MI Appeals Court docket Permits Late Attraction of Variance Denial Due to Unclear Procedures Throughout Covid Lockdowns

Posted by: Patricia Salkin | August 6, 2022

MI Appeals Court docket Permits Late Attraction of Variance Denial Due to Unclear Procedures Throughout Covid Lockdowns

This put up was authored by Amy Lavine, Esq.

A late enchantment was permitted in a Michigan case determined in January 2022, Inexperienced Skies Therapeutic Tree, LLC v. Flint Zoning Bd. of Appeals. The case concerned a variance utility that was denied within the spring of 2020 simply after the Covid-19 pandemic started. On the time, the zoning board and different metropolis departments had discontinued their regular procedures and had been working remotely, which led to a specific amount of confusion concerning procedural issues. The appellate courtroom concluded that the property proprietor’s late enchantment was excusable below these uncommon circumstances, and because of this the trial courtroom ought to have exercised its equitable powers to develop the time interval for interesting the zoning board’s determination. The courtroom emphasised that the plaintiff was unable to find out when it was required to file its enchantment as a result of the zoning board’s schedule had been suspended and it was unclear when it could difficulty the assembly minutes reflecting the variance denial. The plaintiff had additionally knowledgeable metropolis staff repeatedly that it wanted to know when the minutes could be authorized in order that it may file its enchantment, and it made quite a few makes an attempt to contact metropolis staff concerning the standing of the assembly minutes. The plaintiff had relied on guarantees made by two metropolis staff that they would supply discover when the minutes had been authorized, and because the courtroom concluded, the plaintiff’s reliance was cheap below the circumstances. Permitting the plaintiff’s late enchantment was additionally applicable as a result of the plaintiff’s enchantment was solely every week late and the town conceded that there was no prejudice on account of this delay.

Inexperienced Skies Therapeutic Tree, LLC v. Flint Zoning Bd. of Appeals, 2022 WL 188313 (Mich. App. 1/20/22).