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Dec 05

Downzoning

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

On Thursday my services were needed in the life-partner department as it was Kate’s birthday and I needed to represent myself better than I had the rest of the year. I was in Las Vegas for Valentine’s Day, so that gift came several months late. I was feeling pretty good that I was only three days late with the birthday gift, but I was reminded that I never sprung for an anniversary gift. I tried to brush it off by claiming that gift came in the form of a meal or grocery or gasoline purchase. We ended up going to Greenfield Village’s Holiday Nights. We even got to dine in the Eagle Tavern. It was really pretty great. I’m sure somewhere there are reinactment historians who will bitch about it, but they put on quite a show.Had I not been such an upstanding guy, I probably would have been at the City’s big meeting on downzoning all of mid-town. It was held at an off-city location somewhere on the EMU campus probably in an effort to reduce turnout. (Oh, I kid about that. That is just blatant editorializing.) The only review of the meeting that I’ve found was the lousy article in the Ann Arbor News. Given that’s all I have to go on, I probably shouldn’t draw any conclusions. But why not give it a go? I’ll talk to Harvey Krage tomorrow and file a retraction if necessary.

If you believe what the federal government tells us, you know that in the City of Ypsilanti, only 32.9% of the households in town are owner-occupied. The City would like to increase home ownership. (I think that is misleading because I don’t see that as being the point of all of this, but council’s intent yields the same result so they somehow get a gold star for having their hearts in the right place.) If you listen to what the Mayor has to say, you’ll notice that she’s smooth. Supposedly (and I say supposedly because I’ve been told the AA News is not terribly accurate) she said the high percentage of housing that is rental units is not healthy for the City. I won’t debate that point right now, but I will wonder aloud why a 186-unit apartment complex was approved by the very same City council concerned about too many rental units. Maybe they should have been concerned about saving the oldest paper mill left in the United States, but I digress. The apolgist will say that the new apartment complex will house EMU students and remove them from other residential parts of town. Again, I wonder aloud that a City Council that is pushing the “Cool Cities” stuff would want to remove an important part of diversity from the neighborhoods.

There was something from the article that went like this:

She [Mayor Cheryl Farmer] also said residents who occupy their property instead of renting it out take better care of it, invest in the community and create less blight. They create more stable neighborhoods, she said.

Way to slander an entire group of people — 67.1% of the population to be exact. If the residents of this City had any pride, they would be outraged and 500 people would show up to this Tuesday’s Council meeting. That’s just an unbelievable display of ignorance.

Things are only going to get harder for the City, and this is how we are going to overcome those obstacles. Good luck!

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