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Re: SG-W:/ Sprawl

Proposal B is only one of the many things we can and should do to make Ann Arbor an even better place to live.  Better zoning, smarter land use decisions in the city, affordable housing, efficient government, better and more durable roads, more bike paths, better schools -- the list goes on and on.
There is no 'perfect' proposal that will gain the voters' approval.  There's no perfection in public policy (and way too little of it in life in general!).   The question is whether Proposal B will, on balance, make our community better.
More parks in the city and less sprawl around it sound like an improvement to me.  If it sounds like an improvement to you, then vote YES on B, with enthusiasm.  After Nov. 4, we can go back to working on the other projects and priorities that will make Ann Arbor an even better place.
  - Mike Sklar
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2003 4:47 PM
Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Sprawl

I have lived in Ann Arbor since 1974, and have been here to see the changes for the worse that have resulted from poor planning and zoning in and around the city. 
I will also vote for the millage but I agree with Kermit and Steve Bean that it is essential that this be part of an overall plan that includes changes in zoning AND, a real commitment from the city of Ann Arbor to build affordable housing in the city. Many of the folks who work here in low or average paying jobs cannot afford to live in Ann Arbor. Arguing in favor of the greenbelt as a way to attract people to move here to work in high tech and UM is fine, but we have a responsibility to people who live here to build housing that they can afford. 
Phyllis Ponvert 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2003 8:11 AM
Subject: SG-W:/ Sprawl

        I will vote for the millage on open spaces that is being presented by the Mayor. However there is also a feeling on my part that the whole idea is hopeless unless there are major zoning changes accompanying it. If you protect one piece of land, development will just go elsewhere. In buying this land you are competing with a well financed housing industry.
        The only long term remedy is to create zoning that discriminates against houses and favors large apartments and other large buildings. The Ecomindium is an example of what should be built.
      We are approaching an age where there will be no gas and oil. Houses will be unheatable because small buildings have a low ratio of volume to surface area. Larger buildings can be heated at no cost if cogeneration and comanufacturing are used to heat them. The spreading out of houses makes it impossible to exist without a car. There will be no fuel for cars in the future. Large buildings that accommodate all phases of living including farming, manufacturing and dwelling are the only things that will save the children. Large buildings make it possible to walk to work thus making cars less important for essential transportation.
     In order to create a sustainable society Ann Arbor must grow up rather than out. Hong Kong is on of the most vertical cities in the world. It also uses the least energy for personal transportation.
      Factories and department stores should be located within residential areas on almost every square mile of the city so that people work or shop without using a car. It is egregious that we must drive to the outskirts of the city to shop. 
     If steps are not taken now then, in 10 years there will be very high unemployment rates. Within 30 years there will be anarchy and partial starvation.
     The investments that we need to make for sustainability are so huge that we must start now so that they will be distributed over many years.
     A league of cities could help to accelerate many sustainability goals such as apartments, Ecomindiums, vertical shopping centers, tree planting programs, and improving car gas mileage.
                             Kermit Schlansker