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MIDLAND, MI-An adjunct scholar for a conservative think-tank here says state officials need to think about facts rather than emotion when dealing with what’s termed “urban sprawl.” Samuel Staley, also the director of the Urban Futures Program for the Reason Policy Institute in Los Angeles, says many proposals in Michigan have emerged since 1994 to grapple with urban sprawl, including plans to impose urban-growth boundaries, institute regional land-use planning, and prevent vacant land from being developed.

For example, the state House of Representatives approved three bills Wednesday requiring local municipalities to adopt open space preservation measures, in the form of ordinances that would allow a landowner to build the same number of units as established by the local unit of government while protecting 50% of the land in an undeveloped state.

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