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Re: E-M:/ Gravel pit question



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Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <andrewimutch@yahoo.com>
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Before relying on such non-conforming standards, you
might want to check with the appropriate legal
counsel, such as the Township attorney. We had a
situation like this come up while I was on the
Planning Commission in Novi. A gas station wanted to
re-open even though the previous gas station had not
been operated for ten years and by all appearances had
been abandoned. However, our City Attorney informed us
that under Michigan case law, non-operation does not
equal abandonment. Because the gas station owners had
attempted to find potential operators during that 10
year period, in the Attorney's opinion, a Court would
not consider the site abandoned. We were also told
that the burden was on the municipality to prove that
the use had been abandoned. Because of that case law,
we approved the gas station even though our ordinance
contained the same kind of language you highlighted. 

I'm not sure the same situation is at work here. But I
just wanted to point out that this is not as clear-cut
issue as it might appear just by reading the ordinance
language.

Andrew Mutch
Novi




--- williamtobler@critterswoods.org wrote:
> Our zoning ordinance has an Article on
> "Nonconformities".
> 
> The following is stated:
> 
> Section 13.01 Nonconforming Uses of Land
> Where, at the date of adoption of this Ordinance,
> lawful use of land exists that is made no longer
> permissible under the terms of this Ordinance as
> enacted or amended, such use may be continued as
> long as it remains otherwise lawful, subject to the
> following provisions:
> 1) No such nonconforming use shall be enlarged or
> increased, nor extended to occupy a greater area of
> land than was occupied at the effective date of
> adoption or amendment of this Ordinance.
> 2) No such nonconforming use shall be moved in whole
> or in part to any other portion of the lot or parcel
> occupied by such use at the effective date of
> adoption or amendment of this Ordinance.
> 3) If any such nonconforming use of land is
> abandoned for a period of more than ninety days, any
> subsequent use of such land shall conform to the
> regulations specified by the Ordinance for the
> district in which such land is located.
> 
> Since your gravel pit was abandoned for five or ten
> years, it could not be continued per paragraph 3.
> 
> This is pretty standard stuff.
> 
> 
>   ----- Original Message ----- 
>   From: Luanne Jaruzel 
>   To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net 
>   Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 9:56 PM
>   Subject: E-M:/ Gravel pit question
> 
> 
>   Anyone know of any rules - or rules of thumb -
> that should be checked out when a person wants to
> "re-open" a gravel pit?  To my knowledge no gravel
> has been taken from the pit in 5 years, possibly 10.
>  My understanding is that since the pit wasn't
> operational for so long, it would revert back to
> what the zoning is in that area.  It is zoned
> Residential/Ag and 30 years ago was run as a family
> gravel pit.  Is it too late to be "grandfathered
> in"?  Our local township officials don't know what
> rules apply or even what to ask.  The man with the
> pit just TOLD the township supervisor he was going
> to re-open this pit.  Shouldn't the township require
> a site plan, or issue a permit of some kind?  Can
> the request proof that there is even still gravel at
> this site?  How can they have any control or be sure
> that he follows noise or pollution control
> ordinances if there are no ground rules set before
> he opens?  Any and all comments are appreciated. .
> .we need some direction here!
>   Thanks you in advance.
>   Luanne Jaruzel
>   Millington Township
> 


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