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E-M:/ FW: Governor signs land use bills

Title: Governor signs land use bills

Governor Granholm Signs Key Land Use Bills New Laws Set Recommendations in Motion
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed four key land use bills into law, setting in motion recommendations made by the bipartisan Land Use Leadership Council this summer.

“I am very pleased to sign these bills today, because they set in motion key recommendations made by the Land Use Leadership Council,” Granholm said, “and they are great strides forward in our quest to have better land use coordination and planning in our state.”

House Bill 4284, sponsored by Representative Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor), creates a new law to allow two or more municipalities to join together to establish joint planning commissions.  House Bills 4666-4668, sponsored by Representative Chris Ward (R-Brighton Township), allow local planning officials to consider land that is not contiguous to a large parcel of property being developed as part of the land use plan for the property.  This will help local officials preserve green space and open land.

“Together, these new laws will help local planning officials to look at an entire area or region when developing land use plans,” Granholm said.  “Looking only to city limits and township boundary lines will not allow us to solve the challenges we all face.  To make headway against urban sprawl, we must think regionally and use new tools.”

The Governor noted that the bills’ sponsors both represent areas that are especially impacted by urban sprawl, making land use an important issue in their districts.

“Both of these bills received broad bipartisan support, signaling awareness in the Legislature that it is time to address the long-standing issue of land use,” Granholm said.  “It is my hope that the Legislature will continue to deliver on the recommendations made by the Land Use Leadership Council, because the people of Michigan clearly have said they want to preserve a certain quality and way of life in this state.

“In the next 20 years, Michigan stands to lose another two million acres of open space and farmland to urban sprawl,” Granholm added.  “These new laws give local communities some direction in how to deal with sprawl, but they also represent the importance we put on the legacy we will leave our children and grandchildren.”