734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

REAL ESTATE 22: Court found denial of rezoning from multiple-family to commercial invalid.

This case arises out of plaintiff’s application to have a property rezoned from multiple-family residential to village commercial. The Property is located in a downtown commercial core district. A property directly north was rezoned from multiple-family residential to village commercial, the classification sought by plaintiff in this case.

In February 2015, plaintiff applied for the Property to be rezoned to “village commercial,” with the intent of operating it as a bar and restaurant. The Property contains five apartment units, all of which were occupied during this litigation.

At a March 9, 2015 meeting, the city council tabled plaintiff’s rezoning request and sent it back to the planning commission for it to address the option of “conditional rezoning” of the Property. Plaintiff submitted an amended application to rezone the Property specifically for use as a bar and restaurant.

At an August 3, 2015 planning commission meeting, after public comment, a motion to approve plaintiff’s request was defeated. Prior to the city council meeting, the person who had made the motion to zone the property as multiple-family residential in 1986, wanted to present to the council members the reasoning for his position that the Property’s zoning should not change.

He set forth three main reasons why plaintiff’s request should be denied.

  1. The request for rezoning is not consistent with the goals and objectives of our Master Plan.
  2. The request does not preserve the historic character of the City.
  3.  Protecting the viability of residential neighborhoods and having multiple family housing in the village center to contribute to the vitality of downtown businesses.

At an August 10, 2015 meeting, the city council upheld the planning commission’s recommendation to deny conditional rezoning for the Property with a vote of six to one.

In October 2015, plaintiff brought suit, alleging that the rezoning denial deprived it of its constitutional rights to equal protection and substantive due process. The parties filed competing motions for summary disposition. The briefs largely focused on whether defendant had treated the Property differently from other properties in the downtown area and whether it had legitimate reasons for doing so.

On January 4, 2017, the trial court agreed with plaintiff that the Property was being treated differently than similarly situated property and granted plaintiff summary disposition.

The court noted that a major reason for the rezoning denial was the need for a buffer between non-residential and residential districts. However, the court found that it was undisputed that several similar properties are zoned commercial without regard to proximity of residential zoning. In other words, the court determined, that it was undisputed that the city routinely does not impose the buffer or transition residential restrictions on similarly situated property, and therefore, the City’s decision to do so with Plaintiff’s Property is unreasonable and invalid.

Are you involved in a real estate dispute in Michigan? Are you seeking an efficient and effective resolution to a property litigation matter? If you are facing a residential or commercial real estate, seek the advice of an experienced and skilled real estate litigation attorney at Aldrich Legal Services in Plymouth.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

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...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405