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SG-W:/ smart growth?



I'm heartened by the discussion already presented on need for more
citizen activity at the township level.

But - I'm concerned about the use of the term "smart growth" at this
local level.  It is, of course, a respectable term and used nationally
to mean people genuinely working for sustainable development.

Here in our area, the term has been pre-empted.  The Washtenaw Smart
Growth Initiative is a group comprised mostly of the same people who
opposed Proposal 1.  (The Home Builders feature prominently.)  I
recently received their newsletter.  Some choice quotes:

"The United States is in no danger of running our of farmland, and
Washtenaw County is certainly in no danger of losing its open space."

"There are many risks involved with the government attempting to acquire
development rights to farmland, or...establishing growth
boundaries...(one is) that the government becomes a competitor with
developers and others in the land market.  This could make land harder
to acquire and could raise the price of land for all parties concerned."

They do suggest donation to land trusts.  Their other major thrust is
that government regulation has caused the problem by restricting
development options.

See their website at http://www.grow-smart.org.

Vivienne Armentrout


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