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City Planning Director Outlines 'guide For Change

City Planning Director Outlines 'guide For Change image
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r Pchaska urged citizens te play a watchdog roieo ïhsure that the finally adopted docjjBient is folio wed. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters yesterday's ' sessions w e r e designed to give a brief outline of the proposed "master plan" in general. But I many of the members of the two audiences yesterday were more concerned about specifics, namely the proposed ■Briarwood regional shopping center and I its impact on the city. I Prochaska said initially he had considered not fielding quesüons about the proposed center but then decided he would as long as they related to the "Guide for Change." The Planning Commission is currently holding a series of work sessions on the shopping center prior to its zoning action scheduled for F6After acting on the Briarwood proposal, the commission wül undertake a I series of public meetings on the "Gmde for Change." The public, during those] sessions, will have the opportunity to voice opinions. Prochaska said public hearings on the document wül not be held until copies of the plan are distributed to the citizenry. The major thrust of the proposed master plan is the district center concept. Prochaska said he fores'ees four suclTcenters-excluding theCentral Business District CBD) - wTncTwould handle the day-tcjEay needs of citizens living near these centers. "Much -concern has been expressed about the prospects for the continued I viability of the CBD, given the implementation of our proposals," Prochaska said. "Let me say here and now that the district center form depends upon and requires a strong and dynamic I downtown for its success. "Each district center core will be by intention nofaaTyonto itself but will look toward thlT3öpgtown for the provi-j sion and maintenanLfi3! JJtban ameni-j ties which only the larger city could I possibly support," he said, listing as I possibilities f ar the fugure CBD I ral and rfortn'rllTlfr't facilities. central I banking and ELaLeísional offices, core governmental functions and large educational and riiiLal institutions." Prochaska said the "Guide for Change" includes general land use plans to handle what the Planning Department expects to be the city's growth over the y+ Ifi t3 2& years. He said land use plans andjleitv poücies are closely knit in tllS ilocuineiiL. "We MSvT"looked at a possiblejufc grnwth policy .aad _discarded it as an alterna ti ve "tor Amf ArBór," Prochaska said, adding it is anticipated the city's population will doublé by the year 1990. "Ann Arbor will reach a point where it should limit its growth," the planning director said, placing the "upset" figure somewhere between 2flfl,Mfl afld 300,000 popularen. "At no time should city grdwfhtake away the concept of neighborhood participation," he added. During his presentation, Prochaska said implementation will be one of the key factors. Without this implementation, he said, the document will simply iie on the shelf . The cost of change will be expensive, Prochaska said, adding that the existing form of taxation will not be able to handle this cost. And although not a panacea, he added, the local income tax would be a step in the right direction to provide for the capital needs of the city. "I'm amazed that the property tax is still in existence," Prochaska said. Asked how the plan could be implemented in light of recent annexation defeats by citizens, Prochaska said "annexation is not difficult, it's a passing of the wind." He said the growth plan is premised on an expanding population and boundaries, citing the State Boundary Commission as a tooi for controlled growth. Prochaska said the plan also speaks of cooperation between the seval governing bodies in the greajps. Ann Arbor area. "We must t.rv to-resolve our points of conflict." Citizens must start thinking in terms of limiting the population size of cities, Prochaska said, but added "it might be too late for Southeast Michigan." If this population size is limited funds must be provided at the state level for the development of new towns, he said. "I think it's realistic to talk of dispersión of population," he said. "My only concern is that the states don't abandon existing cities for these new towns." A general development plan for the city must include social as well as physical planning, he said, pointing to the provisión of low and moderate cost housing as being critical. Also, there must be a viable mass transportation system_tLU2i2y_ide means for citizens to travel betjsen district centers and the CBD. without reliance on the automobÏÏer"'" Prochaska said the plan iooks to setting aside areas of the city - or future city _ for "desirable" industrial uses and research -frcilities. The industrial corridor woutd" be on the city's south side while the research fULiiities would be located in the nortn'east area. One woman in the audience said the plan appears to be promoting growth rather than planning for it. "Yes," Prochaska said. "It is ludicrous to say growth won't take place. We can't teil it to go away." Asked if the plan would handle a district center the size of the proposed Briarwood development, Prochaska said the plan does not look to the scale of the size of the district _cLBters. "Size is relative." Prochaska "said the plan Iooks to downtown as still being the primary disI trict. "We don't want the downtown to shift to Briarwood. Livonia's downtown is the Livöffia" mail. We don't want something like that." Prochaska said the city must encourage changes and growth in the CBD. "But we can't look at the downtown alone, the merchantsjnusiget together." The planning director noted that a 1962 study of the CBD said "the futjApf downtown was shaky." This studypid things that must be done by the merchants, Prochaska said, adding that most of these haven't been undertaken. "We have all the plans we need for the CBD, they just have to be implemented." Prochaska said the plan looks to stemming the pattern of growth that has appeared in nearly all urban centers and is oecurring here now. But once a plan is adopted, he added, it r-annot work if it changes year to year as different persons are elected to the city's governing body. "Once a land. TitSTplan has been adopted we mustjjiLck to it." "The intent of this concept (district center) is n fiprng areas to maintain, and in other areastorestore, the primacy of place in oijesidential concentrations. In many of the peripheral areas of the city we are beginning to see the j psychological and aëfthetic sterility and banality that follows upon strictly uniform and non-integrated land use patterns. "Subdivisions are conceived in grand isolation and remain cut off from their surroundings by artificial property lines and chain link fences. Instead of this standardized method of encapsulating our residential neighborhoods, we hope to encourage and require a more diversified land use aspect," 1 'rocraskajri