blog, articles & publications

Condominium Bylaws Amendment Restricting Short Term Rentals Decision

In Highfield Beach at Lake Michigan v. Scott E. Sanderson, et. al, ___ Mich App ___ (2020), decided on March 24, 2020 (Case Nos. 343968, 345177; 2020 WL 1445415) as a published decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the enforceability of an amended condominium bylaw prohibiting short-term rentals under 90 days, denying relief to an owner who argued his 15-year contract with a property management company that involved short-term leases of his condominium unit on his behalf could not be interrupted by the amendment.  Read More


Cliff Bloom will be teaching seminars on May 1 and 2, 2020 at the annual Michigan Lakes & Streams Association Convention at Crystal Mountain in Northern Michigan. The topics will include water/riparian law, buying and selling waterfront property, local government regulation of the waterfront, easements and similar issues.  Read More

Recodified Tax Increment Financing Act

The Michigan legislature recently enacted Public Act 57 of 2018, otherwise known as the “Recodified Tax Increment Financing Act” (the “RTIFA”), which serves to streamline Michigan’s statutory tax increment financing scheme.  Read More

Seasonal Homes and the Michigan Principal Residence Exemption

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of a municipality which denied a property owner’s petition for a “principal residence exemption” (“PRE”).  Under Michigan’s PRE, also known as the “homestead exemption,” a principal residence property can be exempted from the property tax levied by a local school district for school operating purposes.  To apply the PRE, a person must be a Michigan resident who owns and occupies the property as a principal residence.  Michigan statute defines “principal residence” as “the 1 place where an owner of the property has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home to which, whenever absent, he or she intends to return and that shall continue as a principal residence until another principal residence is established.”  Read More

Cliff Bloom's FOX17 Morning Mix Interview for the Upcoming Cottage and Lakefront Living Show Presentations

Cliff Bloom conducted an interview with FOX17 Morning Mix regarding his upcoming presentations at the Cottage and Lakefront Living Show in Grand Rapids for his book Buying and Selling Waterfront Property in Michigan.  See the video below.  Read More

Cliff Bloom's Upcoming Presentations for the Cottage and Lakefront Living Shows

Cliff Bloom will be making presentations regarding his book Buying and Selling Waterfront Property in Michigan at the upcoming Michigan Cottage and Lakefront Living Shows in Novi, Michigan, for the Novi Suburban Collections Showcase on Saturday, February 23, 2013, at noon and 3:00 p.m., and again for the show in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at DeVos Place Convention Center on Saturday, March 16, 2013, also at noon and 3:00 p.m.  For more information, visit  Read More

Zoning Tools

The single best tool available to protect inland lakes, streams, rivers, and watersheds in Michigan, in my humble opinion, is local municipal zoning. I have discussed lake access (i.e., anti-funneling/keyhole) zoning regulations in The Riparian and at various ML&SA meetings so often that I fear that many of you are probably overdosed on the subject! However, in addition to water access regulations, there are numerous other zoning techniques which can help protect our water resources. Unfortunately, Michigan is light years behind most other industrialized states at the state level when it comes to many zoning issues and lacks many of the statutes found in other states regarding environmental protection. Therefore, most innovative planning is occurring at the local municipal level in Michigan. I realize that asking riparians to learn more about zoning issues is sometimes a little like asking someone who is not very fond of broccoli to eat it. Nevertheless, zoning has huge implications for lakes and watersheds, and riparians in the future will ignore becoming involved in local zoning decisions at their own risk. Following are brief descriptions of some of the innovative and beneficial techniques available in many other states which the Michigan Legislature has either failed to authorize or support financially to the extent needed to be truly beneficial.   Read More

Survey Stakes

All of a sudden, you discover that survey stakes have appeared on some undeveloped lake frontage land, not too far from your riparian lot. Although the undeveloped property has some frontage on the lake, the parcel also has asignificant amount of land area away from the lake. All sorts of bad things go through your mind. Is it going to be a mobile home park? Is the property owner/ developer going to develop a large number of lots upland and attempt to "funnel"those lots onto the lake through the limited lake frontage of the parcel? Is someone attempting to put in a marina or commercial operation? It is enough to send a chill up the spine of any riparian property owner.   Read More


"Trespass" is the venturing onto the lands of another without permission. As many riparians well know, trespass is a common problem around lakes.   Read More

Urban Sprawl

An increasing number of people in the state of Michigan believe that urban sprawl and the permanent destruction of farmland, forests and open space will be one of the most pressing problems facing Michigan in the 21st century. Some even label it as Michigan s No. 1 long-term problem. Development is forever. Once a farm is carved up into residential lots, woods are cut down for a shopping center or a wetlands is filled for a parking lot, the natural environment can never be practically reclaimed.   Read More