Check out this recent Michigan Court of Appeals case involving a denied variance request made to a Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). Here, the owner of a small island wanted to build a home on the island. The township deputy-zoning administrator determined that the island was “not zoned.” However, the township planning commission chairman appealed to the ZBA, which voted to reverse the decision and determined that the property was zoned “agricultural” (this would essentially preclude the owner from building the home on the island). The owner requested a zoning variance to allow him to build the home, which the ZBA denied. In addition to technical reasons, the ZBA cited opposition that neighbors voiced to building on the land. The owner appealed the decision to the circuit court and brought claims alleging other violations. The circuit court upheld the ZBA’s decision.
While the Court of Appeals ultimately threw out the circuit court’s holding that affirmed the ZBA’s decision, there were a number other issues raised in this case, including due process rights and muddying administrative and legislative waters. Sounds ugly, right? It was! These issues can get very hairy.
Zoning plays a key role in determining how property can be used depending on where it is located. Understanding zoning law can be difficult, which is why you need a legal professional to assist you. Questions or concerns about how to handle these types of matters? Contact C&G today!
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