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Ann Arbor considers ski area elimination

Thu, Dec  9, 2010 - By Yen-ling von Meister

Ann Arbor City Council is considering a proposal which would eliminate an area traditionally used for cross country skiing.

I urge you to send an e-mail (see sample below) to the Ann Arbor mayor, Mr. John Hieftje, voicing your concern on the preservation of Huron Hills Parkland. You do not need to be a resident of the city to send this letter. Individuals living in the city, please also send it to your council member.

In brief, we face losing a beautiful piece of parkland in the city, by the Huron River, to commercial development. A quick visit to www.a2p2parks.com will provide you with more details of the background and the efforts put into preserving the parkland thus far. Please join force with us to object parkland being privatized and commercialized.

Although the parkland is currently a golf course, it serves multiple functions for people to walk, to sled, to ski, etc. Most importantly, it is a piece of parkland providing the open space we treasure, in the city, by the city water source.

Please take a few seconds to copy and paste the letter prepared for you (or write one using your own words). Please do it as soon as you read this. Remember, ANY concerned individual can have their voice heard. This is not an issue that will be brought to a ballot. The Ann Arbor City Council members will have the ultimate say on the future of this piece of parkland.

Sample e-mail:

To: Mayor John Hieftje and City Council Members
City of Ann Arbor
100 N. Fifth Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48107

Subject: Preservation of Huron Hills Parkland

Dear Mayor Hieftje and Members of Council:

This letter is to request that Ann Arbor City Council reject the Miles of Golf proposal dated October 29, 2010 in response to the City's RFP No. 762.

The Miles of Golf (MOG) Proposal includes plans to move their golf business, and retail operations, from Carpenter Road in Ypsilanti to the Huron Hills Golf Course (HHGC) in Ann Arbor and to construct a new building of 11,000 square feet primarily for retail operations on the HHGC site. In so doing, the building of a retail store will mean a cessation of golf operations for that area of the property, will convert HHGC from a 18-hole to a 9-hole golf course, and will violate the City Council Resolution (October 22, 2007) to maintain the City's Municipal Golf Courses as open space.

Further, Council should reject the MOG proposal because it violates the Greenbelt (Open Space and Parkland Preservation) Program passed by the City of Ann Arbor voters in the November 2003 ballot initiative. The purpose of the "Parks and Greenbelt" proposal is to preserve and protect open space, natural habitats, and the City's source waters inside and outside the City limits.

The city's consideration of the MOG proposal with their commercial and retail development, their expanded parking lot, and their removal of over a dozen mature trees on existing parkland at the HHGC is completely inconsistent with both the City Council Resolution of October 2007 and with the Greenbelt Program authorized by the voters. I respectfully request that the Miles of Golf Proposal be rejected.

Sincerely,
....

E-mail addresses for Mayor and City Council:

JHieftje@a2gov.org; ssmith@a2gov.org; Sbriere@a2gov.org; SRapundalo@a2gov.org; TDerezinski@a2gov.org; CTaylor@a2gov.org; SKunselman@a2gov.org; MHiggins@a2gov.org; MTeall@a2gov.org; CHohnke@a2gov.org; MAnglin@a2gov.org;