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Publications | June 12, 2017
1 minute read

MSC denies leave to consider whether municipalities can bring suit for violating zoning ordinances after decades of use

In Charter Township of Lyon v. Petty and Charter Township of Lyon v. Hoskins, Case Nos. 155024 and 155025, in lieu of granting leave to appeal the Court of Appeals' decision that municipalities may choose whether and when to enforce zoning ordinances at any time, the Michigan Supreme Court vacated two portions of the Court of Appeals' decision, opining that these statements were not necessary for the holding and were not well grounded in Michigan jurisprudence. The vacated statements are:

(1) “moreover, as a matter of law, $7,000 worth of additions to a storage barn falls short of the ‘substantial change in position’ or ‘extensive obligations and expenses’ necessary for equity to overcome a township’s zoning authority[,] 83 Am Jur 2d § 937, p 984;” and

(2) “Courts have also held that the property owner must establish ‘a financial loss . . . so great as practically to destroy or greatly to decrease the value of the . . . premises for any permitted use[,]’ Carini v Zoning Bd of Appeals, 164 Conn 169, 173; 319 A2d 390 (1972).”

In all other respects, leave to appeal was denied. To view our previous blog post about the Court of Appeals’ opinion, click here.