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Re: SG-W:/ AANews article favorable to Newmarket development

The article in the Sunday AA News sounded very much like the retoric from
the developer.  It was an article about New Urbanism, not about NewMarket.
The article follows the logical conclusion that since the New Urbanism
concept is a positive development in land-use planning, NewMarket is a
positive step for the Pittsfield community.  The omission of a realistic
discussion about NewMarket, separate from a discussion espousing the wonders
of New Urbanism has been the problem from the beginning, and an obvious goal
of the developer.

In a recent press release (posted on the listserve) the Sierra Club made the
following statement:

"The Sierra Club recently spoke favorably of a particular new urbanism-style
development in North Carolina, but this does not mean that we support all
developments that use this label.  The Sierra Club opposes the Newmarket
development because it simply does not belong on the currently proposed site
in Pittsfield Township."..."Its location far from existing urbanized areas
undermines the very premise of the New Urbanist concept."

>5. As one who fielded calls for days (weeks) about snow removal, I just
>cannot picture those narrower roads here. Is Maryland like this now,
>snow-wise? I don't know. Any info from listserve members?

This question goes beyond the issue of snow removal.  It also hits at the
heart of the problem with the AA News article.  Michigan IS NOT Maryland.  I
had the wonderful opportunity to live in Gaithersburg, Maryland (the home of
the Kentlands development) for five years during the late 1980's, just prior
to the arrival of Kentlands.

1) Even during harsh winters there is typically little snow, and during
years of heavy snow, it usually melts within days.  Winter weather begins in
late December and is basically over by Valentines day.  Snow removal
anywhere in Maryland is poor at best, but the mild winters do not result in
the problems that we have in the upper Midwestern states.  Also, walking in
Maryland is reasonable for most people throughout most of the year--which is
not the case for many people during the long, cold Michigan winters.

2) Gaithersburg MD is at least 20 years ahead of Pittsfield Township in the
amount of development (even with the plans of the previous Pittsfield
administration).  Sprawl out from a Washington D.C. was well beyond
Gaithersburg by the late 1980's.  Traffic was a often at a standstill (even
during weekends).   Downtown Gaithersburg was a ghost town due to the large
nearby indoor shopping mall.  Cluster housing in the form of Townhouses and
Apts/Condos were wide spread throughout the entire area (it was the only way
for young couples to afford housing due to the extremely high housing cost
of the D. C. area).  There was little effort put into planning this
community or any portion of the area outlying Washington D.C.  I have not
yet seen Kentlands, but I am certain that any innovative concept in
development (or any attempt to even plan development) was a step in the
right direction.  Kentlands, built in a highly sprawl-oriented urbanized
community, was probably a step toward the solution of the unchecked urban
sprawl in that area--not a step toward creating more sprawl in the name of
slowing sprawl (as is NewMarket).

3)  Maryland has a statewide "Smartgrowth" initiative, with the full
endorsement of the Governor.  A New Urbanist development does not have to
stand alone as an island, with no further thought of growth immediately
beyond it's own boarders.  NewMarket will do nothing to affect growth
elsewhere in this township or elsewhere in the rest of the county.

The comparison of NewMarket to Kentlands or to New Urbanism as a whole (see
archives of this listserver for many previous discussions of this issue),
leads to a false perception of the impact of NewMarket on the community.
This is not Gaithersburg, Maryland and NewMarket isn't Kentlands.  Twenty
more years of the agenda of the previous Pittsfield Township administration
might completely change my view of this development, but I would like to see
the current administration attempt to solve problems in a manner consistent
with the desires of the community.

Season' Greeting to All,

Jeffrey Marine

-----Original Message-----
From: Christina Lirones <goldenspiderfarm@hotmail.com>
To: Rober98@aol.com <Rober98@aol.com>; smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net
Date: Monday, December 25, 2000 7:59 AM
Subject: Re: SG-W:/ AANews article favorable to Newmarket development

>Yeah, that was interesting. The points I was disappointed that were missed:
>1.) Maryland has impact fees, thousands of dollars per house, which make
>Kentlands at least not as devestating FINANCIALLY to the communities where
>they go in.
>2.) Newmarket is planned for an environmentally sensitive and very wet
>It would be a disaster to our environment here.
>3. There is a lovely existing neighborhood surrounding the site for
>Newmarket. All NM's dainty street exit onto our streets, which would then
>massively widened to become collector roads. The impervious surface impact
>and the traffic impact would be horrific. What about our kids? What about
>our safety? And this area already floods - I can't picture how NM could
>4. Several false "facts" about NM keep cropping up. Just as a correction,
>WILL NOT protect the rookery. The developer talked with fondness about the
>rookery, but plans houses and a major road right next to it. He refused to
>consider USF&W recommendation or Mich. DNR standards. He was pretty sick if
>the Herons by the end of the process, and started saying, Look, they're not
>protected or endangered, so what's the big deal by the last few meetings.
>Also, there IS NOT a 15 year build out. I have no idea where that came
>They can build em as fast as they can sell em.
>5. As one who fielded calls for days (weeks) about snow removal, I just
>cannot picture those narrower roads here. Is Maryland like this now,
>snow-wise? I don't know. Any info from listserve members?
>5. Finally, I never understand these articles that talk about how wonderful
>the subdivision is and how fast the houses sell. This is not about this
>particular piece of sprawl. Every sub in Pittsfield and sells well;
>who lives in one likes it, and every realtor has found a dream come true
>here. You should hear how much folks in low density neighboehoods love
>What we are concerned about is protecting the existing residents, the
>environment, and in this particular area, our viable farm economy. There
>so many important functions performed by the Ag district, besides habitat,
>things that human residents need - like kennels, for example, which I run,
>and would get surrounded if NM was built  - we just had a really hot public
>hearing about expanding a kennel next to a residential area that grew up
>around the kennel. The new residents had a huge problem with the kennel
>expanding.  What is so wrong with having a township land use plan which
>serves all our residents, so dog owners or horse owners don't have to drive
>50 miles for boarding? What is so wrong with having an unbroken greenway?
>Why are we supposed to be a sprawling residential area, a suburb of AA? Why
>can't we provide a much needed Urban Agriculural district?
>Merry Christmas everyone! Tina
>Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
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