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MBIA FILES SUIT AGAINST FENTON TOWNSHIP TO ASSURE BOATERS' RIGHTS

 MBIA FILES SUIT AGAINST FENTON TOWNSHIP TO ASSURE BOATERS' RIGHTS
 NORTHVILLE, Mich., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, July 24, on behalf of its members, the Michigan Boating Industries Association filed suit in the Genesee County Circuit Court against the Charter Township of Fenton challenging the township's newly enacted "Lake Activity Regulation Ordinance." The ordinance seeks to regulate and limit watercraft activity and access on lakes in Fenton Township through regulation and zoning of marinas and public access launch sites.
 Declaring the ordinance unconstitutional, the MBIA seeks redress of deprivation of plaintiff's members rights guaranteed by the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States and Article 1, Section 2, and Article 1, Section 17 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963.
 "We believe that Michigan lakes belong to the public and not to a fortunate group of well-to-do waterfront property owners who want to exclude others from public access," stated Van W. Snider Jr., CAE, MBIA executive director. "We must stop the development of local ordinances which prohibit public use."
 A number of allegations are outlined in the suit including: (1) the Michigan Legislature has recognized the need for uniform, statewide regulation of the construction and operation of marine/boating activities, and riparian rights on Michigan waters; (2) the nature of regulating lakes and streams, which may cross municipal property lines, demands exclusive state regulation to achieve uniformity; (3) the ordinance is void because state law has preempted the field of regulating marinas and public launch sites; (4) the ordinance as drafted is vague and overly broad; and (5) the ordinance was not passed in accordance with state law.
 "Recent Supreme Court decisions have addressed the rights of townships to regulate activities and zone riparian rights, yet the courts have not addressed whether state law has preempted local ordinances in the area of construction and operation of marinas," stated James Y. Stewart, Butzel Long, counsel for the MBIA. "We believe this case will bring the issue of preemption to the forefront."
 The Michigan Boating Industries Association is a Michigan non-profit boating industry trade association representing 321 marine businesses throughout the state.
 -0- 7/28/92
 /CONTACT: Van W. Snider Jr. of Michigan Boating Industries Association, 313-344-1330 or 800-932-2628/ CO: Michigan Boating Industries Association ST: Michigan IN: MAR SU:


SB -- DE010 -- 3963 07/28/92 10:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 28, 1992
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