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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Write an Article

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

Can't remember where you saw that e-Newsletter article? Check the e-Newsletter article index.

We are also looking for suggested authors and topics for the Michigan Real Property Review. Please contact Chair-Elect, Mike Luberto at mluberto@Chircotitle.com for suggested topics and ideas.

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.