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Posted on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

Ann Arbor to annex township property where sausage company set up shop

By Ryan J. Stanton

A township island where two young entrepreneurs recently established a sausage-making company is officially becoming part of the city of Ann Arbor.

The Ann Arbor City Council voted unanimously Monday night to annex 0.38 acres of Ann Arbor Township property at 1643-1645 S. State St. into the city limits.

The request came from Walt Hansen and Hannah Cheadle, who recently relocated to Ann Arbor from New York City to operate Biercamp Artisan Sausage and Jerky.


Hannah Cheadle and Walt Hansen have struggled through zoning issues as they work toward opening their new Ann Arbor business, an artisan sausage and jerky shop in the Old World tradition.

Janet Miller | For

The two have encountered several hurdles to setting up their business on rented property on a township island and have spent months trying to cut through red tape.

The City Council already agreed in July to extend city sewer service to the property. The Planning Commission later voted 8-0 in August to recommended approval of the annexation.

City Council action on a rezoning request will be scheduled after the annexation process has been completed, according to City Planner Chris Cheng.

At its meeting on Sept. 8, the Planning Commission recommended denial of the proposed C3 fringe commercial zoning for the property, given the current use of the site, adjacent zoning and land uses, and the master plan recommendation for limited industrial use.

The property is owned by the Stefan Hofmann Trust.

Previous coverage: New State Street artisan sausage business on hold as zoning turns into blockade

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

Congrats to Biercamp! Great people, great products... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Bertha Venation

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

Not surprised. The City is getting greedy for all the tax dollars they can get.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

Why would they want to increase their tax's by annexing into the city?? especially since they are RENTERS?? can they legally make the request or is that the landlords decision?? another doomed business in Ann Arbor Good Luck!


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 8:21 p.m.

I don't think articles on this are any kind of credible resource for this story

Tom Teague

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

Check out the linked articles which give a lot of background on the annexation. It stemmed from a Health Department finding that the shop needed to be on City water and sewer.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

I just want to know, how's the sausage these people make?


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 11:34 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Tom Teague

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

@Ryan Ignoring the pending action for C3 zoning, what is the zoning for this property after annexation?


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

So that is how you nuture new buisness start-ups in Ann Arbor &amp; Michigan. I thought we were suppose to have a more &quot;entrepenerial&quot; spirit these days.

Tom Teague

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

Allowing them to hook to city sewer and then annexing them with a unanimous vote after the owners set up shop in a township island and found that the existing zoning didn't support their business. That actually DOES sound business friendly.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

They have awesome bacon, btw.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 10:36 a.m.

I am surprised the process did not move more smoothly with the word artisan in their business name. The mayor and all of city council really love art.

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 10:09 a.m.

Isn't bureaucracy lovely? Small businesses aren't welcome in this area. Something we've known for decades. But unfortunately, these poor people didn't get the memo, being from out of town. An expensive lesson. Maybe they could nail those sausages to the roof and claim it's a device for capturing solar energy?

Tom Teague

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

@Peter - Agreed. These folks produce some wonderful food and I hope that they are successful. But a little more due diligence might have prevented some of the problems.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

So the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously votes for annexation and this is an example of them not welcoming small businesses?

Peter Baker

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

It actually sounds like the city went to some trouble to get them set up there. Red tape might be a pain on a case-by-case basis, but annexing township land in to the city to allow them the proper sewer/water hookups hardly seems unwelcoming.