The Old Fourth Ward Neighborhood Association (OFWA) welcomes you to downtown living!

One of the things that distinguishes downtown from other districts around campus is the neighborliness of residents. We take pride in our community and work hard together to make the downtown an attractive place to live, work, study and relax.

The Old Fourth Ward Association (OFWA) is a neighborhood organization for the area bounded by Huron to the south, Glen to the east, High St. to the north and Detroit St. to the west, otherwise known as the Old Fourth Ward Historic district. We love this neighborhood because it is within walking distance of the University, the Huron River, local shopping and downtown Ann Arbor. For more information on the OFWA, please visit our Facebook Page. For a more comprehensive introduction to our neighborhood, see the attached guide at the end of the article.

Parking: If parking is not included in your living situation, you will need to check your own street parking requirements. Some streets have metered parking between 8am and 6pm. Most require permits. You need to check what the rules are for your street. In some neighborhoods, parking on neighborhood streets for more than two hours at a time requires a residential permit between the hours of 8am and 6pm. Some streets allow parking on alternate sides of the roadway on alternating days. To obtain a parking permit you will need to contact the City Office.

Noise ordinance: If any music or noise can be heard beyond your property line or the physical space of your property between the hours of 10pm and 7am, you are violating the City of Ann Arbor noise regulations. The maximum penalty for each offense is $500. All loud parties are subject to these penalties.

Hint: If you are planning a large party, it is a smart idea to speak with your neighbors in your building and up and down your block a couple of days ahead of time. Hand out your name and phone number so they can call you if they are having problems with your noise, before they are forced to call the police. If you have an outdoor party, please clean up your yard as soon as the festivities are over.

Fire and grill safety: Please be aware of the fire safety exits in your home, and have a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen for stove fires. This is not required, but it is very helpful.

If you are grilling on an outdoor grill, include this in your fire safety plan. Have a fire extinguisher handy, and do not put your grill on the porch. Grills need to be at least 10 feet away from the building.

If you are using charcoal to grill, make sure the embers are completely cold before you dispose of them. Wait overnight and check them in the morning. Use water to douse them if needed.

Trash, compost and recycling: These all go into the wheeled bins at your property and are separately identified. If you are missing a bin, please call your landlord and ask if they will contact the City or if they would rather you do it. Pick up for all three is the same day every week, depending on your neighborhood. For the Old Fourth Ward, it is Monday. If there is a holiday or snow emergency, pickup may be pushed to the next day. Carts should be put on the curb on Sunday evening, and returned to your residence by Monday evening. Further guidelines can be found in the City of Ann Arbor Trash, Recycling & Compost schedule.

Front porch furniture: No upholstered furniture is allowed on porches for regular use. This is a city ordinance. Please use solid wood, plastic or metal furniture. This is for fire safety.

Groceries: There are countless restaurants and eateries in the campus and downtown areas. But, if you want groceries to make your food at home, we highly recommend the People’s Food Co-op at 216 N. Fourth Ave., the Farmer’s Market (open on Wednesdays from May through December and Saturdays year-round) and Sparrow Groceries at Kerrytown.


Emergency Alerts:

Washtenaw County Emergency Alerts:

  • Receive alerts at Nixle
    • Click on the “Signup” box or send your zip code via text to 88877
  • Sign up for emergency alerts
    • Click on the CodeRED Emergency Alerts icon
    • Read up on the CodeRED Emergency Alerts system
    • Click on CodeRED to register (you will be directed to the registration page)

Reporting problems with city services: Visit the City of Ann Arbor website to report problems, such as trash pickup, potholes or other problems with city services.

Prepared by The Old Fourth Ward Neighborhood Association (OFWA)