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Re: SG-W:/ greenbelt

One of the critical selling points will be to differentiate the scope and
purpose of this program from the land preservation program passed
Countywide. I think at first blush, many residents will see this as a
duplicative effort. It will be important to highlight how the surrounding
townships appear willing to work with the City in this effort. That point
alone makes this effort fairly unique in Michigan.

Andrew Mutch

On Mon, 11 Aug 2003 BLonik13@aol.com wrote:

> I've long said the only way to get people to work together on land use in our 
> area is to take certain lands out of the development pool.  As long as 
> everything is treated as a holding zone for future development--and home rule reigns 
> in Michigan, and there's distrust of the city of Ann Arbor in the townships, 
> and there's no mandate from the legislature, etc., etc., etc.--no one has 
> wanted to engage in real cooperative endeavors to decide where development should 
> best go.  Once lands critical to watershed protection, agricultural 
> productivity, scenic views and other amenities are protected, then the rest can be 
> developed more densely, wisely, sustainably.  
> We're dealt a really lousy hand on land use in Michigan; other states have 
> much better options.  We've been 'round about this a million times.  Since 1998, 
> the enviro/conservation groups have had several notable successes (AA parks 
> millage, county natural areas millage) and have pursued some other innovative 
> strategies like using sewer capacity as a "carrot" for higher density 
> development close to the large cities in exchange for open space protection, akin to 
> transfer of development rights.  With every one of those pursuits, impenetrable 
> blockages occurred while land kept disappearing.  Finally it was concluded 
> that the proposed greenbelt program was the only viable option.  I support it 
> fully.
> A huge amount of credit goes to John Hieftje.  His election marked another 
> significant milestone in the years since Proposal 1.  Still, recognizing 
> problems and taking leadership are two quite different beasts.  The mayor is 
> displaying what it takes to get things done.
> If anyone has a better idea--or a "better way"--I haven't heard it in over 
> ten years of working on this issue.  It's easy to take pot shots but unless you 
> have a viable alternative I hope you will help in the passage of this 
> monumental proposal.
> Barry Lonik

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