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Re: E-M:/ Ann Arbor Results



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Enviro-Mich message from "Bill Tobler" <williamtobler@critterswoods.org>
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Congratulations to the residents and to all of those who worked so hard 
to make this happen.  Fortunately, the voters were able to see through 
the self serving campaign of the homebuilders association and through 
the slanted and biased reporting of the Ann Arbor News. 

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> Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <andrewimutch@yahoo.com>
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> 
> For those who weren't in Ann Arbor tonight, you missed
> some history being made. Two millage proposals were on
> the ballot: One in Ann Arbor Township to fund a
> farmland PDR program and one in the City of Ann Arbor
> to purchase parkland, open space and purchase
> development rights on farmland in the townships
> surrounding the City. Both proposals appear to have
> won by overwhelming margins. 
> 
> The City proposal faced an expensive nasty negative
> campaign funded largely by developers and the
> homebuilders association. Despite the constant barrage
> of lies, City voters turned out in record numbers and
> appear to have easily approved the proposal 14,524 to
> 7,270. It will replace the existing 0.5 mills parkland
> acquisition millage with a new 30 year 0.5 mills Parks
> and Greenbelt millage. This millage will allow the
> City to purchase parkland and open spaces within the
> City limits as well as land and development rights
> outside the City in a defined area, commonly refered
> to the greenbelt. 
> 
> http://www.a2openspace.org/
> 
> The Township proposal, which will increase taxes by
> 0.7 mills for 20 years, won 1,186 to 355. The Township
> plans to preserve 2,000 acres of farmland through the
> purchase of development rights.
> 
> http://www.aatfightsprawl.org/
> 
> By working with the City, the Township will likely be
> able to preserve even more farmland and open space. 
> 
> You know that the approval of these two proposals is
> going to send shockwaves through the development
> community. While some will dismiss these proposals as
> yet another example of "Ann Arbor activism", the
> reality is that the City of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor
> Township and those surrounding Townships that work
> with the City on land preservation are no longer going
> to be held hostage to the whims of land speculators,
> developers and judges who all conspire to work against
> sound planning principals. No longer will these
> communities be forced to constantly react to the
> latest development proposal and hope that there zoning
> and Master Plans will stand up to a constant barrage
> of legal attacks. Instead, they will be able to
> proactively protect farmland and open space and ensure
> that growth goes where it is planned for, not where it
> best suits the developers interests. It's likely that
> the success of these proposals will trigger even more
> PDR efforts as surrounding communities realize that
> PDR millages can be passed and that they too have to
> take steps to prepare for future growth. The Ann Arbor
> area is opening an entirely new chapter in land use
> planning in Michigan. 
> 
> On a personal note, I want to thank everyone involved
> with the campaigns in the City and Township for the
> incredible amount of work that they did to make these
> victories possible. I was blessed with the opportunity
> today to meet a number of the people who were involved
> with getting the two proposals passed. You won't find
> a more dedicated, hard-working, self-sacrificing group
> of people who passionately care about the future of
> their communities and are willing to put the time,
> energy and money into it than I met today. If every
> community in the state had just a few of these people
> involved with land use issues, we would be so far
> ahead of where we are now. These are true land-use
> heroes in Michigan. The hard work begins soon but
> today, we should celebrate a pair of land use
> victories!
> 
> Andrew Mutch
> Novi 
> 
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