Category: Michigan Eminent Domain

Sturgis ITC Line

Sturgis Journal, August 29, 2007

ITC representatives made a return visit to Colon Township to offer an update on the proposed 138,000-volt transmission line.

ITC is trying to resolve ownership of the old railroad bed north of M-86.

ITC proposes if the railroad bed does not work, they will ask MDOT to follow.

ITC does have the right of eminent domain to condemn property ad does not need a site plan review before the township planning commission.

-The recently published article by Terry Katz in the Sturgis Journal raises more questions than the utility seems to be willing to answer. What approvals have been made to date? The utility must know that they have to offer a plan and present notice prior to initiating any action.

Does the utility intend to go around the Michigan Public Service Commission?

How will the electric company utilize the railroad right of way? Will it attempt to claim that there was no effect on the adjacent parcels if the structures are placed only within the right of way?

Setting aside the frequently challenged research of whether high voltage power lines have an effect on health, ITC must recognize that the power lines will clearly have an effect on value, whether for known or unknown fear. An article was written on this by Michael Rikon and published in an ABA Real Property Section book about ten years ago.

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v. Nestl� Waters of America, Inc, 479 Mich. —-; — NW2d —-

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v. Nestle Waters of America, Inc, 479 Mich. —-; — NW2d —- , is a case in which both the majority and dissent have arrived at a logical decision making approach premised upon the underlying public policy that legislation is to be read purely for and restricted to its writing versus the legislative intent. What needs to be done for this legislation to be read in the broader sense than environmental policies are to be protected and all of the public has the right to such protection is that legislation should simply state that. All that is needed is something along the lines of: "Individuals have a right to seek relief under this Act", then the issue would be moot. However, even without such language, one can read the present legislation as contemplating individuals, even those indirectly affected, have a right to seek the environmental protections of the Act.

Road Widening at Sterns and US-23

Monroe News, May 15, 2007

Monroe County Road Commission is looking at right of way issues and options to improve safety at the Sterns Rd.-US-23 interchange where a large travel center is planned. The board of County Road Commissioners heard a presentation by road agency staff on a private traffic impact study Monday night. The board took no action on the study…

The issue of using eminent domain to acquire land for widening or moving Sterns arose during the board’s discussion.

Eminent domain is a legal step that allows government to acquire private land for the public good. 

On April 3, the zoning board okayed a variance for Flying J to install signs at the interchange in excess of the township ordinance. 

–  The US-23/Sterns interchange is an excellent example of a situation in which economic development requires improved roadways.  Part of the question here is whether this kind of road improvement should be an expense of the government or paid by those who are the sole beneficiaries of the improvement, in this case namely Flying J.  Read Full Article

Detroit Renaissance

The Detroit News , May 3, 2007 

A group of civic and business leaders unveiled 11 strategies that will help strengthen Metro Detroit’s economic redevelopment.

Detroit Renaissance’s strategies include developing an aerotropolis, or airport city, on land around Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports, and providing business help and financing to develop a creative corridor along Woodward that will nurture musicians, designers, artists and innovators.  Read Full Article                          

-The notion that an aerotropolis will work in Detroit has the opportunity to promote a great success, or unmitigated failure. Properly planned and recognizing individual rights, Detroit Renaissance is leading with a rational plan to do something in a community badly needing leadership.

Charlotte Municipal Airport Expansion

The Lansing State Journal, May 13, 2007

Abut 200 people attended an April 30 forum in which Mead & hunt employees presented their final studies for the airport relocation.  The two proposed plans for Fitch H. Beach Municipal Airport are as follows. 

  • A north/south expansion at the airport’s current location requires rerouting, closing or adding a traffict tunnel to Island Highway, a primary county road.  Cost is estimated between $38 million and $63.5 million.
  • A relocation of the airport to Eaton Township would involve purchasing 15 homes and occupying 360 acres of farmland.  An estimated cost is $35.5 million.  

The expansion would extend the runway from 3,500 feet to 5,000 feet.

-This is illustrative of how difficult it is to place an airport. Charlotte desires to move to a "regional" program, but faces the conflict of being less than 30 miles from the recently enlarged Lansing Capital City Airport. Being between Battle Creek and Lansing on I-69 makes it difficult to come to a final decision as to not only what to build but where to build it.