Amicus Brief

City of Southfield v Jordan Development Co & Word of Faith Center

Case Year: 2017
Case Forum: Michigan Court of Appeals
Keywords: Michigan Zoning Enabling Act (MZEA), Part 615 of NREPA, oil, gas, drilling, home rule authority, Michigan Constitution
Amicus Counsel:

Gerry Fisher | 6745 Parke Lake Drive | Clarkston Michigan 48346 |

CoAmicus Parties:

Michigan State Bar Public Corporation Law Section (PCLS)


The home rule authority granted to Michigan cities was expanded in the 1963 State Constitution, and this intent for broad authority to address local concerns and property matters is recognized in MZEA. The pervasive authority granted to cities in the MZEA includes the power to regulate in the field of natural resources and energy. A city’s general and unrestricted purposes to regulate natural resources and energy was recognized by the Michigan Supreme Court in Addison Township v Gout. This decision, along with the extensive evidence of legislative intent provided in the statutes and other cases, make it clear that MZEA and city zoning ordinances are not intended by the legislature to be preempted by Part 615.

MSC requested LDF amicus brief? No

Jordan Development Corporation has entered into a lease with
Word of Faith to conduct exploratory drilling, mining, and/or other extraction activities on the WOF property. The property is located in a Single-Family Residential District, and has been so zoned for an extensive period of time. Jordan’s proposed use is neither a permitted use nor one subject to special approval in the R-2 district. On November 4, 2015, the State Office of Oil, Gas and Minerals notified the city that Jordan had applied for a permit to drill for oil and gas. The city advised MDEQ that Jordan’s application was a matter of significant concern, that drilling was not a permitted use within the residential
district where the property was located, and that a moratorium was in effect prohibiting drilling or mining in the City.

Case Number: 2016-03
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