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E-M:/ Re: SG-W:/ Northfield Referendum overturns rezoning

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

If the developer goes to court, the zoning for the
property is going to be judged by the same legal
standard as any other zoning case. The referendum
doesn't change that. The developer probably won't
directly challenge the election results. Instead,
they'll probably challenge the agricultural zoning as
applied to their property. A good overview of the
legal issues involved in challenging the legality of
zoning as applied to agricultural land is covered

Bell River Associates v China Twp (1997)

There are a number of more recent cases from the Court
of Appeals that have upheld the basic framework laid
out in Bell River when dealing with challenges to
zoning ordinances.

Andrew Mutch

--- Rober98@aol.com wrote:
>      Presumably the next stage will be for the
> developer to go to court, in 
> an attempt to overturn the voters' zoning decision. 
>      I understand, from discussions in connection
> with the Newmarket project 
> in Pittsfield Township, that the voters have no
> greater power than the 
> Township government to reject reasonable land use
> proposals (I think this is 
> correct?). 
>      Michigan law seems often to favor developers,
> so if a rejection by the 
> Township board could have been overturned by the
> courts, so can the referendum 
> results. (Presumably the Pittsfield board made the
> same assumption, when they 
> decided to buy out the developer rather than go
> through the petitioned-for 
> referendum and face the developer in court. -- do I
> remember this sequence of 
> events correctly?)

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