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Adams v. Mt. Clemens: a new Fair Housing Act case

The law firm of Dalton & Tomich, PLC is representing the owners of the former Macomb Daily building in a federal lawsuit against the City of Mount Clemens. The plaintiffs, George and Isabella Adams and Daily Planet Properties, LLC, have been trying to develop and use the eight-story building located in the heart of downtown Mount Clemens for over fifteen years. However, attempts at progress have been repeatedly stymied by the actions of the City of Mount Clemens.

This is not the first time the Adams have been forced to look to the courts for relief from the City. In 2002, the City improperly ordered the Adams to demolish the building. The Adams had no choice but to appeal this decision to the Macomb County Circuit Court. The court overturned the decision of the City and ruled that no demolition was necessary. After this positive result for the Adams, the parties entered into a consent judgment. This judgment required the City to act in “good faith” in regards to all future dealings with the Adams and their efforts to develop or sell the property.

Despite the previous instruction of the court, the City has continued to reject proposals by the Adams to develop or otherwise sell the building. Most recently, the Adams had an agreement in place to sell the building to Community Housing Network, which would have developed the building into affordable housing units. However, the City refused to grant the tax credits to the Community Housing Network which would be necessary to move forward with the project. Such tax credits are appropriate for non-profits such as the Community Housing Network and have been previously granted by the City to other organizations. As a result of the City’s actions, the deal fell through and the Adams remain unable to effectively use or sell the building.

The claim alleges violations of the Fair Housing Act and the First Amendment, as well as interference with contractual relations. In seeking relief from the court, the Adams simply seek to be able to either use their property in a reasonable manner or sell the property to a person or entity who will make use of this historic building.

The attorneys at Dalton & Tomich, PLC have extensive, nation-wide experience in zoning and land-use cases in both state and federal court. This experience includes contesting the improper decisions of local and municipal planning agencies. If you believe your property rights have been improperly violated, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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