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Re: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing

Thanks for responding.  One way to impact the process is to get individuals of your group and members of other watershed groups from around Michigan to contact (ASAP, as these bills need to be ready by June before the House leaves for summer vacation) their Representative, and Rep. Scranton, and Rep. Garcia- I'll give you their numbers and e-mail to pass along.  I think it is necessary to get a broad spectrum of constituents to pressure change because this industry is big and has a Lot of apparent supporters in the political arena.  FYI: Michigan is one of only 2 states that have a commission at the State level.  Most other States don't have to contend with this particular industry when addressing issues relating to sprawl.  Lucky us!  Anyway, if members of watershed groups mobilized, and members of MEC mobilized, and members of other environmental organizations focused on this issue it would get taken more serious.  It needs to become an issue.
Rep.Judith Scranton: 1-800-295-0066; e-mail jscrant@house.state.mi.us.  Rep.Scranton is the only member that was also on the task force looking into this in 1997, she's the "leader".
Rep.Valde Gracia: 1-888-755-8686; e-mail vgarcia@house.state.mi.us
When we talk about farmland being used up to accommodate development, we can't ignore this sector.  They have a habit of targeting financially weak rural townships that have farmland available.  In Lima township (where we farm) they want to rezone 136 acres of really good farmland.  In order to get as much profit out of the land they would like to fill in a large wetland and mow down 40+ acres of old growth oak.
There is now a new "park" going in in the Saline area on what was formerly farmland.
There is a "park" attempting to be developed in Sharon Twp. on what is farmland.
There is a " park" attempting to be developed in Stockbridge on... yes Farmland.
And in Grasslake there is a "park" going in.
I am astounded to think there is such a need for so many parks.  Is this really being driven by an insatiable hunger of many to live in these places?  Or could it be the approximately 36% return on ones investment that fuels this type of development?  Tough one to figure out huh? 
So there are my suggestions, let me know what you think.
-----Original Message-----
From: Laura Rubin <lrubin@hrwc.org>
To: Jennie Breuninger <breuninger@fbwebmaster.com>
Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2000 6:53 AM
Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing

I am the E.D. of the Huron River Watershed Council in SE Michigan and we are very concerned about the impacts of Mobile Home Park Development on water quality/land use impacts.  How can we get involved or have some impact in this process?
Thanks, Laura
----- Original Message -----
From: Jennie Breuninger
To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
Cc: smartgrowth
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2000 10:29 PM
Subject: SG-W:/ Maunfactured Housing

Here's another environmental issue working its way through the House.  Changing the way Mobile Home Parks do business in Michigan.  I don't know where this falls with respect to timber mandates and "slob" farming, but it certainly is an industry that is making some very big impacts on rural townships and the environment.  Mondays edition of the Detroit News had a front page article highlighting again the disparities between the taxes mobile home park residents pay Vs. property owners.  Rep. Judith Scranton and Rep. Valde Garcia are heading up ANOTHER task force (the Engler administration created a task force to look into this in 1997) to try change the state law.  These behemoth developments definitely give birth to sprawl by the simple fact that they require greater amounts of services yet don't pay for them, thereby almost requiring townships to invite industry and commercial businesses into areas just to help cover the expense of these parks  And if that isn't enough, many parks have on site sewer/water treatment plants that have a high failure rate, which in turn tend to spill into water ways and pollute.  And let's not forget the amount of impervious surfaces rolled out to support these very unsustainable "houses".  Anyway, these bills always get buried because there are not enough people around the state feeling the impacts of this industry. Yet townships need to have a way to put limits on how many housing units one park can hold and try to place them in places with existing sewer.  But many developers, when they don't get a rezoning permit approved take rural townships to court, and again property tax payers pay, and usually lose. 
 Here's another opportunity to change bad policy and put forth a common sense approach to land use, but it will take many people being vocal and letting their representatives know that this industry has to change. Or we can just deal with another 50 years of business as usual, and there will be no rural townships anymore.
Jennie B.