Annual planning and zoning court case summaries now ready

The annual May 2011 summary of land use court cases is prepared and available to the public.

An annual summary of attorney general opinions and Michigan planning- and zoning-related court cases has been compiled; this summary includes cases from May 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012.

It is vitally important for zoning administrators and professional planners to stay on top of changes in statutes, court cases, etc. concerning planning and zoning.  Land use law change on a regular basis.  When an appeals court or Supreme Court publish an opinion on a land use case that creates precedent, or a “new norm,” for how similar situations should be addressed.

It is a constantly moving target, and a big part of local government’s job in zoning administration to know about those changes.

Every year since 2002, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension has reported on and monitored court cases about planning and zoning. Copies of past year’s summaries can be found on the MSU Extension Schindler’s Land Use webpage.

The annual report is prepared for use at the MSU Michigan Citizen Planner Leadership Academy for Planning Officials, which is held in June of each year. The information also acts as the background material for Mark A. Wyckoff’s review of court actions on planning and zoning. A fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), Wyckoff uses the material at the Michigan Association of Planning training programs.

This year, the summary’s topics include court decisions and attorney general opinions on medical marijuana issues. The summary includes three attorney general opinions and three Michigan appeals court decisions on the topic, and can be downloaded from the MSU Extension website.

The summary is a compilation of court and attorney general opinions which are included in a list serve provided by Kurt H. Schindler, AICP and MSU Extension land use educator. The list serve is one of the timely ways to keep up-to-date on changes in land use, planning, and zoning law; it also reports on court cases, legislation, research and training relating to planning and zoning. The email newsletter is written for the professional planner, zoning administrator, municipal attorney and others interested.

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