Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ordinances, Codes vs. Constitution, Private Property Rights

Do Ordinances and Codes violate your personal property rights? Here are three stories where people are fighting this issue. Mr. Wilkins built a structure that some feel is an eyesore and will devalue their property. A simple fix could be as easy as putting up a fence so no one from the street could see it. Does the city or township have to right to charge you for a permit to do something to your property?

Waterford homeowner claims constitutional
violation in dispute

Of The Oakland Press

A Waterford Township homeowner who erected a patio roof without building permits and variance approvals said people will rally at his home if the township tries to take it down.

“This roof isn’t injuring anybody,” said Andy Wilkins, who lives on Francesca Drive, south of Walton Road. “It just violates one of their rules.” FULL STORY

Mr. Moses just wanted to raise his own chickens in his backyard. Think about it, fresh eggs every morning for breakfast. I believe that Mr. Moses won this fight.

Flint Township man ruffles feathers,
but says his chickens won't go

by Teri Banas | The Flint Journal
Wednesday August 26, 2009, 12:57 PM

FLINT TOWNSHIP, Michigan -- -- Drew Moses loves his chickens and he loves the U.S. Bill of Rights.

And the 23-year-old unemployed welder says he's ready to stand on principle to fight for his right to raise chickens in his backyard here. FULL STORY

Now this is an interesting case because here, the township has violated their own ordinances and building codes to allow one home owner to flood an entire neighborhood and refuses to order him to shut off the pump. You haven't heard about this case because the media, Grand Rapids Press, Muskegon Chronicle and Grand Haven Tribune, TV 13 and Wood TV have refused to even talk to the Reimink family about their plight. A neighbor across the street, pumping 450,000 gallons of fresh ground water per day, flooding their Blueberry Farm.

Mr. Reimink, a retired teacher from Grand Haven Schools, has been fighting with the Grand Haven Township for 2 years, sighting many ordinance and code violations which continue to be ignored by them.

DEQ Gives Homeowner Permit to Dump Nearly One Billion Gallons of Ground Water Down the Drain

Do you remember the big battle in Evart, Michigan between Ice Mountain and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)? Nestle Waters was trying to create hundreds of jobs by bottling fresh ground water for retail sale. The DEQ, joined by the environmental groups like the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC), argued that Ice Mountain would deplete the ground water, causing damage to nearby lakes and streams. The case dragged on for years, coming to a final conclusion only last month when Ice Mountain agreed to pump no more than 313,000 gallons of groundwater per day. Originally, Ice Mountain had been granted permission to pump 576,000 gallons per day.

Terry Swier, president of the MCWC, called the settlement a victory for her organization. "This will leave more water in the system and should eliminate the more serious impacts" to the waterways that were threatened by the withdrawals, Swier said.

My question is this: If the DEQ and the MCWC were willing to fight so hard protect the ground water and the environment in that case, where are they on the situation in Grand Haven Township? FULL STORY

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