blog, articles & publications

The All-Important Zoning Permit

In general, municipal zoning administrators should not render advisory zoning decisions to applicants or property owners or answer detailed zoning hypotheticals.  Why not?  There are several reasons.  First, that can monopolize a zoning administrator’s time.  While most applicants have generally done their homework before applying for a zoning approval, others have not and attempt to rely upon the zoning administrator to “educate” them.  They almost rely on the zoning administrator as their de facto personal planner or zoning attorney.  Second, given that no zoning or application fee has yet been paid, a municipality is subsidizing the inquisitor.  Third, most zoning administrators are busy and do not have the time to allow a handful of property owners to monopolize their time.  Fourth, in many cases, the landowner often does not tell the zoning administrator all of the relevant facts and circumstances involved (or is mistaken regarding those matters) and the zoning administrator renders zoning advice based upon bad information.  Later, if anything goes wrong, the landowner will invariable blame the zoning administrator for bad advice.  Finally, the zoning administrator is taking on a potential additional liability for the municipality, which need not be.    Read More

Michigan Right To Farm Act Update

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently issued an unpublished decision interpreting the scope of the Michigan Right To Farm Act (the “Act”) and its protections for farm equipment against municipal zoning regulations.  In Lima Township v Bateson, unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued on October 11, 2018 (Docket No. 338934), Lima Township sought to enforce provisions of its zoning ordinance that prohibited the storage or staging of commercial vehicles and equipment used for commercial operations in one of its agricultural zoning districts.  In that case, a landowner had been keeping “gravel haulers, bull dozers, road graders,” and other industrial equipment on its property, claiming the equipment was used for commercial production related to a tree farm.  Read More

2019 Best Law Firm Honors

Bloom Sluggett, P.C. is pleased to announce that we have been selected as a "2019 Best Law Firm" by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. This is the fourth time that our firm has been recognized.  Read More

Bloom Sluggett Celebrates 2018 'Super Lawyers' Rankings

Bloom Sluggett is pleased to announce that Jeff Sluggett and Cliff Bloom have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 Super Lawyers rankings. Super Lawyers is an annual listing of outstanding attorneys from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Congratulations to both Cliff and Jeff!  Read More

Bloom Sluggett Welcomes Danielle Dawson :: Federal Litigation & Employment Lawyer

We're pleased to announce the addition of attorney Danielle Dawson to our legal team. Danielle’s focus is on federal litigation, criminal law enforcement, and employment law.  Read More

Jeff Sluggett Named 2019 Lawyer of the Year

Jeff Sluggett has been named the 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for his work in the field of municipal law. In addition, Sluggett was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 for the Grand Rapids metro area.  Read More

Michigan Court of Appeals Strikes Down Zoning Restriction on Protected Medical Marihuana Activity

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently struck down a municipal zoning provision which made it a local violation for registered caregivers licensed under Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act (“MMMA”) to partake in medical marihuana activities in a commercial zoning location.  In Deruiter v Township of Byron, the township permitted medical marihuana related use of property by a registered caregiver only as a “home occupation.”  Read More

Bloom Sluggett, PC, Secures a Major Victory for its Client and also Muncipal Zoning Boards of Appeals in Michigan.

On July 3, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a Bloom Sluggett, PC (“BSPC”) client, which had obtained a dimensional nonuse variance for a dwelling from the Chickaming Township’s Zoning Board of Appeals (the “ZBA”).  Read More

Cliff Bloom’s Water / Riparian Law Articles

Cliff Bloom is general legal counsel for the Michigan Lake & Stream Associations, Inc. and the Michigan Riparian Magazine.  Cliff authors a regular column for the Michigan Riparian Magazine and many of those columns can be read on our firm’s website at www.bloomsluggett.com.  In addition, many of his articles regarding water law and riparian issues can also be accessed at the Michigan Riparian Magazine website at www.mi-riparian.org  Read More

Email Warning/Disclosure Regarding the Michigan Open Meetings Act

Most municipal officials in Michigan know that under the OMA, members of a public body (such as a city commission, village council, township board, zoning board of appeals, board of review or planning commission) cannot deliberate toward any decision outside of a public meeting if a quorum is involved in those discussions or deliberations.  Furthermore, the Michigan courts have gone so far as to hold that even “one-on-one” deliberations between two members of a public body can constitute a prohibited deliberation (and a violation of OMA) where a “round robin” occurs.    Read More