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E-M:/ Re: [swan] Michigan Greens hail Governor Engler and Smart Growth!!!!!

Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com


There was a recent article published in the Detroit Free Press (or is it 
Detroit News now?) which was the result of an investigation into the campaign 
funding of local munincipalities in Michigan by developers.  The article 
sited instances over and again of developers and real estate people 
contributing to the campaigns of local officials, once "traditional sources 
ran dry."

There was another article recently too in the DN/Press about the HUGE 
disaster Detroit (and cities everywhere) has on its hands regarding storm 
water and waste water runoff and contamination occurring from decades of 
uncontrolled growth and human greed. 

As anyone who has been in a prolonged battle against development and 
developers knows, the developer usually always wins, and local zoning boards, 
planning commissions and township boards are always corrupted by their 
influence. These local governments are usually always stacked with 
"representatives" who are either real estate agents, developers or business 
people with close ties and relationships with the forementioned.  

Other than purchase of development rights, I dont see anything from the 
"Smart Growth Agenda" which leads me to beleive anything will change on the 
ground at all.  In fact the euphemism smart growth is merely another 
corporate greenwashing. I can understand the lure to some.

I support the purchase of development rights, and have suggested for some 
time  that township's or village's who are being eyed and speculated for 
destruction by the vultures we call developers, look at millage proposals to  
purchase development rights--these are tools, but zoning and enforcement of 
laws are even more important for any kind of comprehensive look at preventing 
growth and protecting biodivesity and quality of water and life.  

There are a few places (not many) where "smart people" have taken over zoning 
boards and planning commissions, kicked the developers and their cronies out, 
and designed near zero growth zoning ordinances.  When combined with very 
strict tree ordinances, can be used against greedy developers building 
infrastructure for increasing their markets, not because we need any of their 
cleacuts and subdivisions and walmarts.  And we have to move beyond 
asthetics.  I dont see any biology or reference to biodiversity in the Smart 
Growth Agenda.  Half of our biodiversity is being lossed to urban 

The very first item on my "agenda" would be a call for a COMPLETE moratorium 
on issuance of wetlands permits to dredge, drain or fill. No more wetlands 
can be destroyed, ever!   No, your Governor Engler has worked hard at making 
this impossible.  But for a real "winning oriented agenda," this would be a 
good start. 

>From a line item look at the Smart Growth Agenda, I see and read a lot of 
rhetoric,  like the endless pages of DNR and Forest Service environmental 
documents which say one thing on paper and translate to nothing on the 
ground. In fact a lot looks good on paper.

How about upholding the laws of the land.  If our governments would simply 
enforce the laws we have, much development would not even be allowed.  The 
state ESA, Inland Lakes and Streams Act, Wetlands enforcement, etc..

But then again, Governor Engler has led the fight to allow laws to be broken, 
weakened and destroyed and our natural heritage to be pillaged.  If Engler is 
throwing you bones, it must be a bad agenda for our natural world and 
diminishing quality of life.  Engler's children have to drink the water too.  

Murray Dailey

Subj:    Re: [swan] Michigan Greens hail Governor Engler and Smart Growth!!!!!
Date:   7/13/00 10:39:04 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From:   willers@vaxa.cis.uwosh.edu (William Willers)
Reply-to:   swan@egroups.com
To: patmec@voyager.net
CC: swan@egroups.com

>Enviro-Mich message from "Patrick Diehl" <>
>We were pleased to learn that Governor John Engler has decided to embark on
>a study of Smart Growth policies in order to prevent excessive development
>and expansion while ensuring sound economies in Michigan. 

Dear Mr. Diehl:
        Given the human population and the per capita level of consumption,
growth is no longer "smart". "Smart Growth" is a rhetorical device to make
the status quo acceptable. Moreover, "excessive" is a relative term, and, as
interpreted by those intent upon continued development and expansion in the
interest of their "sound economy", it will mean no change on the ground.
Really, Mr. Diehl, there is nothing to be pleased about. 
        Bill Willers

Bill Willers
Biology Dept., University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, U.S.A. 54901
Phone: (920)424-3074
Fax: (920)424-1101
    "An enormous proportion of property vested in a few individuals is
dangerous to the rights, and destructive to the common happiness of mankind;
and therefore every free state hath a right by its laws to discourage the
possession of such property."
        -The Privates Committee, Pennsylvania, 1776

From:   patmec@voyager.net (Patrick Diehl)
Sender: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Reply-to:   patmec@voyager.net (Patrick Diehl)
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net

Enviro-Mich message from "Patrick Diehl" <patmec@voyager.net>

We were pleased to learn that Governor John Engler has decided to embark on
a study of Smart Growth policies in order to prevent excessive development
and expansion while ensuring sound economies in Michigan.  His announcement
at the recent National Governors' Association meeting - together with
Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, a national leader on smart growth
issues - is encouraging to many who have advocated for these policies for
several years.

The Smart Growth Agenda that the Michigan Environmental Council and our
partners and allies have developed includes statewide, coordinated
goal-setting; regional impact coordination; integrated and adequately-funded
state and local programs (e.g. Purchase of Development Rights); urban
service districts and growth boundaries; fiscal incentives for better
planning and growth management; and other tools for local governments to use
in the fight to preserve the character of their communities and the
viability of their local economies.  Our coalition studied the progress
Maryland has achieved in the land use arena for some time and designed a
framework for land use reform based in part on Maryland's success.

Twenty-four organizations have committed to a Smart Growth Agenda in
Michigan to date, including the League of Women Voters of Michigan, the
Michigan Land Use Institute, the Michigan Municipal League, the Michigan
United Conservation Clubs, the Ecology Center and the Mackinac Chapter of
the Sierra Club.  For more information, contact Conan Smith or Dusty Fancher
at (517) 487-9539.

Patrick Diehl
Associate Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-487-9541 fax
e-mail: patmec@voyager.net

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