It's subsidized because of an unholy alliance of greenies and urbanists who think everyone should live in lofts in "cool cities" to borrow a term from my former idiot governor Jennifer Granholm.
We seem to be taking a lot of Michigan farmland out of production or putting it under state control like it is in Europe. Meanwhile we talk about the idiocy of farming Detroit which isn’t so much about producing crops as it is collecting billions in soil restoration grants.
Something else that’s interesting is the fact that the new land grab in our area cuts right across the path of the new gas production wells going in.
Here is why I don’t have a problem with the scenario in Ann Arbor as you have laid it out.
1. You mentioned a ballotm measure, so it sounds like the citizens of Ann Arbor got a direct say in the matter rather than by representative voting. That’s as good as it gets in our system. It’s also as local as you can get with governance. You did not mention State or Federal mandates to do any of this, so I assume this was a local decision.
2. This is no different than the the City of ann Arbor voting to buy up surrounding land and then basically gifting it to developers to build housing. This is what has traditionally happened in the past ... the existing people in cities subsidize private developers to build out new annexed areas. Either way, it’s a local decision.
I hear complaints from conservatives all the time about local politics like this as if it’s some kind of global conspiracy. But isn’t the whole concept of conservativatism to have SMALLER government? Local government at the city or county level is the smallest government we can get. Even if we don’t like what our local citizens approve of, it’s SMALL GOVERNMENT at work.