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159524-5 - Lakeshore Group v Dep't of Environmental Quality

Lakeshore Group, Charles Zolper, Jane Underwood, Lucie Hoyt, and William Reininga,

 

Dustin Ordway

 

Petitioners-Appellants,

 

and

(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)

 

 

(Ingham – Aquilina, R.)

 

Kenneth Altman, Dawn Schumann, George Schumann, Marjorie Schuham, and Lakeshore Camping,

 

 

 

Intervenors,

 

v

 

 

Department of Environmental Quality and Dune Ridge SA LP,

 

Daniel Bock

Herman Hofman

 

Respondents-Appellees.

 

Summary

A real estate developer is seeking to transform a “critical dune area” located in Saugatuck into a residential neighborhood. Under the Sand Dunes Protection and Management Act (SDPMA), MCL 324.35301 et seq., the developer applied for permits from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Between 2014 and 2016, the DEQ issued a number of permits to this developer for the project. Petitioners/Intervenors are individuals and groups that have property interests in close proximity to the sand dunes. They challenged the issuance of these permits in administrative contested case proceedings, which were ultimately dismissed for lack of standing. On judicial review, the circuit court reversed as to petitioners and remanded for further proceedings. In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the circuit court and reaffirmed the administrative orders dismissing all petitioners/intervenors for lack of standing. The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on petitioners/intervenors’ application for leave to appeal to address whether appellants Jane Underwood and Charles Zolper, as “owner[s] of [] property immediately adjacent to the proposed use” at the time of their intervention in these contested cases, satisfy the statutory standard for standing under MCL 324.35305(1), notwithstanding the developer’s subsequent sales of land located between each appellant’s respective property and the property being developed. ​