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Re: SG-W:/ public hearing Monday to save natural areas in Ann ArborTownshp



I would second this call for support. I will definitely try to go Monday
night to show my support for A2 Township.

Several years ago, a pro-environmental, pro-farmland preservation group
was elected to the A2 Township Board. Since then, the Board and Planning
Commission have time and again moved foward ordinances and initiatives
that are models for other communities trying to do something better than
cookie-cutter development.  

Those efforts are particularly striking in light of the Township's
adjacency to the City of Ann Arbor and other high growth areas like
Pittsfield and Scio Township.  Anyone who has driven through the township
has to be amazed to see active farms and open spaces within view of the
Ann Arbor city limits. They are a striking contrast to the development
patterns you see down Jackson Road or Ann-Arbor/Saline Road in the
surrounding Townships.

Despite challenges to these efforts by well-funded political and developer
interests, the Board has continued to move forward on these initiatives to
preserve open spaces and farmland.  If we wish to avoid a future where the
Ann Arbor area becomes an extension of the western Detroit suburbs, one of
the keys is that A2 Township preserve as much of its natural and
agricultural character as possible to provide a buffer around the city of
Ann Arbor.  It would provide a wonderful example that growth and
preservation of natural areas do not have to be mutually exclusive. As
someone who has served on the Planning Commission in an explosive growth
area, I can attest that we need more role models like A2 Township.

Show your support and help make that happen!

Andrew Mutch
Novi



On Fri, 1 Feb 2002, Mike Garfield wrote:

> On Monday night, Ann Arbor Township is holding a public hearing on an 
> important proposal to save natural areas there.  I urge you to attend 
> the Township board meeting (7:30 p.m., at the Township Hall - 3792 
> Pontiac Trail) to voice your support for the plan.  There's more 
> information about the proposal below.
> 
> Mike Garfield
> 
> *****************************
> 
> HELP SAVE NATURAL AREAS IN ANN ARBOR TOWNSHIP
> 
> The current Township board has worked hard to protect the rural 
> character and natural beauty of Ann Arbor Township.  For the past 
> three years, a Natural Features Advisory Committee has been 
> developing a major new zoning classification that is designed to 
> protect open spaces and natural features on approximately 1500 acres 
> of land in the northeast corner of the Township.  This land is now 
> mostly agricultural, and is under intense development pressure.
> 
> The proposed Open Space Preservation Residential District carefully 
> allows increased density in exchange for natural areas preservation 
> and other conditions.  The District's zoning allows one home per ten 
> acres, but alternatively permits one home per five acres if home are 
> clustered, natural features are retained, and a minimum of 65% open 
> space is permanently preserved through conservation easements. This 
> ordinance is similar to the system that Hamburg Township has used for 
> the past decade.  That Township, near Brighton, has permanently saved 
> 1,500 acres of natural areas through their ordinance.
> 
> There are at least three reasons to support the proposal:
> 
> 1. It's an effective way to permanently protect natural areas, 
> natural features, and some of the Township's rural beauty.
> 2. It diminishes the amount of water pollution caused by new 
> developments, since clustered developments need shorter roads, and 
> therefore have less impervious surface.
> 3. It allows developers and property owners to retain the economic 
> value of their property, so the Township is less likely to wind up 
> fighting lawsuits.
> 
> Even though ordinances like the one being considered by Ann Arbor 
> Township are generally supported by the development community, the 
> Township Board has been repeatedly locking horns with Tom Monaghan, 
> and it's likely that Monaghan will send his backers to the hearing to 
> shoot down the proposal.
> 
> So, if you're able, please lend some support to the strong 
> pro-environment trustees on the Ann Arbor Township Board this Monday, 
> February 4, at 7:30 p.m.  The meeting is at the township hall, 3792 
> Pontiac Trail.  For more information, contact Trustee John Allison, 
> who can be reached at 971-3989 or at swiftrun@peoplepc.com.
> -- 
> __________________
> Mike Garfield
> Ecology Center
> 117 N. Division
> Ann Arbor, MI  48104
> (734) 761-3186 ext. 104
> (734) 663-2414 (fax)
> michaelg@ecocenter.org
> www.ecocenter.org
> 
> 
> 
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