In Michigan, a significant portion of commercial and residential real estate development occurs through the creation of either subdivisions or condominiums. Typically, an owner of a large parcel of land will establish a condominium or subdivision as a means of dividing the land into various smaller lots (called “units” in a condominium) that can be individually sold. Although the more recent trend, particularly in residential developments, is to create condominiums, most older developments were done through creating platted subdivisions under the Michigan Land Division Act, MCL 560.101, et seq., or one of its predecessor statutes.
Category Archives: Construction
Hirzel Law, PLC has been hired to resolve a boundary dispute between the owners of lots in a platted subdivision and the developer of a proposed 88 unit site condominium in Westland, Michigan. The attorneys at Hirzel Law, PLC have had previous success in representing clients on issues related to adverse possession and acquiescence. The proposed development is on the site of the former Nankin Mills Elementary School that closed in 2006 and was demolished in 2014. The boundary between the subdivision and proposed development has been established by fence lines for decades. The developer has thus far refused to maintain the existing boundary lines and has submitted plans that would require the removal of portions of fences and landscaping from various yards in the subdivision. The news story can be viewed here.
The relationship between municipalities and land developers is often one of compromise, with each attempting to find some middle-ground in order to move forward on a particular project. In many instances, however, the municipality and developer are unable to reach such a compromise and the parties find that their positions are irreconcilable. In such instances the developer may believe that their only next viable option is to seek redress in the court system. But before doing so, it is important that a developer recognize the limitations on judicial review of land use decisions by a municipality. Specifically, if a developer does not satisfy the “rule of finality,” the developer may find that they have no right to seek a judicial remedy at all. The rule of finality helps to ensure that a municipality is given an opportunity to make a final decision on the matter before it. Without such a final opportunity, judicial review is not available.