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Michigan Court Of Appeals Rules Against Annexation
Thursday May 11, 2017 8:12am
Lansing, MI.

By: Mike Stiles

(LANSING) – Plans to develop a piece of property into a multiple field sports complex are now on hold.

The Michigan Third District Court Of Appeals ruled Tuesday afternoon that the parcel in Lockport Township between North Main Street and Buckhorn Road is not vacant, and therefore can not be annexed into the City of Three Rivers. In February 2016, St. Joseph County District Court Judge Jeffrey Middleton ruled the land was vacant.

Lockport Township officials say because a permanent easement and buried water line infrastructure are on the property, it is not vacant and can't be annexed.

In their ruling, the three judges cited other cases in Ann Arbor and Saline that they looked at in making their decision.

The judges say the water line was the main factor that led them to rule
in favor of Lockport Township.

In April the Michigan State Boundary Commission held a public hearing and then voted 3-2 in favor of Three Rivers in their request to annex the land. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which oversees the Boundary Commission, is supposed to rule June 7 if the annexation can go through or not.

It's not known if that ruling will have any affect on the decision of the Appeals Court.

The property, knows as the “Field Of Dreams” was purchased by the City of Three Rivers for $775,000. The development of the fields would allow for youth soccer, football, baseball and softball to be played there.

Those who have been against this annexation are not against the plan, they just don't want it that close to a residential neighborhood.


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