February 2016

An informative e-newsletter for the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Township Authority to Regulate Great Lakes Bottomlands

By Dane Carey, Dingeman & Dancer, PLC

Michigan townships have authority to regulate inland lakes via riparian rights that attach to the adjoining water. Township of Yankee Springs v. Fox, 264 Mich App 604, 606 (2004). Unlike inland lakes, however, the State of Michigan holds title to the center of each Great Lake bordering Michigan, and riparian owners on the Great Lakes only own to the ordinary high-water mark. Hilt v. Weber, 252 Mich 198 (1930); Peterman v. Department of Natural Resources, 446 Mich 177 (1994). Given that exclusive riparian ownership ends at the ordinary high-water mark, it logically follows that a township’s authority to regulate ends at this point.

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Cooperative Housing Units = Principal Residence

By Alyssa Gunsorek, Law Office of Alyssa Gunsorek

Cooperative housing units suffer from a measure of confusion at the hands of assessors, but the court of appeals recently clarified the principal residence exemption for them under MCL 211.7cc. Swiss Farms, Inc. v. Department of Treasury, Mich App No. 322217, October 13, 2015. Swiss Farms is a nonprofit corporation originally platted as a private "camp" with individual lots. Its members hold membership certificates and own an undivided share of the assets. The Department of Treasury denied the PRE forms that Swiss Farms submitted for 2008 through 2011 because the corporation does not provide homes or issue one class of stock to its members.

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Summer Conference 2022

Crystal Mountain, Thompsonville, MI
July 20-23, 2022 

Please join your colleagues this July at the RPLS Summer Conference being held at Crystal Mountain. Catherine A. Riesterer of Cooper & Riesterer and Scott Lesser of Miller Canfield are in the process of planning an exciting three-day conference.

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Rooms are limited . . . Click Here to reserve your room(s) today! Reservations may also be made by calling Crystal Mt. directly at 1-855-520-2974 and mention Group #4642US to see if the group rate is available.

We look forward to seeing you at Summer Conference 2022!


Sponsored by the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan


Grand Rapids

J.W. Marriott
235 Louis Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 
September 20-21, 2022
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Metro Detroit - Troy

Michigan State University-Management Education Center
811 W. Square Lake Rd., Troy
May 10-11, 2023
9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Real Property Law Academy II is the continuation of a program being taught by some of the most respected and experienced Michigan real estate attorneys, each an expert in their field. The overall program (Academy I and Academy II) is designed to provide a basic understanding of the most fundamental aspects of a real estate practice. It is targeted not only for real estate attorneys, but also for other attorneys who will encounter real estate issues from time to time. The program is presented in two parts: Academy I, which recently concluded, and Academy II. Each part presents eight topics over a consecutive two-day period.

Attendance at Academy I is not a prerequisite for attending Academy II, though it is highly recommended that you attend both Academy I and Academy II to get the full benefits from the program.

Academy I materials and a link to the recorded virtual program will be available for a separate fee. Registration for each program is separate.

Registration to come


Write an Article

Interested in writing an article for the e-Newsletter? Contact co-editors Glen Zatz gzatz@bodmanlaw.com, Samuel Kilberg at SKilberg@dykema.com, or Pat Paruch pat.paruch50@gmail.com.

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors, and they do not reflect in any way the positions of the State Bar of Michigan or the Real Property Law Section. These columns are meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.