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Is It Time To Put Brake On Area Growth ?

Is It Time To Put Brake On Area Growth ? image Is It Time To Put Brake On Area Growth ? image
Parent Issue
Day
7
Month
February
Year
1971
Copyright
Copyright Protected
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Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

SAN JOSÉ, Calif. - For 20 years, Santa Clara County lived by the belief that growth meant progress and pros perity. Today, with more than a million residents in the once rural Santa Clara Valley, there are second thoughts. Growth created thousands of new jobs, but not for the unskilled and cannery and farm workers who saw freeways, shopping centers and new homes built on the orchards and fields that used to provide their living. Huge new subdivisions became instant slums as urbanization hardened racial and economie neighborhoods. Unemployment, smog and tax bilis swelled by big welfare rolls are major problems. "I look on this área becoming a second Los Angeles and if that isn't doom, I don't know what is," said Dean McKellup, outgoing Chamber of Commerce director. "We've come to the realization that growth for growth's sake is no longer desirable," added Víctor Clavo, man of the County Board of Supervisors. o o Tallahassee, Fla - State officials, hard pressed to keep up with citizen service demands, have taken themselves out of the business of encouraging retirees of limited income to move to Florida. "Florida no longer desires to be known as the fastest growing state in the union,1 state Senate President Jerry Thomas said Monday. o o Frpm The News Washington Bureau - Ann Arbor and the Washtenaw County area were among the fastest growing metropolitan areas of Michigan during the 1960s, according to a final U.S. Census Bureau report. Outstate growth was paced by Washtenaw Cóunty, up 35.8 per cent from per cent urban. Ann Arbor grew 48.2 per cent to 99,797; the city of Ypsilanti grew 172,440 to 234,103. lts population is 78.2 40.9 per cent to 29,538, and Ypsilanti Township grew 27.9 per cent to 33,194. o o And now for the questions: Has the time arrived to put a brake on growth in Ann Arbor and in Washtenaw County? Indeed, can the brake be applied? Or has the vehicle gathered so much speed that it's impossible to slovv things down in the heart of this sweeping midwestern megalopolis? Some people believe continued substantial growth is inevitable and even desirable. Others, who don't want growth, have resigned themselves to the fact that it will come and are calling for a firmer grip on the steering wheel in the hope that a brake can be applied to some extent. Following are some views of experts concerned with the growth situation: Michael Prochaska, director of Ann Arbor's Planning Department: Now is not the time to put the brakes on growth. The city and the immediate area have a commitment to the greater society of Southeastern Michigan. The percentage of growth will probably level off or drop in the decade of the 70s. But I feel it necessa_ry_thaj_the growth continue until the city reaches the 200,000 or 300,0fj01evel. Whatis needed now is a new tion, not a halt to growth. How the grows is more important than the ber of people. I would oppose the pi ture halting of growth now. The new direction would include alternative form of housing: pro townhouss- wiÜLj.2_to 25 units per The single-family house would still alternative in the future but not o it is now. Latest fi indícate íhat single family dwe occupy 80pe,r cent of the land account for only 5fl-percent of the residen tial units. This new approa housing would be one example of t to curtail urban sprawl by providin; vices in concentrated áreas. Sen. Gilbert Bursley, R-Ann Arbor The time has come to emphasiz quality of_growth. rather than the bers game. ' " The Washtenaw County área can tinue to grow some, but hopefully siderabljijsijbn the 35.8 per ce the 6Ps. Some growth is necessar thmgs don't become static and i backwards. But "Washtenaw shouli be in a race with Macomb Co which led all of Michigan's counties owth rate of 54.1 per cent. ashtenaw County alone can't do h to put the brake on. The Southern MichigfflCEïïmcil of Governts, must be the vehlcle. The county do it to some extent, but its little rol is not enough to combat the ition. there is not some slowdown in the 15 years, the government will have mnosp rpsfirif'tijnnn on the size of lies. This action probably would ; from the federal government. would hate to see this happen, but thing must be done to break the uscycle_ of more people requiring ""löfts and services, which require revenue, which require more x)pment. rl R. Frankena, chairman of the SierraClub : Dnffnów about a no-growth policy, i my view there should be pre-planfor growth. This has" always been jositlölr of the Sierra Club. The city responded to developers instead of carefullypre-planning. It has been e of the tau leadmg the buil. eventual "fo5T will be to decide when there should be no growth. The collar of the expressways may be the optimum limit. How soon the time to deêïüe a bout no growth will depend a great deal on the economie climate. An appropriate time might be JLZL,if the economy makes a full and immediate recovery. Some limit must be set- a population limit, an area limit, a density limit. I would hope the rate of growth in the 70s might be somewhat less than 35.8 per cent. David Bingham, one of the organizers of Zero Population Growth : If growth continúes at the present rate, most things that people in the city want will not be possible: pollution abatement, -taEEsvements in the I tion system, _a drop in crime and an improved housiag5ïïuation. If the people here are going to head I off increasing growth and urbanization I they must, by zoning, créate some sort I of less densebeltafound the Washtenaw 1 area so urbanization will be detoured.l People have to decide. The time forl decisión is getting late." f Mrs. William Lewis, member of the! City Planning Commission: j Growth in itself is not a problem. Thel problem in the 1960s has been the lackl of quality environjHeui and quality plan-l m'ngI cannot say whether I am for orl againsf growth generally. I have no ideal on the optimum size of Ann Arbor. But il am definite about the need for an increase in quality. Richard Cellarius of Ann Arbor, 1 man of the state chapter of the Sierra I Club: The thing about any sort of growth isl the proliferatinn nf -jjpjP family houses. I Open space must Be preserved. I favor al new concept in housing - well-designedl townhouses, but jnt. 20-story high rises. I We have got to put limitations on I development. Let's not build anything on I land not built ojyilready. This would not I be the easieft thlng to accomplish. But I we need some sort nf rrrrïrnl here, l places for people to get away from their I neighbors. Some sort of state contröfzoninls needed. As long as cities"" see development as a source of money, growth will be hard to control. The city needs an alternative means of revpnnp besides tne progerytax. we must start working now to stop the never-ending cycle of growth as soon as possible. William TJotC"chairman of the Ann Arbor Área of Commerce: Growth is inevitable. Zero population growth would take 70 years if the process was begun now - women on the average limiting themselves to 2.1 children. Ann Arbor is in the corridor of the midwestern megalopolis. Emphasis should be on providing the necessary kinds of things to complement growth: services provided by private enterprise as well as better schools sewers and water. My biggest concern is with the lack of managenHri-sajuLeffective coordinated Planning. Fifty-twjjjjnits of government exist in Washteaaw County. I am getting more listeileTsthese days when I talk about the community of Washtenaw. I favor some form of multi-level government which would handle zoning and sewers and leave other problems to the individual units. I expect the population of the city to be 128,000 bv L975. and 1B nnn by 1980.