Although unpublished, the decision of the Court of Appeals in First Rural Housing Partnership, LLP v City of Howell, Docket No. 241192 (2004), clarified an important issue for protection of basic property rights.  The firm represented a developer in its challenge to the constitutionality of the zoning of its property.  Insurance defense counsel for the City, as is common, moved to dismiss, claiming that the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because the issue presented was not ripe for judicial review.  The trial court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction because the developer had filed an original action alleging a taking rather than appealing the adverse decision of the zoning board of appeals on a variance request.  The Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the circuit court had subject matter jurisdiction; the property owner could bring its constitutional claim and is not limited to an administrative appeal.  The City appealed the Court of Appeals decision to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court denied the City’s application for leave to appeal.

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