blog, articles & publications

Urban Farming: Better Direction

The degree to which a local government can regulate or restrict urban farming has, until recently, been unclear. However, in April the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development approved the 2014 Site Selection Generally Accepted Agriculture Management Practices (“GAAMPs”) under the Michigan Right to Farm Act, which provide better direction for local units of government.  Read More

Bloom Sluggett Morgan Attorney Elected President of the Board of Directors for the United Methodist Community House

Jeff Sluggett was recently elected President of the Board of Directors for the United Methodist Community House.  After serving a full term as Vice President, Sluggett is happy to make the transition to President of the Board. The United Methodist Community House is a non-profit agency based in Grand Rapids with a mission focusing on children and seniors. See http://www.umchousegr.org for more information.  Read More

The 2014 Annual Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors Convention

On February 21, 2014, Cliff Bloom will be teaching a seminar on water (riparian) law and adverse possession at the annual Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors Convention in Manistee, Michigan.  Read More

LEGISLATIVE ALERT - ORV Regulation - Public Roads

The Legislature has enacted several laws that affect the regulation of Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) on public roads.  Public Acts 117-119 of 2013 amended various sections of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to expand the areas where ORVs may be allowed on county roads and state highways from certain northern counties to the entire state.  As a result, the authority to permit ORVs on public roadways has now been extended to all “southern counties” which are defined as Muskegon, Kent, Ionia, Clinton, Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, or Macomb counties and any other county lying south of those counties.  Public Acts 117-119 address the authority of all counties, cities, villages, and townships throughout Michigan to permit the operation of ORVs on public roadways and to close county roads to ORVs when otherwise permitted by county or local ordinance.     Read More

BSM Client Prevails in Property Tax Exemption Case

BSM recently represented the City of Kentwood in the case of SBC Health Midwest, Inc v City of Kentwood (Michigan Tax Tribunal No. 416230).  The petitioner was claiming a property tax exemption going back to 2011 for approximately $600,000 of personal property that it owned and used in the operation of a for-profit college (Sanford Brown).  The City denied the exemption on the grounds that for-profit schools are not entitled to property tax exemptions under state law.  The property owner appealed and, after careful consideration of the legal arguments and evidence presented by the City, the Michigan Tax Tribunal agreed with the City that for-profit schools are not entitled to the exemption.  The Tax Tribunal’s decision was reprinted in the November edition of the Michigan Assessor Magazine, which you can read hereFor more information about this case, how it may impact property in your jurisdiction, or to discuss how BSM may be able to help you with other property tax related questions, please contact Crystal Morgan at BSM.   Read More

Bloom Sluggett Morgan Partners Recognized as Super Lawyers for 2013

The peer review group Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters, has again named Cliff Bloom and Jeff Sluggett as Super Lawyers in the practice area of Government/Municipal Law.  We thank our clients for making this recognition possible.  Read More

Michigan Supreme Court to Hear Appeal Regarding Demolition Orders

In December 2012, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a published decision that requires municipalities to give property owners an opportunity to repair structures prior to demolition, regardless of the extent of the damage or the cost to repair  Read More

Crystal Morgan and Cliff Bloom: Success at the Michigan Supreme Court in a Riparian Case

After receiving an unfavorable decision in the circuit court in a case involving riparian/lake access issues, the plaintiffs/riparian property owners hired our attorneys to pursue an appeal of the decision.  Our clients won a partial victory in the Michigan Court of Appeals, which reversed portions of the trial court’s adverse decision.  Thereafter, our clients pursued an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court and based on the record and the application for leave to appeal drafted by BSM attorneys, the Michigan Supreme Court vacated the erroneous portions of the Court of Appeals decision regarding a prescriptive easement, and granted major relief to our clients.  To read the Court of Appeals opinion and the Michigan Supreme Court order, click here  Read More

LEGISLATIVE ALERT - Fireworks Regulation

A bill that gives local units of government greater control over consumer fireworks was signed into law as Public Act 65 of 2013 (“PA  65”) on June 19 by Lt. Governor Calley (on behalf of Governor Snyder who was on a trade trip).  PA 65 takes immediate effect and authorizes local units of government to regulate consumer fireworks during certain hours on the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday.  More specifically, PA 65 allows local units of government to enact an ordinance to regulate the ignition, discharge, or use of consumer fireworks on those days as follows:  Read More

Cliff Bloom to Teach Water Law Seminar Up North

On Saturday Morning, July 13, 2013, Cliff Bloom will be teaching a water law seminar on Bois Blanc Island in the Wagner Room adjacent to the Township Hall.  For more information, please call the Bois Blanc Township Clerk at (231) 634-7275.  This is a free seminar.    Read More