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SG-W:/ Smartgrowth-washtenaw update



Hello all:

It's been two weeks since this list started and we now have 37 subscribers
as of this morning.  Although its been relatively quiet this week, we have
had some good threads thus far (e.g., Pittsfield Twp proposal, The Bluffs,
etc.).

I encourage any of you to chime in with your thoughts at any time.  We have
a diverse group of people and we can all benefit from a healthy dialogue.

Here are some things I have on my mind this morning:

I attended the Sustainable Washtenaw meeting yesterday morning along with a
few other subscribers to this list.  Frankly, I don't hold out much hope for
anything substantial from this effort.  The steering committee has met
dozens of times over the last year or so, and very little has come from
their efforts.  The most entertaining moment of the morning was when a
couple of folks from the realtor/developer bunch started whining about the
fact that they weren't represented on the steering committee (This is
probably a legitimate point, but they didn't come across very well).  The
most encouraging thing about this meeting was the good attendance by
township supervisors.  Although this setting may not be the place where
something significant will be accomplished, it was encouraging to know that
representatives from Pittsfield, Dexter, Scio, and other townships took the
time to come to a meeting where the word "sustainable" was in the title.

It was announced at the meeting that the planning charrette for the "New
Urbanist" development in Pittsfield Twp. will take place at the Twp Hall
starting next Tuesday morning and lasting all week.  This is significant, if
for no other reason, in that this is not a required public hearing, but the
developer/architects are convening this ON THEIR OWN to hear what people's
thoughts are on this development.  It should be interesting to see the
response, given the history of the site and the development battle that has
taken place in Pittsfield over the last few years.

I also want to commend the efforts of one of our subscribers in Webster
Township to make smart growth an issue in a township where basically the
leadership could, at best, be considered a group of old timers who don't
want to be told what to do by anyone who hasn't lived in the township for at
least 20 years.  Erica Perry and the group APRON have forced the leadership
in Webster Township, through persistance and energy, to consider the
implications of growth in the township.  It's likely that the Township will
be hosting a visioning workshop similar to what took place in Chelsea last
month.  In addition, the planning commission is holding a working meeting
with township residents to discussing the building moratorium and planning
in general.  It's certain that these types of events would not be taking
place in Webster Township without the efforts of Erica Perry and APRON.

Kudos Erica and keep up the good work.

Jeff Surfus