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Re: SG-W:/ greenbelt



Scott,

I think you are correct about your views of Ann Arborites' sentiments
towards most development.  There are exceptions, like the recent growth in
housing in downtown Ann Arbor.  But for the most part, I think Ann Arborites
are wary of large new developments.

However, I don't agree with your description of the Parks and Greenbelt
proposal.  As I understand it, that proposal says and does nothing to
promote new development inside Ann Arbor.

Perhaps Ann Arborites would agree to higher density development in the city
in exchange for a growth boundary that would place strict limits on
development in the surrounding area -- probably not, but perhaps.  It's a
moot point, in any case, because that's not what's being proposed (and may
not even be possible under Michigan's current legal system).

The premise of the Parks and Greenbelt proposal is that in recognition of
the importance of township land use decisions for the entire region, Ann
Arbor residents would expand the geographic area where their current parks
acquisition millage can be used and allow those funds to be used to acquire
development rights as well as outright title to land.  The proposal would
give the city more flexibility in how it uses its parks acquisition millage
revenues; it would allow the city to spend these funds in those townships
that commit significant funds to land preservation efforts, as well as
within the city limits.

There are three features of this proposal that I find particularly
appealing.  First, it won't increase the tax burden on Ann Arbor residents.
Second, city funds would be used only in those townships that choose to
partner with Ann Arbor, so it offers the prospects of truly voluntary
regional cooperation.  And third, the city should be able to protect more
land at less cost by sharing the costs with townships, using some funds to
protect less-expensive land outside the city limits, and purchasing
development rights rather than the property itself.

  - Mike Sklar

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Reetz" <sreetz@med.umich.edu>
To: <smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2003 11:01 AM
Subject: SG-W:/ greenbelt


> Dear all:
> I am a new writer (but longtime reader) to this listserve and I hope I
> have posted correctly.
> First let me say briefly that I am a resident of Ann Arbor, I work for
> the UM Hospital, and I have sat on the Northside Area Citizens' Advisory
> Committee of Ann Arbor for three years.
> In reading the discussion about this greenbelt proposal, I cannot agree
> more that there is a contradiction involved. Stopping sprawl and
> greenbelts is one thing, but directing development to urban areas such
> as Ann Arbor is another. In my view, the citizens in Ann Arbor, although
> not entirely anti-growth, are pretty wary of most development proposals
> near them. As a matter of fact, this proposal itself is seeking to
> increase the purchase of land within the city limits and not just
> outside it (did I read this correctly?). Part of the reason the current
> millage to purchase land was approved by the voters was that it was seen
> as a tool to stop development (in my opinion). And in my own experience
> with the Northside Area advisory committee, there was a very strong
> desire among many on the committee to limit new development (if there
> was to be any development) to single-family low density development
> (although this was never explicitly stated). Lower Town, of course, was
> the exception, but there is a very strong neighborhood contingent on
> Broadway that does not want high density development there. If you need
> more proof of this, look at the reaction to development proposals on
> sites that are located fairly close to the center of the city of Ann
> Arbor. For example, the neighborhood rejected a proposal for condos on a
> site on Washtenaw near Hill--that site is still a vacant lot.
> If Pittsfield Township rejected Newmarket, shouldn't we expect the same
> reaction from other townships? Perhaps an interesting question to answer
> would be, what areas within Washtenaw County are appropriate for new
> towns or development (and then see what kind of reaction comes from
> those who live nearby).
> If any of you feel that I am wrong about anti-development sentiment in
> Ann Arbor, my mind is certainly open to what you have to say.
> Thanks for letting me contribute.
> Scott Reetz
>
>
>
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smartgrowth-washtenaw:  Internet List and Forum for issues relating to
sprawl, smart growth, and preservation of the quality of life in Washtenaw
County.

Postings to:  smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net      For info, send
email to majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info
smartgrowth-washtenaw"
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