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Re: SG-W:/ New development in Pittsfield Twp



>Is Pittsfield Twp. a "lost cause" at this point?  Should we be focusing more
>on the outer townships with significantly more open space to preserve?

Even development proposals that are a done deal are an opportunity for us 
to get our message out about sprawl. This one's nowhere near that stage 
yet, so there's some hope and apparently some things worth protecting out 
there. Doesn't mean we have to completely focus on this development, 
though.

(However, this does beg the recurring question: Where DO we want new 
development?)

At the least we should demand the protection of any significant wildlife 
habitat, groundwater recharging space and the like. The article quotes 
Pittsfield Municipal Services Director John Enos as saying that "we could 
have a model community for the whole state of Michigan right here in 
little old Pittsfield." A truly model community would protect natural 
features and look to the future to consider the impact of development on 
air and water quality, the survival needs of other species, resource 
requirements, etc. We should deluge them with this fact until they soften 
up and start to absorb it. I suspect that Enos and people in similar 
positions think in terms of what a development will look like when it's 
completed, not on its long-term impacts.

>Apparently a planning forum (called a "charrette") is being planned to seek
>community input.  How can we use a forum such as this (which will surely
>draw a lot of attention) to draw attention to the need for a comprehensive
>plan to address sprawl in Washtenaw County and beyond?

Might be a good opportunity for an old-fashioned demonstration. If more 
people show up to demonstrate against sprawl than show up to discuss the 
development plan, the press and the township govt might pay attention. A 
pre-charrette tour might be worthwhile, too, as an opportunity to 
highlight the current and future value of the land.

I'd like more info on the "significant wetlands and woodlands" and any 
other significant natural features, as well as ideas for alternative 
"uses" for that land. Is any of it currently farmed? Tina, are you out 
there?

Beaner