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Re: SG-W:/ local development

Wow, Mary Beth, that letter from Novi was interesting. We had our one and 
only masterplan workshop for the Central Area of Pittsfield on Wednesday, 
and this was some of what we dealt with. Rene Crombez (My rival Clerk 
candidate's husband) was pitching development pretty hard from the aspect 
that you can't tell people what they can do with their land (I was 
suggesting planned Ag in the very center of Pittsfield, which would not be 
exclusionary Ag - you could still build some houses and run compatible rural 
businesses). I was saying that we do tell people what they can do all the 
time: The guy abutting my property is currently masterplanned Industrial 
(Over $40,000 per acre appraised value if sold) and mine is masterplanned 
residential ($10,000 to $20,000 per acre appraised value). The Novi planner 
makes a good point that everyone can't run around squealing for the highest 
and best use price.

So what's the big deal if we change my master plan category, and other 
parcels in the Central area that are currently being farmed, to Ag? The one 
developer in our group keept promoting these parcels as somone's IRA - which 
goes back to muy old argument about farmland being a business, not a bank 
account. I didn't buy my property so I could be a millionaire - I bought it 
to farm.

Bob J, what did you think of the workshop? I found the questions terribly 
leading. Like the way she just wouldn't take NO for an answer when we kept 
saying we didn't want a "town center" here; also it was odd that she tried 
to misrepresent where the old plan said the town center would be - she sort 
of dragged it down to the Newmarket area, when the old plan indicated 
commercial around Platt and Michigan Ave. I think our facilitator had spent 
way too much time working with the Newmarket developer. She was hired by our 
Planning Commission to craft the resolutions they voted to approve on 
Newmarket. I had the distinct impression that she was promoting mixed use 
and the town center idea. Did you?

By the way, the only notification Pitts residents got was one ad in the AA 
news the night before the workshop. We had a tremendous turnout, and every 
person I talked to didn't see that ad - they found out from the Watchdog. 
Hooray for our team! Jim Walter printed 8000 copies (He spent about $400), 
and he distributed the lion's share, house to house, on bicycle. Jeff 
Marine, Marilyn Burhop, Ken Brostrom, Judith Walter, and I did the rest. 
It's sick how much of your own money and time you have to spend to not get 
shafted by local government in Pittsfield.

Thanks to everyone who came, and for resoundingly supporting Ag and slow 
growth in Pitts.  Tina.

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