State law preempts local zoning and land use control over many different types of land uses. One of the most important protections is for commercial agricultural operations under Michigan’s Right to Farm Act (RTFA). Local governments often face difficult issues about whether they can enforce their ordinances with respect to farm animals, accessory buildings, and farm market sales.
When preparing to take action in response to a complaint of an ordinance violation (zoning or otherwise) for which a formal hearing is required, here are some helpful tips ordinance enforcement officers should follow to ensure your civil infractions are upheld in court.
Over the past few months, the Court of Appeals has issued three opinions in cases involving successful claims against the Delta College Board of Trustees, for alleged violations of the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”), in connection with closed session meetings. One of the three opinions, Vermilya v Delta College Board of Trustees (July 31, 2018), is published, and therefore establishes state-wide precedent concerning the procedures that must be followed when entering a closed session.
Three recently enacted laws, Public Acts 323, 324 and 325 (the “Acts”), which took effect in July of 2018, will create an asset management framework for Michigan’s water, energy, transportation, and communications infrastructure and create interrelated councils to coordinate planning for those infrastructure systems at local, regional, and statewide levels. Among other things, the Acts place requirements on local municipalities, and sewer, water and road authorities to develop and adopt asset management plans.
On March 13, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a published opinion in Lockwood et al v Township of Ellington et al, affirming the authority of public bodies to ratify, or not ratify, decisions made in violation of the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”) at their discretion.
While financing public infrastructure improvements through the use tax increment financing by downtown development authorities, local development finance authorities, and corridor improvement authorities is not new in Michigan, those entities will be established and will operate under a new statute as a result of legislation approved by the state legislature and signed by the Governor earlier this year.