[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

Re: E-M:/ Re: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing



-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enviro-Mich message from "Jennie Breuninger" <breuninger@fbwebmaster.com>
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sherry,
You really started me thinking about this type of development and what's
wrong with it.  It's kind of like studying 2 pictures that are similar but
different, you just can't quite put your finger on what's wrong... With
mobile home parks the concept is generally good it's the location that's
baaaad.  Basically what happens is that you have small communities
consisting of 1200-2000 people "plunked" down into rural townships with
about the same amount of residents.  So in under 2 years you have doubled
the size of the community... insta-growth.
Rural townships struggle to accommodate this.
Just so you don't think we're being stingy with our land here in
Southeastern Michigan,
according to a Nov. 1999 study by SEMCOG (southeastern council of
governments) there where 268 manufactured housing parks in our part of the
state, representing 68,705 housing units.  Since there is a standard 10%
vacancy rate within the parks (this figure was stated by a MH developer)
there exist about 6,870 units that remain vacant.  If we filled those units
we could diminish the "need" for about 5 new parks.
Here's the lasted township to enter the Land of Litigation with Landon
Developers: Grattan Township is being sued by Landon Holding Co. to re-zone
200 acres of land.  This brings the total to 3 townships being sued by the
Landon Holding Co. Tyrone Township (150 acres)
Sharon township (? acres), and Grattan.  This is one agile developer, he
should win some kind of award.
Regards,
Jennie

-----Original Message-----
From: Jennie Breuninger <breuninger@fbwebmaster.com>
To: Sherry MacKinnon <MACKINSM@state.mi.us>
Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000 11:24 AM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Re: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing


