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SG-W:/ The Bluffs in jeopardy


It's back.

The Autumn Ridge development plan is scheduled for a Public Hearing and a
vote of the Ann Arbor Planning Commission on Tuesday, December 21st.  The
plan calls for bulldozing 90% of the Bluffs overlooking the Huron River on
N. Main in Ann Arbor in order to build 191 luxury condos.  What's wrong
with this plan?

- Over 500 trees will be cut down, including twenty Landmark Trees.

- The wetlands in the ravine will be turned into retention basins.

- Polluted run-off from the development will be piped into the Huron

- The natural beautry of the Huron River Valley will be marred by
  converting a forested hillside into rows of 3 story buildings.

- The intersection of N. Main - Huron River Drive - M14 entrance/exit will
  be turned into a traffic disaster with more cars and a "Michigan left"
  (i.e., a U-turn across N. Main) required to enter the development.

Because the developer doesn't want to follow City planning rules, he is
asking the Planning Commission to treat his proposal as a "planned
project".  This means he must show that it benefits the public interest in
exchange for being allowed to violate City code.  Several speakers will
offer a detailed technical critique of the project. But since the ultimate
question will be "Is this in the public interest?", a large showing of
concerned citizens at the public hearing will be important.  If the public
shows up to say "No!" this will influence the Planning Commission.

The Planning Department chose to hold this public hearing at a time that
could not be more inconvenient to the public - right before Christmas.  
This will no doubt suppress public attendance.  This means it is up to
those of us who will be in town on the 21st to show up and be counted to
save this terrific 18 acre forest overlooking the Huron River.

The Public Hearing on the Autumn Ridge project will probably start between
8pm and 9pm on Tuesday night.  Our first speaker will ask members of the
audience to rise to be counted as opposing the project.  Additional
speakers (we have several lined up) and Planning Commission debate will
follow.  You may speak too, if you like.  It should be a lively time.

The Public Hearing will be in the City Council meeting room on the second
floor of City Hall (corner of 5th and Huron). Parking is free on nearby

Citizens have a rare chance at shaping the future of our community on
Tuesday night. This is what democracy is all about. We hope you'll join

Doug Cowherd				Bill Hanson
Chair, Sierra Club-Huron Valley Group	Friends of the Bluffs


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and
women] to do nothing.

- attributed to Edmund Burke

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