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Re: SG-W:/ Proposal B
There's quite a bit of information at http://a2openspace.org
At 5:08 PM -0500 10/29/03, Catherine Riseng wrote:
>If you are forming your opinion of the purchase of Dickens Woods based on
>reporting in the Ann Arbor News, think again because that reporting was very
>biased. No one on the Parks Advisory Committee was ever contacted to report
>on the thorough and objective process that PAC goes through in deliberating
>about purchasing properties. Only one aspect of this purchase was ever
>presented in the News and other recent purchases were never even mentioned.
>While it is true that PAC listened to the concerns of a very large, organized
>and active group from the larger neighborhood it was by no means the deciding
>factor. Perhaps you might like to know that Dickens Woods is one of the few
>remaining undeveloped properties that lies in the headwaters of two of our
>degraded urban tributaries to the Huron River, Allens and Mallets Creeks, both
>of which have been targeted for study and restoration. Perhaps PAC is looking
>at the bigger picture and trying to purchase properties whether they be for
>open space, natural areas or play areas that improve the overall quality of
>Also, it does seem that you are asking for one relatively small, local
>initiative to solve many large and very complex problems such as affordable
>housing and urban density that occur in all our cities.
>"Kristen A. Gibbs" wrote:
>> I, too, have misgivings about this proposal, and here are some of my
>> 1. There was no public process.
>> The Mayor lied about this in the forum held at the State Theater. He said
>> that there had been public input at an A2 Planning Commission meeting.
>> There was not, ever, such a meeting. There was a public input session held
>> *after* the State Theater forum, in which the planning commission and the
>> public could give their opinion on the topic, but to what purpose? the
>> ballot initiative was pushed through hurriedly by Council in August, a
>> month when people usually travel before school starts. One must wonder why
>> this was! was it because no one wanted the idea 'diluted' by public
>> process? wouldn't it have been better to discuss it for a year, gain more
>> information & studies as well as more public buy-in, and then vote on it?
>> 2. There is no support for affordable housing.
>> I don't expect this one vote to solve this recurring problem, but am
>> disturbed that the Mayor on the one hand says he is 'for' affordable
>> housing, and on the other coordinates an end run around the Planning
>> Commission & the affordable housing committees (which COUNCIL created) to
>> halt discussions about accessory dwelling units before that public process
>> even got off the ground. The issue of ADUs was viewed by many affordable
>> housing advocates as the smallest, easiest step to take toward more
>> affordable housing, and it went down in flames. Does the Council and Mayor
>> really have the political will to tackle affordable housing? I don't think
>> 3. There is little support for higher densities within the City.
>> The most recent planning iniative of the city, the NE Area plan,
>> recommended moderate increases in density. Over and over again, any
>> increase in density was met with STRONG opposition, both from citizens and
>> the Council. Again, no political will to do what needs to be done.
>> 4. Little coordination with the surrounding townships.
>> We *might* have one townshp willing to put their money where their mouth
>> is, i.e. Ann Arbor Township. Only two others - Pittsfield and Scio - have
>> even talked about putting money towards this plan. What about the other
>> townships further out that are affected by this plan? NO coordination was
>> made with them, they didn't hear about this plan until it was in the news.
>> Is this good regional planning?
>> 5. No input from professional planners.
>> Why, when we have a wealth of professionals who deal with planning issues
> > like this every day for their jobs, in the form of City planning staff and
>> professors at UM and EMU, were none of them consulted about this ballot?
>> I'm not saying that they have all the answers, but it seems awfully wrong
>> to have the City planning staff first hear about this from reading the
>> newspaper, as I have heard!
>> My own personal take on this issue...
>> - I am against using A2 money outside our boundaries if the townships do
>> not also put money towards the purchase.
>> - I would only use this money to buy land that is contiguous to existing
>> parks to make a connected greenbest and/or for land that is significant to
>> the Huron Watershed, our source of water. I am not for buying "open space"
>> simply because it is open.
>> - I really hope that the city will use a clear, unbiased method in
>> choosing properties, and not simply to stop development in politically hot
>> areas (witness Dickins Woods).
>> Am I voting for this proposal? I honestly don't know; I go back and forth
>> on the issue. Time is running out of course, and I fully expect I'll go to
>> the voting polls on Tuesday with questions still in my mind.
>> -K. Gibbs
>> "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
>> - Mahatma Gandhi
>> smartgrowth-washtenaw: Internet List and Forum for issues relating to
>> sprawl, smart growth, and preservation of the quality of life in Washtenaw
>> Postings to: email@example.com For info, send
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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
Postings to: email@example.com For info, send
email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a one-line message body of "info