Smart Growth Inspires Rare Bipartisanship

17 bill signings reflect Michigan's growing legislative momentum
January 10, 2004, 5am PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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Though ferocious political partisanship characterizes much of their work on almost every economic and social issue, Republican lawmakers and Democratic Governor Jennifer M. Granholm are nevertheless forging a remarkable bipartisan consensus around an untested economic development strategy based on curbing sprawl and revitalizing Michigan cities. Over the last four months, the governor has signed two executive orders and 17 bills passed by the Legislature that, among other things, empower municipalities to get tough on owners of blighted property, help expedite redevelopment of abandoned brownfield sites, and raise the cap on bond money available for such projects. Other measuressigned by the governor encourage regional planning and permit townships to include open space in their mixed-use zoning laws. Not since Maryland passed land use policy reforms in 1997, has a state taken such extraordinary political steps to begin to reduce the harmful consequences of how it grows.

Thanks to Keith Schneider

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Published on Friday, January 9, 2004 in Michigan Land Use Institute
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