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

As in everything, we need to seek a balance between high-density, medium density and low density residential development in both urban and rural areas.  What is critical is that  land use decisions, while remaining local, need to be made in a regional context.  Only then can we start to achieve some semblance of sustainability in the way we utilize our land.  

Personally, I've always chosen to live in rural areas, where I can experience the beauty and spiritual sustenance of nature outside my doorstep.  Professionally, I have been involved in Brownfield Redevelopment for over 14 years, and have seen an enthusiastic resurgence of urban living.  In Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Kalamazoo (where I live and work), condos, apartments, and lofts in renovated buildings are in high demand.  We are also seeing rehabilitated housing for lower and middle income persons, with investment spurred on by the growing vitality of our older cities.

 In the rural areas, we are working hard to encourage preservation of our farmland through PDR, and while there is a strong local effort to develop  programs and guidelines to implement such incentives, without funding we are stalled.  Open Space developments are being derailed due to County Health Department and MDEQ policies regarding locations and requirements for  septic drain fields and small community septic systems.  All these issues point to the need for a coordinated state effort to look at all levels of government across various agencies to develop a consistent and coordinated approach to land use.

 Passion for sustainable land use is not dictated by where one lives, but by what one believes and strives to achieve.

mowens@pirgim.org wrote:
Enviro-Mich message from mowens@pirgim.org

I, for one, just bought a house and chose to be in a relatively
high-density urban area.  But I don't claim that that is right for
everyone.  Clearly there is no one single housing type, high-density
or low-density, that will be right for everyone.  

What we need to do is make sure the developers who are building in
the formerly agricultural lands are paying the full cost of
developing there, including the cost of expanding roads, sewers,
schools, police and fire departments, etc.  Building out on farmland
is artificially cheap, subsidized by the rest of us.

That, in combination with efforts to revitalize our existing
developed areas and preserve some of the existing open spaces, will
make good strides in slowing the sprawl here in Michigan.


---- Original Message ----
From: rhonda.anderson@sierraclub.org
To: Sadewass@aol.com, Cubbagec@aol.com, scarravall@yahoo.com,
Subject: RE: E-M:/ High Density Developments to Preserve Agricultural
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2003 16:33:22 -0400

Good quesiton.  I await the answer.

Rhonda Anderson
 -----Original Message-----
 From: owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
[mailto:owner-enviro-mich@great-lakes.net]On Behalf Of
 Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 4:19 PM
 To: Cubbagec@aol.com; scarravall@yahoo.com;
 Cc: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
 Subject: Re: E-M:/ High Density Developments to Preserve

 I'm curious - how many of you that are advocating high density
living are actually living there?  And how many are living in
suburbs or
rural places?


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