|Case Forum:||Michigan Court of Appeals|
|Keywords:||water system, mandatory hook-up, Home Rule City Act (HRCA), Michigan Constitution|
Eric D. Williams (P33359) | 524 North State Street | Big Rapids, MI 49307 | 231-796-8945 | [email protected]
Gaylord’s water connection ordinance is authorized by state law. It is not necessary to rely on a specific enabling statute describing mandatory connection to a public water utility to uphold the ordinance, because of the broad powers of a home
Pursuant to its general police power, the City has the authority to enact regulations that regulate public safety, public health, morality, and law and order. Requiring property owners to connect to a municipal water supply is rationally related to the legitimate government interest of promoting the public health by ensuring a safe and pure water supply. Therefore, the ordinances do not offend the limitations imposed by substantive due process. Further, the ordinances do not deprive defendants of economically viable use of their properties. Thus, the ordinances do not effect an unconstitutional taking. Finally, the charges imposed by the ordinances are properly considered user fees rather than taxes. Accordingly, the requirements of the Headlee Amendment are inapplicable to them. Because the ordinances are valid and enforceable, the trial court did not err when it determined that summary disposition in favor of the City was appropriate.
|MSC requested LDF amicus brief?||No|
Defendants all own property formerly located in Bagley Township in Otsego County. Between 1993 and 1996, the City annexed territory encompassing the defendants’ parcels. Prior to the City’s annexation, defendants’ properties were each served by private wells and septic systems. After some time, the City notified defendants that, pursuant to these City ordinances and an ordinance requiring connection to the City’s sewage system, defendants would have to connect to the City’s water and sewage system and cease using their wells. Although defendants connected to or agreed to connect to the City’s sewage system, defendants refused to connect to the City’s water system and cease using their wells.