With the Grain Reason to Plan
You have a Reason to Plan--likely a personal one. Don't lose sight of it. But planning is not a popularity contest, no matter what history suggests. Municipalities must take a structured approach, documenting rational decisions for future officials, the community, and (ultimately) the courts. Planners must Reason, to Plan. Here are resources that may help.

Valuable Texts
Policy documents change over time, but training and technical materials are rather stable. They describe the who, what, where, when, and why of creating, implementing, and enforcing policies. A few are costly, but will save you many times that in frustration. Ante up and get informed.

Lands of Interest
Does your community know what it needs to to preserve? Many individuals know what they want to develop. They'll hire unlimited testimony about how wonderful it will be. Once that begins, it'll be harder to protect valuable resources. Identify those lands today!

Land Classification
Land is classified in many ways, often with confusing results. Technical experts, planners, or tax assessors may use different language to describe the same parcel. Add a few politicians... well, if you can avoid it, don't! Some of the confusion is unnecessary. Here is a primer on the lingo.

Open Space
Open Space Development is increasingly popular. Various approaches promote "cluster" development, or address special rules for plats, PUD's, or site condos. It may be useful in your community. One warning: please don't imagine that this will do anything to reduce sprawl.
- General introduction to what OSD may (or may not) accomplish.
- Specific concepts to consider for your own OSD ordinance.

Strange Truths
The behavior of officials, landowners, and developers (and all their attorneys) is often stranger than fiction. We've started to collect commentary on these bizarre behaviors, so you won't be surprised when they begin. Pass the word.
- Developers name subdivisions after features they destroyed

Internet Resources (slightly under construction)
Our culture does not comprehend its effects on creation. There is no lack of expert knowledge, just a lack of public awareness. Judging a community's future is more complex than our daily experiences. Some data may help; maybe even some (gasp!) science. These internet resources are a start.

Other Resources
...are pending publication. Send priority requests to wtg@wtgrain.org

Key Documents (pending publication)
Many documents contribute to local land use policy. Find them, and keep up to date with changes. Your township, village, or city probably has several relevant texts. Check for material from your county, regional organizations, and state agencies and statutes. Here are a few to ask for by name.

Limitations of Statute (pending publication)
Community advocates often seek a more responsible approach to local land use. Planning law typically supports their goal, but few people know it. Neighborhood efforts often fail due to this lack of knowledge (and local officials rarely help.) Excerpts from statute suggest what is possible.
With the Grain - - Box 517 - - Mattawan, Michigan - - 49017-0517 - - wtg@wtgrain.org

...head home!
Reason to Plan Preservation Spoken Softly Waiting to Die