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Re: E-M:/ MHP rezoning

Enviro-Mich message from Andrew Mutch <andrewimutch@yahoo.com>


As a property owner directly affected by the
development, you probably have more legal standing to
intervene in litigation and have a say-so in any
settlement than residents might otherwise have. As far
as I know, that would be the only legal remedy if the
board denied the rezoning but then opted for a legal
settlement. If push comes to shove, I can highly
recommend the attorneys at Olson and Bzdok:

Olson & Bzdok, P.C.
420 East Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49686

They represent citizen and environmental groups across
the State in legal actions against developers and
unresponsive local officials. In Novi, they
represented the Friends of Novi Parks and won a legal
victory in court for us against two of the top
attorneys in the State, Jerry Fisher and Robert
Carson. Although the City eventually gave away City
parkland to a developer, which we were fighting, we
wouldn't have gotten as far as we did without the
excellent legal representation that we had. Just as
fair warning, any legal action can get very expensive,
very quickly. While we were represented at very
reasonable rates, some developers have virtually
unlimited resources and will even threaten litigation
against you individually, if they think that tactic
will scare you off. Either way, the legal bills pile
up quickly. Hopefully, the Township has a solid enough
case that you won't have to get to that point. If they
don't, focus your resources on getting as much
information out there that makes the case why the
rezoning shouldn't happen. Even in Washtenaw County,
I've seen court decisions that favor the developers.

Andrew Mutch

--- Susan Miller <smiller179@comcast.net> wrote:
> Thanks to all who responded to my query regarding
> the Lodi rezoning issue.
> I was not aware of the right of referendum, which
> could be of great value
> should the township board vote for the rezoning to
> MHP.
> My understanding of the likely course of things at
> this point is that the
> Board will vote to deny the rezoning.  My concern is
> that they may opt to
> settle with the developer if a law suit ensues.  In
> a recent conflict over
> expansion of gravel and sand pit mining, they denied
> the initial request but
> settled after the developer brought suit.  In this
> case, a citizens group
> did participate in the law suit but the settlement
> still went forward
> (leaving some very angry citizens).  I'm not sure
> how that happened.  I had
> the sense that the citizens group was barred from
> the mediation process that
> occurred.  I'm wondering if the referendum option
> exists if the board denies
> rezoning, but later concedes it in the face of
> litigation??
> At this point, I'm hopeful that the township board
> will vote to deny
> rezoning (as the planning commission did), but I'm
> trying to educate myself
> about any tools I might have to discourage the board
> from settling with the
> developer, should the developer pursue legal action.
> Susan Miller

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