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The Grosse Pointes

To the Editor:

The local governments of the Grosse Pointes need to form a cohesive strategy to combat the destruction of our neighborhoods. Too long have our fair cities suffered from developers buying single-family homes and turning them into multi-family homes.

This is eroding our tax base, destroying the beauty of our neighborhoods and turning the Pointes into just another American suburb.

As a recent example, look to the project that is being commissioned by the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, a supposed nonprofit organization. The War Memorial bought two lakefront properties, 50 and 60 Lakeshore. The organization reportedly bought the two properties for a combined $8 million. Now they are on the market for $5.2 million and $5.6 million.

The War Memorial claims that because they cannot sell the properties at these overinflated prices, they should be allowed to build condominium units on the sites. It appears that the War Memorial is overpricing these properties so that no one will even think of buying them. This provides them with the excuse that they must develop the property, in lieu of selling.

I propose that a Blue Ribbon Commission be created by the five Pointes with the sole purpose of combating urban sprawl. This commission should have five appointments by the mayors of each Pointe and five appointments by the people of the Pointes. The members of the committee should then select a chairperson.

This committee's sole purpose should be the creation of cohesive and strong zoning ordinances that are designed to protect the nature and integrity of the Pointes.

No longer should we allow multifamily dwellings. There is plenty of low-income housing in and around the Detroit-metro area. The Grosse Pointes should stay what they were meant to be: a place where one aspires to live when one has led a successful and fruitful life.

It should be a place where high-income families are proud to send their children to public school, not one where families search for the best private schools and are bitter because they still have to pay taxes to send other people's children to school.

The Grosse Pointes are a special place in a chaotic world, and everyone here should aspire to make it a little bit better than how they found it, not profit off its destruction.

J. Mathews

Grosse Pointe Farms

J. Mathews
Grosse Pointe Farms
November 03, 2004

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