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E-M:/ Zilwaukee Win!

Enviro-Mich message from Terry & Barb Miller <terbar@concentric.net>

Dear EMers,
  In the face of rapidly growing national and state attacks on our
environment, the attendant doom and gloom can be crippling.  One of our
members recently complained of the constant flow of bad news. But there have
been wins, and, I think we need to, as often as possible, let our friends
know it's possible to turn back the darkness -- the great results in
Cadillac, for example. Impossible without the tremendous effort around the
state, particulary the Dereliction of Duty reports.
  I want to share a small victory. 
  Zilwaukee Township in Saginaw County is made up of farms, a small
industrial area, and the Crow Island Game Area.  A concrete beam fabricator,
Stress-Con, had an existing building in the industrial area, but wanted to
expand.  Before any effort to rezone, it purchased 140 acres of prime farm
land -- then went to the township's planning commission and asked that it be
rezoned industrial.  It said "no"; the company went to the township board,
and it supported it's planning commission and said "no".  The company went
to the county, it said "yes" but had no authority to compel the township.
So the company asked the City of Zilwaukee to annex the area, and make it
industrial, a legal, but dispicable end-run to circumvent the will of the
people.  On Monday, April 2, the city council, facing a packed audience of
citizens, environmentalists, and even the Michigan Sugar Company pleading
the case for preserving excellent farm land, persuaded the council that they
had inadequate information on annexation, and the resolution to annex was
voted down.  The company threatens legal action, but the victory to date has
been sweet.  Power to the people.
                                                             Terry Miller
                                                             Lone Tree Council

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