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E-M:/ Wetlands legislation



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Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <amutch@waterford.lib.mi.us>
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Rep. Robert "Lansing Knows Best" Gosselin of Troy has introduced a bill that would
prohibit as a condition of a wetland permit the requirement of a conservation
easement.  House Bill 5872 is at:

http://michiganlegislature.org/isapi/nls_ax.dll/billStatus?LegSession=1999-2000&DocType=HB&BillNum=5872

Language is not currently available on the web site.  However, this appears to
continue Mr. Gosselin's attack on home rule authority and his blatant pandering to
development interests.  Local communities, like Novi, who regulate wetlands
locally often require as a condition of a wetland permit the provision of a
conservation easement to ensure the integrity of the wetland is maintained.  This
condition ensures that the current and all future property owners are on notice
that the wetland is regulated and protected by local ordinances and is essential
to the preservation of natural resources in the local community.

In Novi, we have had people on our Planning Commission and in the development
community who have argued that this requirement is an unconstitutional "taking" of
property.  Our City attorney, after researching this issue and the relevant case
law, has come to the opinion that the requirement of conservation easements does
NOT consitute a taking and is permissible under state and federal law.
Unfortunately, it appears that once again, the development community is attempting
to attack local protections at the state level.

Andrew Mutch
Novi


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