development rights http://michiganradio.org en Legal battle between Saugatuck Twp and private developer in front of federal judge Monday http://michiganradio.org/post/legal-battle-between-saugatuck-twp-and-private-developer-front-federal-judge-monday <p>Monday a federal judge in Kalamazoo will hear arguments in a case that pits <a href="http://www.saugatucktownship.org/">Saugatuck Township </a>against a billionaire looking to develop his property that includes coastal dunes along Lake Michigan.</p><p><a href="http://people.forbes.com/profile/aubrey-k-mcclendon/18103">Aubrey McClendon </a>owns more than 300 acres north of where the Kalamazoo River empties into Lake Michigan. <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/12/scale_model_of_saugatuck_dunes.html">He wants to build </a>a marina, condos, houses, and a golf course there.</p><p>Township officials have to approve special zoning for him to develop his property. McClendon&rsquo;s attorney <a href="http://www.mnds-pllc.com/attorneys_bruinsma.html">Jim Bruinsma</a> says the officials are biased against his client.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;We contend that we have been unfairly singled out for unique zoning restrictions and really unfair procedures.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Bruinsma alleges the township worked illegally with an environmental group to restrict development and fund the township&rsquo;s legal defense.</p><p>Saugatuck Township officials deny they&rsquo;ve done anything illegal. They&rsquo;re attorney <a href="http://www.shrr.com/craig-r-noland">Craig Noland </a>is asking the judge to dismiss the case, forcing McClendon to go through normal zoning procedures.&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Our position is that they should be required like any other citizen to file an application and allow the township to consider the application and make a decision.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Noland says Saugatuck Township&rsquo;s attorney township officials are prepared to handle McClendon&rsquo;s zoning request fairly and transparently. Sun, 06 Mar 2011 15:42:56 +0000 Lindsey Smith 1508 at http://michiganradio.org Legal battle between Saugatuck Twp and private developer in front of federal judge Monday