Local sports complex – Court reverses local ruling

Three Rivers’ plan to develop a multi-field sports complex hit a snag Tuesday, when the Michigan Third District Court of Appeals reversed a local ruling on whether the parcel is vacant.
The setback marks a win for Lockport Township. Its officials filed the appeal in February 2016 after St. Joseph County District Court Judge Jeff Middleton ruled the 77-acre parcel on which the 17-field complex is slated to be developed is vacant.
The question of whether the undeveloped property is vacant was called into question after the city of Three Rivers in February 2016 followed through on its plan to annex the parcel. Township officials have claimed a permanent easement and buried water-line infrastructure negate the primary terms of annexation.
The township’s case alleged that Three Rivers’ annexation by resolution was improper because the property is not a park, nor is it vacant.
A five-page summary was released late Tuesday by the three-member Court of Appeals.
The court heavily referenced precedent-setting cases that involved, separately, Ann Arbor and Saline. Both municipalities were involved in litigation at different times with Pittsfield Charter Township. In the St. Joseph County case, though, the water infrastructure was the key factor in their ruling.
The State Boundary Commission is expected to announce June 2 whether it supports its recommending board’s April 12 decision to support Three Rivers in the case. In light of Tuesday’s Court of Appeals decision, it’s unclear what impact the State Boundary Commission’s decision – either way – will have on the issue.

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One comment

  1. Emil Bontrager

    The City of Three Rivers needs to stop lying and back off on stealing land. The everyday citizen of TR needs to ask who is and will be making the lion’s share of $ in this robber baron development and why and for who the city officials are shredding their own rules and laws in order to make it happen. They are spending thousands of taxpayers dollars doing their best to cram it down people’s throats, so someone other than John Q public plans to line their bank account.

    Why haven’t our local reporters provided this kind of investigative journalism?

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