Welcome to another update to HRWC’s Change Makers.

Millage Toolkit Workshop a Big Hit

About two dozen residents and local officials attended to learn how their community could implement a land preservation program. Check out HRWC’s  Funding Land Protection from Millages Toolkit. It offers step-by-step processes for creating a millage campaign to protect land in your community. Contact me (Kris) at HRWC if you think this would be good program for your community.

Change Makers Attend National River Rally in Cleveland to Share Their Stories

Janet Bourgon of Pittsfield Township and Sally Rutzky of Lyndon Township joined me (Kris) at the national River Rally conference in Cleveland, OH to give a workshop about the Change Makers program and share experience on citizen engagement.  We got lots of tips from our fellow watershed organizations on working with residents and local officials on land use planning.  Everyone at the session was inspired by Sally’s and Janet’s stories of how they got onto Lyndon’s planning commission and Pittsfield’s Sustainability Committee.

Raise Your Voice to Give Feedback on Master Plans in These Areas

There is still time to give your feedback on the draft master plans for the City of Dexter and Hamburg and Ypsilanti townships.

The City of Wixom has published their 2018 Master Plan. HRWC’s comments will be coming soon in Resources on our Change Makers page.

Should Your Township Do Away with Single Family Zoning?

On Sunday, Oregon lawmakers took a historic step toward becoming the first state to eliminate single-family zoning. Democratic Governor Kate Brown is expected to sign a bill that will allow for duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and “cottage clusters” on land currently reserved for single-family houses in cities with more than 25,000 people. Duplexes will be allowed in single-family zones in cities with at least 10,000 people. The move puts Oregon at the forefront of a nationwide surge in “upzoning” to make cities denser, greener, and more affordable in the face of housing shortages.

While the bill resembles similar efforts to curb single-family zoning in Minneapolis, Seattle, and California, Oregon’s take on this trend reflects the state’s longstanding agreement about tight land use. Since 1973, every city in the state has had an “urban growth boundary” designed to keep homes from sprawling into farms and forests, encouraging denser urban development. With unlikely political bedfellows aligning around housing at the national level, will Oregon’s new law herald more upzoning efforts beyond the state line?  See ARTICLE.

Please let us know when you submit feedback on any of these issues to your local government.  We want to know how it went!

Thank you!

Kris and Jason

Monthly update imageChange Makers are residents who have chosen to become a voice for the Huron River and its watershed by becoming involved in their local governments to encourage watershed-friendly land use planning and practices.