Ann Arbor residents deserve a clear explanation on future of Huron Hills
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje.
I know that we are bombarding you with our concerns, but I just don't get it when you can say there is no plan to dismantle Huron Hills. Miles of Golf will be very disappointed to hear that!
We have read their complete proposal, which is now the ONLY proposal on the slate, and it calls for building their huge complex on our city-owned parkland. Wouldn't such commercialization dismantle the park? I know it is a three-phase process, but once it is signed, sealed and delivered, the park is essentially a goner as their proposal was not to just manage the golf course
My concern is only for the parkland, and the dangerous precedent that leasing our public lands for private use sets. And the real irony is that we the Ann Arbor taxpayers are paying so many millions for the Greenbelt to buy development rights on land outside the city, while there are plans to essentially "sell" (isn't a 20-year lease a de facto sale?) some of the most visible and beautiful property inside the city. As someone from Webster Township said in a blog, "It's great for us, but don't you feel a bit taken?" I do. I really hope that your minds are open, and that you won't let this happen. But why the RFP then if you and the council have no intention of dismantling the course and perhaps will even provide the funding for a huge commercial complex? (In their proposal Miles of Golf suggests that the city will have to "help" with their building project). I want to believe you in the worse way! But when you say "The city has no plan to do anything to Huron Hills. No plan to lease it, no plan to put up a building or allow anyone else to, no plan to destroy anything. No plan other than to open it as an 18 hole golf course in the spring," the RFP and throwing out the proposal to run the golf course as a nonprofit MAKES NO SENSE.
I wish that you or our Ward 2 council members would sit down and explain this to all of us, who are very unhappy and concerned, so it does make sense.
Ann Schriber Ann Arbor