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SG-W:/ MEC Urges Legislative Action on MLULC Report








FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         More
Information:
Monday, August 18, 2003                                              Lana
Pollack
 
517-487-9539


Environmentalists Call for Legislative Action on Land Use
Leadership Council process was useful; Follow-up remains a question


On the heels of the release of the final report of the Michigan Land Use
Leadership Council, the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) today urged
state legislators to keep their commitment to land use by taking action to
protect Michigan's communities from the harmful effects of urban sprawl.  

"Now that the report has been submitted, the real work has to be done by the
legislature," said Lana Pollack, MEC President and member of the Leadership
Council. "Unless the legislative leaders respond now to public demand, my
fears are realized and this blueprint becomes just another report sitting on
a shelf."

Acknowledging the value of the six-month process undertaken by the 26-member
Leadership Council, MEC pointed out that legislators and advocacy groups
have already been advancing many of the policies recommended in the report,
including the creation of Joint Planning Commissions. 

"MEC and other state advocacy groups have made land use a top priority,"
said Pollack. "11,000 people signed postcards calling for action on behalf
of Michigan's land and communities.  Hundreds of residents from around the
state testified in support of better land use policies. MEC will continue to
work in the coming months to rally Michigan's residents and demand action
from the Legislature." 

Top priorities for MEC, as outlined in the Leadership Council report,
include:

*	Empowering local communities to make more cost-effective regional
plans and decisions.  A bill to allow neighboring communities to work
together through a single planning commission passed the House and is now in
Senate committee hearings. 

*	Protecting property values by making our established communities
safer and more convenient with public transit, sidewalks and calmer streets.

*	Saving  tax-payer dollars from being wasted on fiscally
irresponsible highway and sewer projects that subsidize sprawling
development. 



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