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E-M:/ LAND PRESERVATION ON COUNTY BALLOT



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Enviro-Mich message from juliemec@voyager.net (Julie Stoneman)
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NEWS FROM THE FIELD:

Last night, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners voted UNANIMOUSLY
to place A 0.4 mill package before the electorate in November for farmland
and open space protection, urban revitalization, and local planning
assistance.   MEC's Coalition to Protect Farmland and Open Space in
Washtenaw County, coordinated by Barry Lonik, can take the kudos for the
Board action due largely to the Coalition's education campaign over the
past three years.  The MEC project is a demonstration site of the Michigan
Integrated Food and Farming Systems network to protect farmland from urban
sprawl.

The comprehensive land use  initiative is the first of its kind in the
state and, if supported by Washtenaw County voters, would create the first
county-wide purchase of development rights program in the midwest for
farmland protection.  (Peninsusla Township in Grand Traverse County is
currently the only local program in the state.)

The Michigan Association of Home Builders has pledged $50,000 to the
Washtenaw Home Builders Association to fight the ballot initiative, despite
the fact that MAHB supported the enabling legislation that allows local
purchase
of development rights program.  The National Association of Home
Builders has pledged an additional $40,000 from their State and Local Issue
Fund--the largest allocation to date from that fund according to the July
issue of MAHB's "Michigan Builder"--to the Washtenaw home builder's
opposition efforts.

Should be an interesting contest.

For more information, contact juliemec@voyager.net or Barry Lonik at
blonik13@aol.com

Julie Stoneman
Director of Land Programs
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
ph:     517-487-9539
fax:    517-487-9541
email:  juliemec@voyager.net





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