734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

REAL ESTATE 52: Zoning board found that changes in product altered the property’s use under the zoning ordinance.

The Plaintiffs purchased the property in question in 1992. The property is zoned C-1, commercial district, and may be used for retail sales of goods and services. From 1992 to 2006, the Plaintiffs operated a ceramics shop in the commercial building on the land. It is important to note that historically the property has not complied with physical zoning requirements pertaining to setback, parking, and lighting.

When the Plaintiffs rebranded their shop and began selling more general merchandise, the township objected. In 2007, the Township Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) found that the Plaintiffs’ addition of more general merchandise was not an alteration of the property and therefore the Plaintiffs were not required to submit a site plan or to bring the property physically into compliance with the zoning ordinance.

In 2014, the Plaintiffs entered a lease with a tenant who intended to open a store selling packaged liquor on the property. Liquor stores were then a permitted retail use in the C-1 district, and the Plaintiffs did not plan any physical alterations to the property. However, the township treated the planned liquor store as an alteration or expansion of use under the zoning ordinance and instructed the Plaintiffs to submit a site plan incorporating updates to bring the property into compliance with setback, parking, and lighting requirements.

The Plaintiffs asserted that they had a vested right to the nonconforming use of the property and that, provided they did not alter or expand the nonconforming physical aspects of their property, they could switch from one retail use to another without submitting a site plan or bringing the property into compliance.

A lengthy battle ensured before the township planning commission and the ZBA. In June 2018, the ZBA found that changes in the product for sale as well as concerns relating to potential increases in store hours rendered the proposed liquor store an extension, alteration, or addition of the property’s use under the zoning ordinance. As a result, the ZBA concluded that the Plaintiffs could not open a liquor store without first submitting a site plan that conformed to the physical requirements of the zoning ordinance.

Aldrich Legal Services offers comprehensive real estate services for homeowners, commercial property owners, investors, real estate developers and other parties with real estate interests in Michigan.

Aldrich Legal Services can help you seek alternative relief under the applicable zoning ordinances, such as requesting a variance.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

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...

PROBATE 42: Dissolution of professional corporation.

This case involves the estate of a doctor whose professional corporation also had to be dissolved upon his death. The personal representative of the estate sold the company’s assets but did not pay off the company’s debts before transferring the proceeds to the estate and distributing them to the heirs.

A basic introduction to wills

Originally posted on 10/31/2016 It can be difficult to consider the end of our lives when we are in good health. However, lives can change at any moment, so it is wise to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Despite the many...

REAL ESTATE 73: Quiet title action.

This case involves a dispute over real property located in Michigan. W and V who are D’s parents, acquired the property. In 1999, W and V conveyed the property to the Trust, to which W is the sole trustee, via a quit claim deed. At some point...

How Is Alimony Determined In A Michigan Divorce?

Originally posted on 06/22/2018. When filing for divorce in Michigan, you may seek alimony, spousal support, from their spouse whenever they require financial aid. A judge may order your spouse to pay certain alimony. However, it depends...

Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

Originally posted on 10/11/2019. At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from...

PROBATE 45: The court held that the probate court did not err by granting summary disposition for Plaintiff, or by denying Defendant’s request for an extension of the discovery period, adjournment of mediation, and issuance of subpoenas and by dismi

This case arises out of competing petitions for probate. On November 19, 2018, Defendant initiated this case by filing a petition for probate, attaching Decedent’s death certificate and purported last will and testament, dated March 9, 2007,...

DIVORCE 57: Holding that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by the record evidence, and thus could not stand, the court reversed, vacated the portion of the Amended Default JOD ordering defendant to pay $3,325 to plaintiff, and re

Plaintiff first testified that she and defendant purchased the marital home in 1995. At the time the first default judgment of divorce was entered in September 2017, plaintiff had the home appraised. The value of the home was determined to be...

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