>I appreciate your angle, but these developments impact to a much greater
>degree the surrounding community by not shouldering any of the tax burden
>they create.  Cluster housing is good, I agree.  Lets take a 40 acre parcel
>and put x number of houses on it.  That houses people,  but it doesn't
bring
>in 200 to 300 new students into a school district unable to house them.
>Also with cluster type housing the township can require certain
stipulations
>on how the development is done with respect to natural features....
>They also seem to want to place developments in rural areas where no
>sewer/water exist, therefore they put their own sewage treatment plants
>(which takes up more space so they feel compelled to squeeze more unit/acre
>to get their required profit). Since these parks generally are run by a
>manager there is not the same vigilance about checking this systems to make
>sure they run properly, when they do break down they pollute the nearby
>creeks or drains they are generally built by.  The burden to repair these
>falls to the townships, not the developer.
>Here's the latest amount of farmland rezoned for mobile home parks, not
>including parks that already exist.
>Tyrone township (near Parshallville) 148 acres
>Green oaks township  233 acres
>Stockbrige township 232 acres
>Saline township 82 acres
>grand total 705 acres.
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Sherry MacKinnon <MACKINSM@state.mi.us>
>To: breuninger@fbwebmaster.com <breuninger@fbwebmaster.com>
>Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000 7:06 AM
>Subject: E-M:/ Re: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing
>
>
>>Just to play Devil's advocate here...the MH development you are referring
>too (148 Acres for 642 homes) makes better land use planning sense than
most
>suburban developments that require that a house be built on a 5 acre lot.
>The above mentioned MH development only uses .23 acres of land per home
(148
>acres), and the suburban development I've mentioned for the same amount of
>homes would take up3,260 acres of farmland or forest land.  We are seeing
>major subdivisions of forest land in the Upper Peninsula where this is
>occurring.  Managing natural resources on private lands becomes very
>difficult in this type of situation.  I would argue that cluster
development
>, in well thought out and planned situations, is much more desirable for
the
>resource.  I realize that there are other issues involved here as well that
>I've not addressed but with sound planning could be resolved
>>
>>>>> "Jennie Breuninger" <breuninger@fbwebmaster.com> 05/25 12:40 PM >>>
>>Dear Andrea,
>>Thanks for your message.  I am aware of the Stockbridge "battle" as I have
>run into S. DeRoo at meetings re:Mobile Home Parks, I also have e-mail
>G.Winn dealing with this matter.  I am unfortunately not an organization,
>but I think we could try to get some groups working together to change
this.
>Has Stockbridge contacted your representatives yet? I am sure the residents
>in your community make up a fairly good sized constituency, nagging your
>rep. can help.  And calling Scranton, and Garcia with your situation may
>help to keep their efforts going.
>>  One of the things that is in your favor is the water issue.There is a
>state-wide effort being made to clean up the poor conditions of our rivers
>and tributaries, I'm sure the watershed groups have information is to what
>those goals are. (Any watershed folks can jump into this conversation and
>clue us in).
>>With respect to legal assistance the Michigan Land Use Institute has 2
>lawyers that help them with land use cases here's their website
www.MLUI.com
>e-mail them, they will get back to you promptly with the info.
>>They also put out a quarterly magazine "The Great Lakes Bulletin", I think
>this problem would make a great article for one of their issues ( any MLUI
>people reading this...what do you say?).
>>How much acreage has been rezoned from agriculture to MH?
>>I am attempting to find out approximately how much farmland is lost to
this
>particular type of development.
>>In Lima we will lose 136 acres to MH.
>>In yesterdays Detroit News there was an article about Tyrone Township
being
>sued by a mobile home developer (the evil Mr.Landon) for $2 million.  They
>will lose 148 acres of farmland to house a 642 unit park.
>>So we have a running tally so far of ... 284 acres of farmland.
>>Anyone else out there losing farmland to a mobile home park let me know
how
>many acres.
>>Lets work together on this, we have got enough people on the short end of
>the stick to have things continue.
>>Jennie
>>
>>    -----Original Message-----
>>    From: andrea kline <klineoff@mich.com>
>>    To: Jennie Breuninger <breuninger@fbwebmaster.com>; Laura Rubin
><lrubin@hrwc.org>
>>    Cc: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
>>    Date: Thursday, May 25, 2000 4:18 AM
>>    Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing
>>
>>
>>    We are currently fighting a 750-unit mobile home park development in
>>    Stockbridge Township.  The township board, feeling powerless to do
>anything
>>    to protect their constituents, has signed a consent agreement that
>basically
>>    strips them of any ability to contest the development (and pays the
>developers legal fees to boot) .  The developer is in
>>    the process of trying to get permits for their sewage treatment plant
>and
>>    water supply system from the MDEQ.  Once these permits are in hand,
>there is
>>    nothing stopping the development of a project that will increase the
>>    population of the township by over 60%, increase the traffic on
Shepper
>Road
>>    from 540 to 6,000 vehicles per day, etc., all in exchange for a
>development
>>    in which the occupants will be paying $36 per year in taxes.  In other
>>    words, there will be significant adverse impacts on all residents of
>the
>>    Township and Stockbridge school district.
>>
>>    The MDEQ originally issued a draft NPDES permit allowing discharge of
>0.5
>>    mg/l of phosphorus to Portage Creek, the largest tributary of the
Huron
>>    River.  After the public raised concerns about the impacts of the
>discharge
>>    on water quality, the MDEQ actually did some water sampling (the
>original
>>    draft permit conditions were not based on any empirical water quality
>data)
>>    and found that conditions in the creek and downstream lakes were
highly
>>    eutrophic.  Based on this information, they reduced the phosphorus
>limits in
>>    the draft permit to 0.036 mg/l, which we have been told in nearly
>impossible
>>    to achieve with existing technology.  It is amazing how understanding
>>    existing conditions can influence these decisions, and it is amazing
>that it
>>    takes public pressure to force the agency charged with protecting the
>public
>>    interest to take the impacts of such a discharge into account when
>reviewing
