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



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Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com
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 As an elected city commissioner in Huntington Woods (SE Mich) as well as an
 active Sierra Club member I think you are out of tune with who and what your
 elected officials, and the many boards and commissions they appoint, stand
 for.  Smaller communities are sued into bankruptcy by builders, commercial
 farming companies and other special interests.  We are in favor of local
 zoning that protects residents and the environment.
 

Jeff,

yes, the threat of bankruptcy to local governments to defend the law and the 
environment is as real as ever.  The recent K &K Construction ruling, 
litigated by Olson, Noonon and Byzdok i believe, by the supreme court helps 
at least towards turning the takings threat around.  It provides some teeth 
for standing up to development interests. Crystal river decision is a 
precedent too.  

Local muninicipalities need to start spending their money on bulldog 
attorneys who wont cave to these litigation threats and who will fight to win 
in the name of residents and environment.  If strong ordinances and zoning 
are passed, then the development interests will have a harder time suing and 
winning.   

When you say, "We are in favor of local
 zoning that protects residents and the environment",  what does this really 
mean?  Of course you are going to say this.  Saying and doing are two 
different things.


Murph




In a message dated 7/26/00 5:35:52 AM Pacific Daylight Time, 
travelisfun@mich.com writes:

<< Enviro-Mich message from "Jeff Jenks" <travelisfun@mich.com>
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 Dear Murph,
 
 As an elected city commissioner in Huntington Woods (SE Mich) as well as an
 active Sierra Club member I think you are out of tune with who and what your
 elected officials, and the many boards and commissions they appoint, stand
 for.  Smaller communities are sued into bankruptcy by builders, commercial
 farming companies and other special interests.  We are in favor of local
 zoning that protects residents and the environment.
 
 Yes you need to watch elections - and its important to review a much wider
 selection of candidates then just the glamorous, likely to win statewide and
 above officials.  There is a tendency to ignore the "you can't win
 candidates - even if their records are good", and to make decisions at the
 local level.  We give away elected positions, that may harm us by only
 looking at the forest, and ignoring the local trees that make the forest
 strong.
 
 Cities have just submitted over 450,000 signatures to place a Constitutional
 Amendment on the ballot to Let Local Votes Count - stopping at least
 commercial builders and mega-farms from changing the rules in Lansing.
 We've recently seen this with electrical codes, right-of-way rules, special
 treatment of utilities, etc.
 
 We carefully screen our Zoning Board, Planning Commission and all other
 boards and commissions to make sure that we don't get biased people.  Those
 who have an ax to grind, or an organization to represent, don't make it onto
 the organization.  And our new rules allow the commission to remove people
 who do show up after appointment, not being open minded.  Nearly every
 community send their new ZBA and Planning commission members to Michigan
 Municipal League training courses that reinforce the roles and
 responsibilities of these boards.
 
 I can't speak for townships but I don't think they are all as bad as you
 make them out to be.
 
 Perhaps local Clean Water, Sierra and other environmental groups need to
 examine local records of councils, commissions and boards at the township,
 village, city, county and even maybe the school board level (who set the
 foundation for learning about the environment) and speak out and endorse.
 
 _______________________________
 Jeff Jenks
 
 ----- Original Message -----
 From: <Murphwild1@aol.com>
 To: <BONNIES@cannontwp.org>; <patmec@voyager.net>
 Cc: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>; <willers@vaxa.cis.uwosh.edu>
 Sent: Friday, July 14, 2000 12:05 PM
 Subject: Re: E-M:/ Re: [swan] Michigan Greens hail Governor Engler and Smart
 Growth!!!!!
 
 
 > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
 > Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com
 > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
 >
 > Bonnnie,
 >
 >
 > Well, sounds like your township may be cleaner than some, if in fact it is
 > true.  I stand by my generalization that most township, village and city
 > boards, planning commissions, and zoning boards are filled with those who
 end
 > up representing the interests of developers--even when they are not
 directly
 > affiliated with them.  I can say this is certainly true of Lake Orion
 > Township and Village as well as many, many more.  If this was not the case
 > than we would not be in the midst of this overdevelopment
 crisis--unlimited
 > growth.  All you have to do is look around.  Development is utterly out of
 > control.  Also, you do not have to be directly involved in real estate or
 > development to cave to their interests.  I have seen other well
 intentioned
 > people fall into the pack mentality, or popularity contests, in Townships,
 > and also seen them form cliques which end up representing ONLY business
 > interests and the status qou while giving lip service to the environment.
 >
 > I doubt Kent County is free of strip malls, destroyed wetlands, and
 > subdivisions. Also, facts are facts and the articles I refered to have
 > appeared on this listserve and were based on facts, not generalizations or
 > speculation.  You can probably request them from the list manager and list
 > archives for dates and then find them in the Detroit News archives. I am
 sure
 > Anne Woiwode has enough experience to speak to the issues of the Meridan
 Twp.
 > Board.
 >
 > State laws and courts advocating private property rights can indeed be a
 > detriment to protecting the einviroment.  How are state laws preventing
 you
 > from protecting the environment?
 >
 >
 > Do you have a tree ordinance in Cannon Township? If so, could you please
 > forward it to me?
 >
 >
 > Murray Dailey
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 >
 > In a message dated 7/14/00 7:56:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
 > BONNIES@cannontwp.org writes:
 >
 > << Subj:     E-M:/ Re: [swan] Michigan Greens hail Governor Engler and
 Smart
 > Growth!!!!!
 >  Date:  7/14/00 7:56:22 AM Pacific Daylight Time
 >  From:  BONNIES@cannontwp.org (Bonnie Shupe)
 >  To:    swan@egroups.com, patmec@voyager.net
 >  CC:    Murphwild1@aol.com, enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
 >
 >  You make a lot of good points in this message that I'm sure apply to some
 > local municipalities.  However, I take exception to some of your
 > generalizations because I am one of those "corrupt" township officials you
 > refer to.
 >
 >  You say:  <<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.>>
 >
 >  This is definitely not true in Cannon Township and not in most of the
 other
 > townships in Kent County.  I, and my peers in township government, strive
 to
 > perform our jobs to the best of our abilities.  I know no one who is "on
 the
 > take" with any developer in our area.  Kent County Townships are working
 hard
 > to protect the environment and maintain the best growth practices we can.
 > State law is often a detriment to our efforts, but we are people of
 integrity
 > and concern.
 >
 >  Not one member of our Board or Planning Commission has a job that in any
 way
 > ties to a developer.  There are no real estate agents (not that that would
 > necessarily be bad), no builders.  We try to encourage developers to use
 the
 > latest development ideas such as open space PUD's with dedicated set-aside
 > green space.  We have ordinances to protect our watershed and are working
 on
 > a stormwater control ordinance.
 >
 >  So, please do not generalize about local governments based on articles
 you
 > read in the newspaper and Anne Woiwode's continuing saga of the Meridian
 Twp.
 > Board.  Believe me, there are many, many good.
 >
 >
 >
 >  >>> <Murphwild1@aol.com> 07/13/00 03:05PM >>>
 >  -------------------------------------------------------------------------
 >  Enviro-Mich message from Murphwild1@aol.com
 >  -------------------------------------------------------------------------
 >
 >  Greetings,
 >
 >  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
 >  destruction.
 >
 >  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
 >  willers@uwosh.edu
 >
 >      "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
 >  517-487-9539
 >  517-487-9541 fax
 >  e-mail: patmec@voyager.net  >>
 >
 > ==============================================================
 > 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"
 > ==============================================================
 > >>

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