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SG-W:/ Ann Arbor News: "Trust to seek Pittsfield preservation"

Article in today's AANews:

Trust to seek Pittsfield preservation 
Wednesday, February 14, 2001

After a three-year hiatus, the Trust for Public Land has resumed a 
partnership with Pittsfield Township on land acquisition matters.

The township Board of Trustees heard a presentation Tuesday by 
representatives of the trust, a national organization that seeks to identify 
development-prone land and place those properties under protection.

"We're looking forward to working with you," Supervisor James Walter told 
trust representatives at the board's regular meeting.

In 1998, the board unanimously voted to begin work with the St. Paul, 
Minn.-based organization on land acquisition issues, but the agreement fell 

To government agencies such as fast-growing Pittsfield Township, TPL offers 
the flexibility of a nonprofit partner to secure land for permanent 
protection and public use by moving quickly to take prime properties off the 
market. TPL would, for example, purchase certain parcels and then hold them 
for the township to purchase.

"We conserve land for the people," said TPL representative Cindy Whiteford. 
"And we offer the financial resources to purchase and hold land until funds 
are available for public acquisition."

TPL's financial support comes from charitable gifts made by individuals, 
corporations and foundations. Property owners with whom TPL works are urged 
to make a donation.

Asked if there were any specific parcels targeted for purchase, Walter joked, 
"the Newmarket parcel, if that becomes available." Newmarket is the giant new 
development that the newly constituted board wants stopped.

Township clerk Christina Lirones said certain properties in the central area 
and in the southern part of the township are being looked at.

In other business, the board unanimously approved the appointment of Dennis 
Ward to the Planning Commission to fill the unexpired term of Thomas Gunn, to 
end Sept. 30, 2002. The appointment of Ward means the planning body has been 
completely replaced with Walter appointees since the slow-growth slate won 
election in November. In a related matter, the board directed staff and 
administration to produce and send requests for proposals regarding update of 
the comprehensive plan.

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