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Michigan Gravel Operation Can Proceed


Lenawee County, Mich., Circuit Court Judge Margaret M.S. Noe dismissed a lawsuit filed by an area preservation league to stop a gravel operation from starting after hearing oral arguments on March 7. The Woodstock Preservation League, which formed to stop Woodstock Township resident Joe Gentner from starting the plant, argued the gravel pit would be an environmental hazard and would be ill-suited to the surrounding farm and residential district, according to newspaper reports.

Woodstock Township attorney Frederick Lucas said the lawsuit was dismissed primarily because the league failed to file its appeal within the required 21 days after the conditional-use permit was signed. The suit was dismissed “with prejudice,” which means the league cannot re-file its lawsuit.
Kelly Welbourne, a township property owner who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Woodstock Preservation League, said that although the suit was dismissed on a technicality, the league plans to appeal the court’s decision and is exploring its options. The 26-page appeal drafted by the Woodstock Preservation League was submitted to the Lenawee County Circuit Court by attorney Denis Jodis on behalf of Welbourne and the league. In its 30-point complaint, the league claims the township board of trustees and planning commission members were ill-informed of environmental and economic matters when they voted.

Noe’s decision came after several months of battling between league members, the township and
­Gentner.