|Case Forum:||Michigan Supreme Court|
|Keywords:||public road, eminent domain, heightened scrutiny, taking, condemnation|
Lawrence P. Schneider (P27325) | Knaggs, Harter, Brake & Schneider, P.C. | 7521 Westshire Drive Suite 100 | Lansing Michigan 48917 | 517-622-0590
On October 4,2002, the Court of Appeals released a published decision in this case. This is a case which is expected to have
In this land condemnation case where the city of Novi is attempting to take private property to construct a road, the first issue is whether the requirement of a public use, under Const 1963, art 10, § 2, is met when the proposed road will be available for use by the public but will be primarily used by a private entity that has contributed funds to the project. We conclude that such a road does qualify as a public use. The second issue is whether, under MCL 213.56, a court can find the city has abused its discretion in determining there is a public necessity for the condemnation when the city has not considered alternatives to the taking. We conclude that a failure of the city to consider alternatives was not an abuse of its discretion. Because the Court of Appeals incorrectly decided that the proposed road was not a public use, we reverse that decision. We also find no fraud, error of law, or abuse of discretion in the city’s determination that there exists a public necessity to take defendants’ property for the proposed project. Accordingly, we remand this matter to the trial court for entry of summary disposition in favor of plaintiff.
|MSC requested LDF amicus brief?||No|
For many years traffic congestion at the intersection of Grand River Avenue and Novi Road in the city of Novi was a concern to the city because it represented a growing traffic hazard. As early as 1984 a study recommended a “ring road” around the intersection to relieve traffic congestion and provide access to vacant land not fronting on Grand River Avenue or Novi Road. The study also recommended a road, referred to here as the “spur road,” from the northwest side of the ring road, that would access industrial establishments that were then accessed from Grand River Avenue. The study recommended the spur road because the employee traffic from the industries with access on Grand River Avenue was resulting in frequent accidents. The study noted that, but for “the need to resolve [this] critical traffic problem,” the northwest quadrant of the ring road project “may have been abandoned altogether.”