Petition not approved by county commission

Adhering to state law, members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners agreed Monday to adopt a resolution to not proceed with a petition seeking voter input on a contested piece of property in Three Rivers.

Commissioners during the hour-long special meeting conceded that technicalities in seven areas of a detachment petition filed by Lockport Township residents prohibited them from approving the petition. It sought to allow registered voters in Lockport Township and the city of Three Rivers to decide the entity to which a 77-acre property should belong.

The parcel, bordered by North Main Street to the west and Buckhorn Road to the east, is the site of an under-construction athletic complex that will eventually feature 17 fields for a variety of youth sports. It was annexed by the city of Three Rivers, though over the objections of Lockport Township officials and a number of residents within the unincorporated jurisdiction.

Board chairman Dennis Allen said the commission has researched the issue and sought an opinion from the county’s attorney. In the end, he said, portions of the petition are not in agreement with Michigan Compiled Law statutes.

He said it would be illegal for the board to approve a flawed petition.

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