Court Rules North Novi Park Settlement is Illegal

Novi, MI., December 11, 2001

Lynda Racey 
Friends of Novi Parks
P.O. Box 123
Novi MI 48376-0123 
Phone: (248) 374-1888 
Fax: (248) 596-9146

The Friends of Novi Parks was pleased by Judge John McDonald's ruling today finding the proposed transfer of at least 95 acres of North Novi Park to be illegal. Judge McDonald ruled that the proposed sale of the parkland was prohibited by the Michigan Home Rule Cities Act.

Judge McDonald's ruling came after almost 2 full days of testimony from city administrators, experts and members of FONP. The FONP filed suit last month to prevent the sale of a portion of the North Novi Park by the City to the Sandstone developers to settle an unrelated lawsuit. The suit claimed that the sale of the parkland violated State Law prohibiting the sale of parkland without a vote of the residents.

"All we wanted was an opportunity for the Court to hear our side of the story", said Bob Shaw, FONP President. "We feel vindicated that the Judge agreed with what we have been telling the City all along."

In his ruling Judge MacDonald found that there was ample evidence that the land was required as a park in the master plan.

"It was always in the City's best interest to have both sides of the legal claims addressed before approving any settlement with Sandstone. We think we ensured that happened", said Lynda Racey, one of FONP's attorneys.

Despite the legal dispute, the FONP plans to work with the City to protect, acquire and develop parks and open spaces in Novi. "I would much rather spend my time at North Novi Park than in a court room", said Brian Smith. FONP members will continue to work with City staff to develop and improve the facilities at North Novi Park as well as Novi's other parks. The FONP plans to be a positive force for all of Novi's parks.

Scott Howard of Olson and Bzdok, P.C., and local attorney Lynda Racey, a member of the group, represent the Friends of Novi Parks in the suit. Olson and Bzdok is a Traverse City, MI law firm specializing in environmental and land use law.

The Friends of Novi Parks' purpose is to support the protection, acquisition, and development of parks and open spaces in Novi. For more information, you can visit their website at The organization can also be contacted at Friends of Novi Parks, PO Box 123, Novi MI 48376-0123.

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