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Local Municipality Electric Franchise Authority

Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Pursuant to Article VII, Section 29 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, local municipalities (including cites, villages and townships) have extensive authority over their roads, public rights-of-way and other public places, including the ability to require a franchise or comparable approval from utilities. While the Michigan Supreme Court in City of Taylor v Detroit Edison Company, 475 Mich 109 (2006) curtailed those powers, the recently published Michigan Court of Appeals decision in Upper Peninsula Power Company v Village of L’Anse, ____ Mich App ____, 2020 (decided on November 12, 2020; Case No. 349833; 2020 WL 6683062) makes it clear that the local municipal franchise authority is still significant. The power company has petitioned the Michigan Supreme Court for a further appeal.