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Re: SG-W:/ Victories



Tom and others,

My own view is that township-by-township planning leads to the kinds of
compromises associated with "urban services districts."  If you narrow your
view to a single township, then denser development in one part of the
township logically consumes less land than less-dense development of the
same number of houses, stores, etc.  But --

Once you begin developing an area, the snowball tends to keep rolling
downhill.  Development begets more development, and soon you have Livonia.

The better solution, it seems to me, is to enable entire townships to stay
rural or agricultural if they so desire.  If, in fact, our current system of
land use laws and home-rule principles makes it hard (legally) for townships
to enact the master plans that correspond to this solution, then we can't
hope to win anywhere for very long, and we simply MUST concentrate our
efforts on changing the legal framework so townships can control their own
destiny.

It would be ironic (but not unprecedented!) for "home rule" to have been
subverted via the legal system to bar townships from defining their own
future!  But it would also suggest a potent legal/political strategy for
enacting the necessary changes, since we could tap into the strong support
for home rule.


-----Original Message-----
From: Tom McElroy <tomaso13@webtv.net>
To: smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net
<smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net>
Date: Tuesday, August 24, 1999 11:26 PM
Subject: SG-W:/ Victories


Thanks Kris & Erica for many thought provoking comments.  I'm glad to
see I'm not the only one struggling to understand the many issues
involved and know what to support.  I have been looking for a model to
follow and it appears we are all looking.  I live in Salem Twp, future
home of SE Michigan's next mega-mall (if the Taubman Co. has their way).
Since all our townships are facing the same issues, and spending a lot
of money on lawyers and consultants, it makes sense to me to  pool our
resources and brainpower to find the best solutions.     FYI, a study
done for us recently recommended that Salem make the M-14/Gottfredson Rd
interchange an "Urban Services District", bring in water & sewer, and
allow more intense development in this district than the current 2 acre
minimum.  The legal reasoning is that by providing a "mix of uses" we
stand a better chance in court of defending restrictions elsewhere in
the township, and thereby maintain our rural character.  The study was
done by Planning & Zoning Center (Lansing), our consultant Don
Pennington, and others. A public hearing is Sept 8.  Are they right?
We can only hope because it sounds like it will be approved.



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===============================================================
smartgrowth-washtenaw:  Internet List and Forum for issues relating to
sprawl, smart growth, and preservation of the quality of life in Washtenaw
County.

Postings to:  smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net      For info, send
email to majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info
smartgrowth-washtenaw"
===============================================================