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SG-W:/ Greenbelt proposal



I am so delighted by Ann Arbor's proposal and the companion proposal in
Ann Arbor Township.  After so amny years of dreadful political news that I
dread looking at the newspaper, finally a creative, progressive proposal
that addresses an issue I really care about.  I can't wait to get busy
campaigning for this proposal (within the time constraints of my
incredibly hectic life as classroom teacher and soccer dad).

I've been waiting for years for A2 to take some leadership on an
environmental issue.  We seem to have gone to sleep since the
Environmental Bond that ensured the final implementation of curbside
recycling 10 years ago.

Bless John Hieftje and the others who have worked on this visionary
proposal.  The Mayor has a lot of political capital in this town, and I am
really glad to see that he has the guts to spend some of it to set an
example for the whole midwest about a creative way to preserve open space
and hold off some of the sprawl that has been engulfing, eroding, and
erasing all the areas I love around my home town for decades.

I live in downtown Ann Arbor, which has seen some dense development
recently (e.g., Ashley Mews).  I agree with Mike Sklar that Ann Arborites
might be willing to endure more (well-planned) dense development in town
(and of course in Ypsi--i.e. Water Street), if they felt sure that there
would still be a farm or two in biking distance from town.  In the past,
the choice has not been either/or.  The choice has been sprawl with dense
infill, or sprawl with less infill.  We don't know what Ann Arborites will
choose; we've never had a choice before.

P.S.  I can't wait to remind the home builders of their campaign slogan 5
years ago, when they defeated Proposal A (Washtenaw County Open Space &
PDR millage) with the promise that there is a "better way".  We've had
five years to see what the better way is--pave over the county, cut down
the trees, and name the subdivision after themQ!...

I've just returned from France, saw lots of farmland there, just outside
towns and cities, that has been farmed for many centuries, apparently
sustainably. No one lived in a McMansion or drove an SUV, yet the quality
of life seemed very high.  I was inspired by the lovely cities and farms,
what a wonderful surprise to come back and find this proposal on the
table...





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