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Re: SG-W:/ Proposal B



Kristen Gibb's comments fall into a common pattern:  "Proposal B is bad
because it does X" when in fact it doesn't do X; "Proposal B is bad because
it doesn't do Y" when it does in fact do Y.

If it weren't so potentially tragic, the dialogue on this listserve would be
amusing.

For example, Kristen writes:
- 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

Kristen, I'm guessing that if you look into the details of Proposal B on
www.a2openspace.org, you'll decide to support the plan enthusiastically --
since it does exactly what you want it to do and doesn't do the things you
oppose.

The only land that will be 'bought' will be land within the city that is
purchased for parks, both for natural areas and for active recreation.
Outside the city (in the 'greenbelt'), the criteria for selecting properties
on which conservation easements would be sought essentially match Kristen's
criteria.  Money spent outside the city to protect our drinking water
sources and prevent overburdening limited roadways will only be spent if the
township also participates.  To further reduce the cost, such spending will
be limited to conservation easements, which are considerably cheaper than
outright purchase.

  - Mike

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kristen A. Gibbs" <kgibbs@umich.edu>
To: "Smart Growth Washtenaw" <smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 4:39 PM
Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Proposal B


> I, too, have misgivings about this proposal, and here are some of my
> reasons.
>
> 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
> so.
>
> 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.
>
> regards,
>
> -K. Gibbs
>
> ------------------------------------------------------
> "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
>         - Mahatma Gandhi
> ------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
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Postings to:  smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net      For info, send
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