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County's zoning regulations governing wind energy systems supercede township's regulations

The court held that there was no genuine issue of material fact that the defendants-townships' ordinances substantively qualified as zoning regulations and regulated the same subject matter as the county's zoning ordinance. As the county adopted its ordinance under the MZEA and defendants did not adopt their ordinances under the act, the county's ordinance controlled and established the only standards for regulating the use of property for wind energy systems in the county. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court's ruling that the plaintiff was entitled to judgment in its favor in this declaratory judgment action requesting a declaration that defendants' ordinances, which imposed more restrictive requirements for wind energy systems than the county ordinance, were invalid and unenforceable. The court first rejected defendants' argument that plaintiff's claims were not ripe for review, concluding that plaintiff "sufficiently showed an actual controversy, and not merely a hypothetical injury, given that defendants were attempting to subject plaintiff to additional licensing requirements for a special land use for which the county had already issued a permit." Further, the court agreed with the trial court that "defendants' ordinances were in substance zoning regulations that conflicted with the county's ordinance and that because the county enacted its ordinance under the MZEA and defendants' ordinances were not enacted pursuant to that act, the county's ordinance was controlling." MCL 125.3210 "reflects a codification of the doctrine of 'field preemption.'" If defendants' ordinances qualified as zoning ordinances, then MCL 125.3210 established that the county's zoning ordinance "will be deemed controlling to the extent of any inconsistencies between defendants' ordinances and the county's ordinance." Defendants argued that their ordinances were valid because they addressed "activities" (related to producing wind energy) within their respective borders. However, it was clear "that the ordinances regulate the 'use' of land in defendants' townships and the construction of structures. The construction of an infrastructure of wind turbines as part of a wind energy system is not merely an activity on land, but rather relates to a permanent land use. MCL 125.3201 also supports the trial court's determination that defendants' ordinances should be treated as zoning regulations." While "MCL 41.181 clearly permits defendants to adopt laws for the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare of their citizens, a zoning regulation must be enacted pursuant to the MZEA."

PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

Invoking Your Right to Remain Silent

Originally posted on 07/19/2017 While the “right to remain silent” represents one of your most inalienable rights, many people have a few misconceptions about how it works. Many people receive their understanding of this...

Arrests made by tracking cell phones may be illegal

Originally posted on 02/10/2017 Law enforcement agencies are always looking for an edge in fighting crime. As cell phones have become an indispensable part of life for many people, authorities have taken to using these devices to track...

Could I lose my job over a drunk driving arrest?

Originally posted on 01/20/2017 When potential clients ask us questions about criminal defense representation (particularly for drunk driving offenses) one of the most common is whether they will lose their job.  Naturally, this...

FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

CRIMINAL 19: Sentencing guidelines are advisory.

The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and although a trial court must determine the applicable guidelines range and take it into account when imposing a sentence, the court is not required to sentence a defendant within that range.

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

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