Build the Future We Want Now on Platt Road

January 2017

Dear Washtenaw County Commissioners,

We write to you about our county's future. In light of recent national and local events, we feel urgently that we cannot wait one more day to build the peaceful world we are seeking for ourselves and our children. We want to take action in our own community now to affirm the values we hold dear: social equality and opportunity, connection with nature and one another, racial justice, and a sustainable future.

We agree that the THRIVE Collaborative’s proposal for the Platt Road Site will honor these values, and will do so in a way that also meets the needs of the local neighborhoods. We love and enjoy County Farm Park, and we are pleased that every home in this plan will have a path leading into the park. We love how walkable and bikeable our community is, and wish to see the development of best-practice streets designed for people over machines. We cannot wait to see a neighborhood free from fossil-fuel powered combustion, ready to function into the next century using only renewable energy like solar and geothermal. We want to show our children that very soon we will all live this way.

This proposal meets our need to promote social justice and reduce inequalities by planning for fifty units-- approximately one-third of the total development-- to meet the definition of “affordable housing.” We are excited to welcome Avalon Housing, a local nonprofit with 24 years of experience providing permanent supportive housing, into this neighborhood. We are thrilled that Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley will build a truly beautiful, renewable energy-powered home that could be a model for its national organization. We understand that the other two-thirds of market-valued homes will be offered for sale at a range that is higher than the surrounding existing neighborhoods. We see that this meets the neighbors’ needs for their own property values to increase over time. We welcome the chance to create a place where we all live side-by-side and rise together.

The THRIVE collaborative is offering us the opportunity to welcome a model for the future— a truly sustainable community that harvests its electricity from the sun, its heating from the earth, its food from the soil, and its water from the sky. We are excited to see homes built that will allow us to age-in-place, to have flexible design to meet our families’ changing needs, to look out the window into trees rather than parking lots.

Some of us pass by the land on Platt Road daily. This 13-acre site in this active, urban neighborhood has been under-utilized for too long. We now have a tangible opportunity in Washtenaw County to create a sustainable, inclusive neighborhood. This is the future we want. Please lead the way.

For the common good,

Your Neighbors in Washtenaw County

 

Photo credit: Riverwalk by NOW Communities- Dan Gainsboro & Union Studio Architects and Community Planners

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