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Re: E-M:/ High Density Developments to Preserve Agricultural Land???



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Enviro-Mich message from Christopher Graham <grahamz@umich.edu>
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Hi, Kris --

The rub comes, of course, when one begins to install higher density 
developments next to existing single family housing.  Folks in those houses 
come out in droves to oppose it, lifting every argument they can including 
a diminishment of their property values -- when such developments are proposed.

While I agree the merits strongly support going toward higher density to 
preserve open space and that values rarely actually decrease for neighbors 
for that reason, the politics of such decisions are much more 
complicated.  Persons elected to office have a hard time moving far away 
from overwhelming public opposition in a zoning/site plan decision.

There is a mighty big education effort needed about these matters to folks 
in single family homes.  It's not just the home builders we are arguing 
with here -- it is the owners who support them of a zillion small castles 
who love them, pay dearly for them, and who fight against any intrusion in 
housing styles that are different than their own.

Perhaps a package of regionally based tradeoffs, and incentives need to be 
part of regulations preserving open space -- so that fine natural features 
can be regularly protected with wide public support, in exchange for 
allowing or requiring more density.

Encouraging development within city limits, in infill areas, is very 
important.  Costs are often much higher for such development there, however 
-- so if we are serious about making genuine gains in these locations, then 
more ways (than just brownfield legislation) need to be devised and put in 
place.


Chris.


At 10:14 AM 4/22/2003 -0400, Kris Olsson wrote:
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>Enviro-Mich message from Kris Olsson <olssonk@umich.edu>
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>I don't know anything about the Yackness proposal, but, generally, many 
>(and me too) would argue that in areas where infrastructure is provided 
>(i.e. urban areas) shouldn't even use the open space zoning, which leaves 
>a substantial amount of the parcel undeveloped.  In these areas, we should 
>be encouraging as much infill, urban, walkable, livable-city style 
>development as possible to make most efficient use of the infrastructure 
>and take as much pressure as possible off of the surrounding 
>rural/open/agricultural lands.  This would of course include provisions 
>for plenty of city parks, like in Ann Arbor, or New York City, or 
>Washington DC.  Ideal would be  a TDR program where the community could 
>transfer development credits into the urban area to increase density, and 
>out of the rural/ag area, to truly protect open space where it should be 
>protected.
>
>Kris Olsson
>Huron River Watershed Council
>1100 N. Main Suite 210
>Ann Arbor, MI  48104
>
>
>Anne P. Couture wrote:
>
>>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>Enviro-Mich message from "Anne P. Couture" <couture@jasnetworks.net>
>>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>>Higher density residential  developments are not necessarily a bad thing 
>>if implemented through Open Space zoning.  The concepts of Open Space 
>>development embody several conservation planning principles.
>>Some communities offer a density increase as an incentive to utilize open 
>>space (conservation) planning principles and design.
>>
>>Shannon Carravallah wrote:
>>
>>>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>Enviro-Mich message from Shannon Carravallah <scarravall@yahoo.com>
>>>-------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>>Irving Yackness, representing the Building Industry
>>>Association of Michigan, said Granholm's goals of
>>>preserving agricultural land and open space can be met
>>>by allowing higher-density developments.
>>>
>>>The Building Industry Association is proposing
>>>communities allow eight units per acre on 50 percent
>>>of their land with access to water and sewer services,
>>>and allow one unit per acre on land without water and
>>>sewer services.
>>>
>>>"We believe these objectives can be met by zoning for
>>>higher density," Yackness said.
>>>
>>>> From The Oakland Press article LAND GROUP WANTS TO
>>>
>>>SAVE WETLANDS
>>>
>>>http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=7785602&BRD=982&PAG=461&dept_id=467992&rfi=6 
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
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>
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>ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
>and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
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Christopher L. Graham, ASLA
(734) 975-7800 (O)
email   grahamz@umich.edu
sms email   7342609890@page.nextel.com



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