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Re: E-M:/ Gravel pit question
Enviro-Mich message from "William Tobler" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Of course Andrew is right.
With courts and judges, nothing is a forgone conclusion, even when 99%
of the right is on one side.
It also comes down to the attorneys and clients for both sides, and
their will and ability to win.
On the other hand, the starting point is the local zoning ordinances,
knowing what is contained within, and whether the local officials are
willing to represent their citizens or not.
Regardless of whether this gravel pit is allowed to continue or not,
the local government should start defining their position on such
similar events. If they fail to do this, they'll be in the same boat
next time, and the time after that, and ...
> 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
> Andrew Mutch
> --- email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > 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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