.

So there’s not really much support for considering, “anything east of Huron Parkway to be Ypsilanti”, but if Arborland wanted to switch who they sent their tax payments to, I doubt Ypsi would turn them down.

[note: The “B” on the above map marks the location the new Asia City Restaurant.]

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  1. Dirtgrain
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    I think it’s in The Charter Township of Ypsilanti. I searched the address for Hua Xing (2867 Washtenaw) on the Ypsilanti Township property look-up site (hey, I’m awake at 6:00 on a Sunday, what else is there to do?) and found it. It is also shown to be part of Ypsilanti Township voting precinct one.

  2. Rob
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Dirtgrain beat me to it: That is Ypsilanti TWP! As stated in an earlier thread, Golfside is the best north – south dividing line between Pittsfield TWP and Ypsilanti TWP, basically running from Clark rd. to the north and all the way down to Ellsworth road to the south. However, confusion is easy to understand, when you layer municipal boundaries with school, political and zip codes.
    A funny story of mine that points this out: A few years ago, we were working (construction) on Turnberry lane, which is south off of Packard, just west of the 23 overpass, when an Ann Arbor city van pulled up. The driver insisted that we cease work until we procured the proper permits from the city– My boss just smiled and fetched from his truck the Metro Detroit street guide which clearly showed the Turnberry neighborhood as small peninsular extension of Pittsfield TWP. The guy, maybe a little red-faced just jumped back into his van and drove away. So apparently even city workers can get confused.
    By the way, for my money you can forget your “navvies” or Google maps and pick up a ring-bound Detroit Metro street guide from Rand McNally it covers basically every street, road or unpaved lane for the majority of southeast Michigan.

  3. Posted February 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    OK, thanks for pointing that out. I’ll change the front page to reflect that the new restaurant isn’t in Pittsfield, as I’d suggested, but in the Charter Township of Ypsilanti. (I guess I should have followed Murph’s links.)

  4. Lacy
    Posted February 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    So it looks like the township might get that faux downtown they wanted afterall! Cool.

  5. Elf
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    We could offer Water Street to the Chinese.

  6. Elf
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    We should put a number of signs up that say, “You’re no longer in Ann Arbor. Please lock your car doors, and take all necessary defensive measures.”

  7. elviscostello
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Boundaries are very interesting in Ypsilanti. Ypsi Township is basically Rawsonville Rd on the East, Bemis on the South, Clark on the North and Golfside/Munger on the West. The real confusion comes from the “jutting” corners and pieces of street. For example, the City has Mansfield south of Michigan, but the Township has Elder, south of Michigan and east of Mansfield. If you get a chance take a good look at the borders and you will see some very screwy response areas for Fire and Police.

  8. Steve
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    So, given all of this information, where’s the best place to commit a crime?

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