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Re: SG-W:/ Proposal B: A Time To Act



Richard,

You're absolutely correct that Proposal B would, by itself, do nothing
directly about urban density or mass transportation.  But Proposal B would
create the right conditions and incentives for both to occur; without
Proposal B, both will suffer as low-density exurban developments reduce
demand for infill development and drain away the political support for mass
transit.

Proposal B would create incentives for greater urban density by making
greenfield sprawl development less attractive, thereby making infill
development and re-development relatively more attractive and shifting
development into already-developed areas.

Also, with measures in place to control sprawl (including, I hope,
additional steps after Proposal B), it'll be easier to strike the grand
bargain of greater density in selected parts of our existing
urbanized/suburbanized areas in exchange for open space preservation
elsewhere.  That's the same sort of bargain that has worked in other areas
around the country.

And as you well know, mass transportation is more feasible, more economical,
and more strongly supported by the electorate as density increases.  Without
Proposal B, we'll see more and more low-density sprawl -- meaning an
ever-shrinking portion of the population and electorate will live in areas
that can be served effectively by mass transportation.  That will slowly but
surely drain off the political support needed to fund our current mass
transit system, let alone expand and improve it.

I'll admit to implying too direct a link between Proposal B on the one hand
and mass transit and  greater density on the other.  But I hope you'll agree
that actions to curtail sprawl will preserve or enhance the conditions
necessary to support mass transit and greater density development in
existing urbanized areas.  The same goes for affordable housing:  by
shifting at least some development into areas with stronger affordable
housing requirements, Proposal B will help increase the supply of affordable
housing -- an indirect increase perhaps, but an increase nonetheless.

 - Mike Sklar

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Murphy" <murph@commonmonkeyflower.net>
Cc: "Smartgrowth Washtenaw" <smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net>
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2003 8:14 AM
Subject: Re: SG-W:/ Proposal B: A Time To Act


Mike, please.  Please don't say this is the last chance for urban
density or mass transportation.  I support the measure, and I believe
that it is important for preserving land, but it will itself do
*nothing* for the other issues you mention.  Those other things are
possible, but not definite, outcomes of this proposal, and it will
require a lot more work to make them happen.

Claiming that Proposal B will itself affect density, transit
feasibility, housing affordability, or anything else will only weaken
our position in the future when we want to do the work to *really* make
those things happen.  We need to be honest with ourselves and with the
people around us; treating this as the ultimate solution is exactly
what we shouldn't be doing.

On Oct 30, 2003, at 11:00 PM, Michael Sklar wrote:

> Proposal B may be our last chance to do more than just talk about land
> preservation, urban density, and mass transportation. Join those of
> us who want to start down the right path -- while we still can -- on
> the volunteer literature drop this weekend. Just stop in at Open
> Space HQ (315 W. Huron, most easily entered off of Washington Street
> just west of First and across from the Kiwanis site) between 10 am and
> 6 pm on Saturday or Sunday (or both!) to get your lit packet and
> route.
>
> You don't have to live in Ann Arbor to help out. Please, let's all
> pull together to prove those overconfident developers wrong on
> Tuesday. And if you're registered to vote in Ann Arbor, don't forget
> to vote YES on Proposal B this coming Tuesday, Nov. 4!
>
> - Mike Sklar
>
>
>
%% Murph <murph@commonmonkeyflower.net>
%% http://www.commonmonkeyflower.net/cms/




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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
County.

Postings to:  smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net      For info, send
email to majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info
smartgrowth-washtenaw"
===============================================================