A N N   A R B O R   I S   O V E R R A T E D . (a blog.)


Mer () - 2003-11-03 09:07:03
Yeah. That's what we had to give up, moving to Saline: our political careers. Also, tiny square footage for too much money, ridiculous property taxes and not having a yard. City officials are what, the smallest possible demographic? I doubt their exodus to the suburbs would be noticeable in the slightest, esp. compared to all of us who left because we couldn't fit our stuff into a house we could afford.

Murph ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 09:25:14
Yes, and *anything* that gets repeated enough times is automatically false. Any opinion on the greenbelt proposal that is stated twice can be discarded. Or maybe it's a parity thing? If the argument has been made an even number of times, it's false; an odd number, it's true? This is only slightly sillier than saying, "we've heard it so many times that it must be a dumb idea." I'm not saying you're definitively wrong (though I happen to agree with the sentiment you're criticizing); I just think that you need a somewhat better criticism.

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 12:21:42
The Daily apparently missed the fact that residency requirements for city department heads have been outlawed by the state. That part of the amendment would just clean up the charter by getting rid of the dead language.

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 12:24:42
I also don't agree that the greenbelt proposal would have more than a negligible impact on housing affordability. (Proponents and opponents of "B" are both wildly exaggerating its impact.)

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-03 13:44:43
My point is just that this is the argument I've heard from just about every proponent. They acknowledge it doesn't do enough to avoid driving up housing prices, but think it can just be fixed later. I admit I didn't get to go to any of the debates on this, so I may be missing something here. But Goodspeed has a very interesting comparison of similar plans in Boulder and Portland. Boulder's plan, he says, created a "severe housing shortage"; Portland's didn't because it was more "flexible" and carefully thought out. I've seen nothing from Proposal B supporters to indicate that this will be more like Portland's plan.

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 16:36:04

Boulder's plan also has an annual development cap (over the entire community) that has an obvious and direct impact on housing prices. Not comparable to proposal "B".

Funding of any Proposal B greenbelt purchases has to be coordinated (and co-funded) with surrounding townships and the county, or they won't happen. So regional cooperation is built in.

Local business folks are not worked up about "B" -- it's the national home builders association which appears to be terrified that this kind of thing might catch on.

Brandon () - 2003-11-04 18:23:41
Moreover, Boulder's greenbelt preserves a far larger percentage of the land surrounding it than B would. At the forum at the Union last Thursday (by far the best and most nuanced discussion of the issues at hand), even Mayor Hieftje admitted B's effect on halting sprawl and development around Ann Arbor would be minimal-- its effect would be primarily to redirect development from prime agricultral lands and environmentally-important sites. Housing in the city will continue to be a problem, greenbelt or not. We need a much more comprehensive plan to curb sprawl while at the same time promote a livable, affordable urban area (including increased density, accessory apartments, regional planning, etc.)... The mayor pledges that B will be a start down this road, but anyone with half a brain will see how much of a piecemeal idea this really is. I voted yes, but with reservations... I would have preferred to see input from the city planning department, not this flawed and limited "anti-sprawl" proposal cooked up by the mayor and his pals at the Sierra Club... it looks and feels good, but this is not how one does good planning. Moreover, the emotion-tugging, simplistic campaigns on either side are nauseating... can't we have a more rational discussion in this community? I guess maybe we aren't as high-brow and educated as we like to think, eh Tree Town?

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