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Re: SG-W:/ Proposal B


Like you, I've been awfully darn skeptical of the plan, and of what 
seems like the lack of a comprehensive plan behind it--or even the 
recognition that this is only one part of such a comprehensive plan. 
 The dilemma is that, on the one hand, we pass this proposal and then 
people become complacent and say, "Well, we've stopped sprawl!  Nothing 
more we need to do!" and the rest of a more comprehensive plan never 
takes shape.  On the other hand, there are times when the stars align 
and the chance to jump on somethign presents itself--getting the parks 
tax re-started after it has ended will be much harder than extending it 
while it is still in effect--and we have to take what we're given the 
opportunity to take and then work on the rest.

I've decided that the greenbelt proposal falls into the latter category. 
 Mostly, this decision is based on the number of people I've seen who, 
like you and I, say, "But this is only a small part of any real 
solution!"  The fact that this awareness exists, and that these 
objections are being voiced, assures me that the greenbelt won't be 
treated as the alpha-and-omega of Ann Arbor regional planning.  I'm 
willing to take what is offered and then keep on reaching for the rest.

The Dicken Woods area detached housing vs. condominiums issue falls into 
"the rest".  So does last year's accessory apartment/"granny flat" 
issue.  So do all of the other things that make me want to slap some Ann 
Arborites for their snobbish nimbyism. (and, if you're on a smart growth 
list, then either you know that you're not one of the Ann Arborites I'm 
talking about and so won't take offense at that characterization, or 
else you're so snobbish that you don't realize you're one of the Ann 
Arborites I'm talking about and therefore I intend to offend. :) )

Our duty at this point, I feel, is to support the greenbelt proposal and 
then keep clamoring for the "more cohesive, comprehensive plan that 
could generate many ballot proposals"--or at least for the other ballot 
proposals individually.  Getting the greenbelt passed should be treated 
as a way to build momentum, rather than as something that will kill 

Kristen A. Gibbs wrote:

>I formed my opinion of Dickens Woods based on my experiences on Planning
>Commission. I am sad to say that if the project that was proposed for that
>area had been single family detached housing, the neighbors probably
>wouldn't have had as much of an issue. But because it was proposed to be
>more affordable attached condominiums, many people came out against it,
>some going so far as saying that they didn't want "people like that"
>living near them. I like the woods - I used to live quite close to them -
>but I must question the motivation of the group when I saw that reaction.
>All that said, I'm sure that the Parks Advisory Committee goes through a
>good process to make their decisions.
>As far as I know, that property is probably at the headwaters of Allens
>Creek, but this has not been confirmed. Does anyone know this for certain?
>And I don't expect one single proposal to fix all the ills that Ann Arbor
>faces. What I had hoped for was a more cohesive, comprehensive plan that
>could generate many ballot proposals. I wanted the right means to reach
>this end, not a single ballot generated with a few people. Of course,
>that's just my opinion, and what I want in my ideal world. :)

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