March 3, 2003
The Michigan Land Use
Leadership Council will begin reaching out to Michigan citizens to talk about
their expectations and plans for land use in Michigan when it convenes its
first meetings later this month. The bi-partisan council – appointed earlier
this year by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, Senate Majority Leader Ken
Sikkema and Speaker of the House Rick Johnson – will work with Michigan
citizens to craft a “Vision for Michigan” that will lay out recommendations
for land use in this state. The council will present its recommendations to
the Governor and lawmakers in late summer.
Governor Granholm plans to address the group,
co-chaired by former Governor William Milliken and former Attorney General
Frank J. Kelley, when it convenes its first meeting on March 24 in Lansing.
The bi-partisan Council was announced by the Governor and Republican and
Democratic lawmakers in February and formally created by Executive Order
2003-4 on Friday.
“The Michigan Land Use Leadership Council will
be instrumental in developing a cooperative, common sense approach to how we
use our land,” Governor Granholm said today. “There is a tremendous need to
protect our forests and farms, prevent the unplanned and unwise growth that
chokes our suburban communities and threatens our water quality, and to
breathe new life into our cities and older suburbs. This Council will help
ensure that Michigan grows in a way that preserves the character of the state
we call home.”
Governor Granholm stressed that citizen input
will play a critical role in the Council’s success. The co-chairpersons of
the 26-member Council intend to hold simultaneous public hearings in five
cities around the state, including the Upper Peninsula, northern Lower
Michigan, West Michigan, Southeast Michigan, and Lansing. The hearings will
be held on April 21 and April 28.
In each location there will be two public
hearings for the convenience of citizens: 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. The
Council will also survey numerous interest groups throughout the state to
determine their values, priorities, and concerns on how Michigan should grow
over the next 20, 60, and 100 years.
Citizens will also be able to submit comments
to the Council on-line at www.michiganlanduse.org when the site goes live
later this month, or by writing to the Michigan Land Use Leadership Council
in care of Public Sector Consultants, 600 West St. Joseph, #10, Lansing, MI
48933. The Council’s monthly meetings will be open to the public.
Among the many topics expected to be addressed
by the Council are farmland and open space preservation; tax policy and
intergovernmental finance; transportation; land-use decision-making; land use
tools for local governments; urban redevelopment; affordable housing; public
versus private cost of growth; state, local and private partnerships; and
Gloria Jeff, director of the Michigan
Department of Transportation and a certified planner, along with the
directors of the Departments of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources,
Agriculture, and Consumer and Industry Services, or their designees, will
serve as non-voting, ex officio participants on the Council and provide
background information and support.