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E-M:/ Governor's action plan for land use

Enviro-Mich message from "Amy Spray" <aspray@pscinc.com>

-----Original Message-----
From: Office of The Governor [mailto:gov_office@MICHIGAN.GOV]
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2003 10:01 AM
Subject: Governor's action plan for land use

November 3, 2003
Contact:  Heidi Hansen
517-373-1769 or 517-335-6397	


LANSING - While addressing nearly 600 participants at a conference on
regionalism in Grand Rapids today, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
outlined an action plan she is putting in place to address certain land
use issues in Michigan.
The Governor's action plan for land use addresses numerous
recommendations of the Michigan Land Use Leadership Council report that
was issued in August.
"Our interest in bolstering the state's economy through new business
growth must be balanced with our need to preserve the best of Michigan -
our farmland, our beaches, our waterways, and our forests," Granholm
said.  "Despite our state's budget problems, it is important that we
move the state forward on the land use issues we can agree on." 
The Governor outlined seven initiatives that she will pursue through
executive orders and directives.  They include:

*  instructing state departments to first consider locating any new
office buildings or facilities in urban areas;

*  directing the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to look
for "context-sensitive" solutions to all aspects of transportation
design and implementation to ensure that roads, bridges, and other
transportation entities fit well within their surroundings;

*  recognizing and expanding "live where you work" programs;

*  directing the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to begin an
internal review process to evaluate programs it conducts for potential
impacts on sprawl and directing MDOT to continue its "preserve first"
transportation strategy;

*  streamlining and simplifying the process for both state and local
governments by transferring the authority for handling tax-reverted
properties from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to the
Department of Treasury;

*  directing the DEQ to design a web-based one-stop information shop for
grant and loan programs targeted at preservation efforts; and

*  engaging community leaders, such as those in the audience today, to
help the administration further refine and develop land use initiatives.

The Governor also said she will work with the Legislature to identify
areas of common ground in the Michigan Land Use Leadership report to
make statutory changes to Michigan laws to reflect smarter land use

The legislative priorities that Granholm said she will pursue include
legislation to allow communities to form joint planning committees,
creating fast track authorities to speed up the process of moving
tax-reverted properties into the hands of developers, expanding
communities' ability to deal with blighted properties, reforming the
Land Division Act, and giving communities the tools to provide for
compact development and increased density.

"We all share a great love of our state," Granholm said.  "We must
collaborate on the state and local levels to make sure that the things
about Michigan we all love are protected and preserved."

# # #

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