By Paul J Sniadecki, Board Director
CITIZENS FOR HIGGINS LAKE LEGAL LEVELS (et al Plaintiffs) v. ROSCOMMON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS and DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, GREAT LAKES, & ENERGY (EGLE), and OTHER DEFENDENTS, Court Of Appeals No. 353969 (LC No. 19-724711-AW)
On March 17,2022, the Michigan Court of Appeals (COA) issued a published decision in this matter holding that legal lake levels set by a court had to be maintained. Roscommon County was having difficulty maintaining the legal level and argued the level was maintained, in essence, as best they could. The COA held that was not sufficient. The COA further held the county could petition the lower court for a new legal level that would be easier to maintain, but until that occurred, the existing legal level had to be maintained.
FRASER TOWNSHIP v. HARVEY HANEY and RUTH ANN HANEY (MSC Case No.: 160991, Court of Appeals Case No.337842 Lower Court Case No.16-3272-CH)
MLSA filed an Amicus brief in this matter early in 2021. The Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) decision was issued on February 8, 2022. MLSA filed the Amicus because the Court of Appeals had rendered a decision that applied a six year statute of limitations for actions involving local zoning ordinance violations. The MLSA brief argued that no such limitations applied and also emphasized the importance of local zoning to riparian property owners.
The Supreme Court sided with Fraser Township and MLSA by overturning the decision of the COA. The matter is complicated and we cannot provide in-depth specifics in this newsletter.
Please note, Attorney Cliff Bloom will provide his full analysis and commentary about these two court decisions in a future issue of The Michigan Riparian magazine. Be on the look out for his article.