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E-M:/ Governors Meeting on Sprawl

Enviro-Mich message from Michigan Land Use Institute <mlui@traverse.com>

July 1, 1998

For Immediate Release	
Contact: Keith Schneider, 616-882-4723

	20 states to attend Smart Growth Conference in Baltimore, July 7-8

	Keith Schneider, the executive director of the Michigan Land Use
Institute, has been invited to address a National Governors' Association
conference in Baltimore this month on how to curb sprawl and strengthen
land use policy. The invitation to speak came from Maryland Governor Parris
Glendening, the sponsor of the conference and a leader of the national
movement to halt sprawl, rebuild cities, and protect farm land and forests.
	In 1997, after two years of research and community organizing, Gov.
Glendening signed the Smart Growth Act. It aims to slow suburban sprawl by
using the state's $16 billion annual budget to direct spending for roads,
schools, public works and buildings, housing, and other new construction to
places that already have been developed. Under the new law, which takes
effect in October, state agencies also are instructed to deny funding for
new construction in outlying regions.
	The Smart Growth concept - investing state subsidies to improve cities,
protect farmland, and preserve the environment - represents a breakthrough
by linking economics with social policy goals. Passage of the law resulted
from an intensive statewide campaign by the Glendening Administration to
mobilize support among city leaders, public interest organizations, and
citizens. The consensus-building effort is a model for gaining the public
support needed to overcome opposition by home builders, developers, and
other influential opponents of land use policy reform.
	Maryland's Smart Growth plan is the subject of a cover article in the
latest issue of the Great Lakes Bulletin, the Michigan Land Use Institute's
quarterly magazine. Mr. Schneider, a journalist, will talk about how the
Institute has formed coalitions throughout the region and state to build
grass roots support for new land use policies, and why the statewide
movement has attracted increasing coverage by the news media. The
Institute, founded in 1995 and based in Benzonia, is devoted to
establishing an approach to economic development that strengthens
communities, enhances opportunity, and protects the state's unmatched
natural resources. The Institute has 7 full-time staff members, and nearly
1,100 member organizations, local governments and families.


"Careful research and reasoned advocacy
to protect the environment, enhance
economic opportunity, and support
vibrant communities."

P.O. Box 228
Benzonia, MI 49616
616-882-4723 /*\ 616-882-7350 fax

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