>>    permit applications.  But that is another topic.
>>
>>    Anyway, the current status is that both the MDEQ and developer have
>taken
>>    additional water samples and the MDEQ is mulling over the possiblity
of
>>    revising the phosphorus limits to 0.1 mg/l.  If a permit is issued, we
>have
>>    the option to contest the decision in court.  We have standing due to
>the
>>    fact that we submitted comment during the public comment period.  The
>Huron
>>    River Watershed Council has been providing technical support but we
>have not
>>    yet discussed what role they may be willing provide if a permit is
>issued
>>    and we decide to go to court.  Does your organization provide legal
>support
>>    in cases like this?  Do you know of any attorneys that you would
>recommend?
>>    Are you involved in any efforts to change our currently screwed-up
>mobile
>>    home regulations?  Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
>>
>>    Thanks, Andrea Kline
>>
>>
>>
>>        ----- Original Message -----
>>        From: Jennie Breuninger
>>        To: Laura Rubin
>>        Cc: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
>>        Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2000 3:45 PM
>>        Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing
>>
>>
>>        Laura,
>>        Thanks for responding.  One way to impact the process is to get
>individuals of your group and members of other watershed groups from around
>Michigan to contact (ASAP, as these bills need to be ready by June before
>the House leaves for summer vacation) their Representative, and Rep.
>Scranton, and Rep. Garcia- I'll give you their numbers and e-mail to pass
>along.  I think it is necessary to get a broad spectrum of constituents to
>pressure change because this industry is big and has a Lot of apparent
>supporters in the political arena.  FYI: Michigan is one of only 2 states
>that have a commission at the State level.  Most other States don't have to
>contend with this particular industry when addressing issues relating to
>sprawl.  Lucky us!  Anyway, if members of watershed groups mobilized, and
>members of MEC mobilized, and members of other environmental organizations
>focused on this issue it would get taken more serious.  It needs to become
>an issue.
>>        Rep.Judith Scranton: 1-800-295-0066; e-mail
>jscrant@house.state.mi.us.  Rep.Scranton is the only member that was also
on
>the task force looking into this in 1997, she's the "leader".
>>        Rep.Valde Gracia: 1-888-755-8686; e-mail vgarcia@house.state.mi.us
>>
>>        When we talk about farmland being used up to accommodate
>development, we can't ignore this sector.  They have a habit of targeting
>financially weak rural townships that have farmland available.  In Lima
>township (where we farm) they want to rezone 136 acres of really good
>farmland.  In order to get as much profit out of the land they would like
to
>fill in a large wetland and mow down 40+ acres of old growth oak.
>>        There is now a new "park" going in in the Saline area on what was
>formerly farmland.
>>        There is a "park" attempting to be developed in Sharon Twp. on
what
>is farmland.
>>        There is a " park" attempting to be developed in Stockbridge on...
>yes Farmland.
>>        And in Grasslake there is a "park" going in.
>>        I am astounded to think there is such a need for so many parks.
Is
>this really being driven by an insatiable hunger of many to live in these
>places?  Or could it be the approximately 36% return on ones investment
that
>fuels this type of development?  Tough one to figure out huh?
>>        So there are my suggestions, let me know what you think.
>>        Jennie
>>            -----Original Message-----
>>            From: Laura Rubin <lrubin@hrwc.org>
>>            To: Jennie Breuninger <breuninger@fbwebmaster.com>
>>            Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000 6:53 AM
>>            Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing
>>
>>
>>            I am the E.D. of the Huron River Watershed Council in SE
>Michigan and we are very concerned about the impacts of Mobile Home Park
>Development on water quality/land use impacts.  How can we get involved or
>have some impact in this process?
>>            Thanks, Laura
>>
>>                ----- Original Message -----
>>                From: Jennie Breuninger
>>                To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
>>                Cc: smartgrowth
>>                Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2000 10:29 PM
>>                Subject: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing
>>
>>
>>                Here's another environmental issue working its way through
>the House.  Changing the way Mobile Home Parks do business in Michigan.  I
>don't know where this falls with respect to timber mandates and "slob"
>farming, but it certainly is an industry that is making some very big
>impacts on rural townships and the environment.  Mondays edition of the
>Detroit News had a front page article highlighting again the disparities
>between the taxes mobile home park residents pay Vs. property owners.  Rep.
>Judith Scranton and Rep. Valde Garcia are heading up ANOTHER task force
(the
>Engler administration created a task force to look into this in 1997) to
try
>change the state law.  These behemoth developments definitely give birth to
>sprawl by the simple fact that they require greater amounts of services yet
>don't pay for them, thereby almost requiring townships to invite industry
>and commercial businesses into areas just to help cover the expense of
these
>parks  And if that isn't enough, many parks have on site sewer/water
>treatment plants that have a high failure rate, which in turn tend to spill
>into water ways and pollute.  And let's not forget the amount of impervious
>surfaces rolled out to support these very unsustainable "houses".  Anyway,
>these bills always get buried because there are not enough people around
the
>state feeling the impacts of this industry. Yet townships need to have a
way
>to put limits on how many housing units one park can hold and try to place
>them in places with existing sewer.  But many developers, when they don't
>get a rezoning permit approved take rural townships to court, and again
>property tax payers pay, and usually lose.
>>                 Here's another opportunity to change bad policy and put
>forth a common sense approach to land use, but it will take many people
>being vocal and letting their representatives know that this industry has
to
>change. Or we can just deal with another 50 years of business as usual, and
>there will be no rural townships anymore.
>>                Jennie B.
>>
>


==============================================================
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"
==============================================================