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SG-W:/ Fw: SOS - Stewards of Sharon



To all,

Here is the most recent info from Sharon Twp, from Charlotte Anderson, a
local activist.  The lawsuit continues on and it looks like there is an
opportunity to join in as a "Friend of the Court" in this suit.  Please
consider getting involved in this effort, whether you live in this township
or not.  Particularly enlightening are the disgusting details about the
Michigan Mobile Home Commission.  They are up against some VERY powerful
interests.

Jeff Surfus

----- Original Message -----
From: Charlotte Anderson <cha@pdq.com>

> This is my first quick attempt to use email to pass on some info. I don't
> have time to make it all pretty or give all the details, but you will want
> to know the news. I hope this makes a little bit of sense. Tell your
> neighbors who don't have email, too.
>
>  We had some people attend the freeway hearing in Tecumseh, who learned
that
> the corridor that was proposed to go through Washtenaw County and Sharon
> Township has been dropped from consideration. Wouldn't it be nice if all
our
> battles went away that easily?
>
> The best news we have had for a long time is that Judge Swartz agreed
> yesterday to hear the groups who submitted "Friend of the Court" motions
in
> the Landon case. Those presentations will be scheduled for March 21. There
> is enough time for other groups to join in. So far, the Stewards of Sharon
&
> the Southwest Washtenaw Council of Governments along with Sylvan & Lima
> townships, and the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners will be heard
> (their attorneys, that is).
>
> Kathy K, Lois B, and I went to the MMHC meeting in Okemos yesterday. Gary
> was there, expecting
> the final version of our Mobile Home ordinance to be given final approval.
> He had worked back and forth with their Ordinance Review Committee and
their
> staff to adjust our draft so that it resembled their model closely enough,
> accepting all the changes they suggested. Their approval should have been
> swift and sure. This whole process makes the township government a mere
> puppet. They will accept our ordinance if it says what they want it to
say.
>
> The day before the meeting, on Tues, Landon's attorney faxed a letter to
the
> staff objecting to a sentence in the intent portion of our ordinance that
> read "It is the intent of this district that all mobile home parks be
> adequately served by public facilities and services and provide for a
> healthy residential environment." The committee members did not see a copy
> of this letter until it was time to vote their approval. Although the
> minority members (non-industry) did their best to call for the vote
without
> consideration
> of the letter, the majority disagreed. They considered several
alternatives,
> such as downright disapproval of our ordinance, or sending it back to
> committee. They realized that they couldn't send it back to committee and
> still meet their 60 day deadline for action (in which case it could have
> gone into effect by default without this revision), so they would not have
> gone with that alternative. Faced with starting all over again, Gary
> volunteered to remove the offending sentence, and so it was approved, with
> Landon virtually dictating the final wording.
>
> This Commission openly believes that their mandate is to protect and
advance
> the aims of the mobile home industry, and they use every opportunity to
gain
> even the smallest advantage.
>
> For instance they were also reviewing the Sylvan Township ordinance and
went
> so far as to pronounce judgment on their signage ordinance as well,
> requiring that Sylvan allow larger signs for Mobile Home parks. They have
> the power to reject any ordinance that doesn't please them (or any party
> that wants to send in a last minute FAX), leaving the township with no
> ordinance at all, a situation that they would obviously prefer.
>
> This suggests an interesting avenue of research. We should ask for copies
of
> every mobile home ordinance they have approved, and see if there are any
> that say anything about public water or sewer. I think that they are not
> very consistent. Probably they exercised some requirements for us that
they
> allowed in others. A lot of research could be done by comparing their
> minutes with what actually happened in the meetings, too.
>
> We talked with several minority members of the committee and learned a
lot.
> I had been suspicious that even the people who should be representing
> townships and consumers, might in fact be in bed with the industry. That
> does not seem to be the case. As long as the industry has the majority,
they
> ignore what the minority says.
>
> Charlotte
>
>
>
>





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