Joint Meeting

Clam Lake Township resident Mark Tor speaks during a joint meeting between Clam Lake and Haring townships on May 14, 2019.

CADILLAC — Cadillac has canceled its public hearing for a tentative Cadillac Junction settlement agreement that was scheduled for Monday.

A press release sent out Wednesday night states that while the city is pleased that some progress has been made, both townships have imposed last-minute conditions on their settlement agreement approval that weren't discussed during many months of negotiations.

“Moreover, some of the conditions are contrary to issues the parties had already resolved,” the release states.

At a joint meeting Tuesday night, Haring Township and Clam Lake Township voted to approve a tentative Cadillac Junction settlement agreement but added three revisions.

First, membership of a joint planning commission for the property would include four Cadillac members and three Clam Lake Township members instead of five Cadillac and two Clam Lake township members as initially proposed.

Second, the Act 425 agreement would be amended so Clam Lake Township has jurisdiction over the transferred area for the purpose of determining marijuana-related businesses being allowed in the area.

And third, for clarification purposes, the territory would be subject to Haring Township taxation for the summer and would be turned over to the city for winter taxes.

Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia said in light of the additional conditions the townships established through their meeting, the agreement will require additional discussion by the council.

Holding a public hearing before evaluating the new conditions would not be appropriate, he said.

He wasn’t going anywhere near saying they were opposing the revisions, just that this is a new deal other than what the city council voted on before and as such needs to be discussed again.

He doesn’t know what the city council will decide in light of the changes or if the parties will be able to move on with the tentative settlement agreement because it’s outside of what was previously considered, he said.

He anticipates that the city council will go into a closed session with Cadillac attorney Mike Homier at its May 20 meeting to discuss the pending litigation. He doesn’t know if they will come out of closed session and make a statement.

“All I know is that the public hearing isn’t going to happen because the deal’s been changed,” he said.

Over the last decade, there have been a series of legal challenges, appeals and reversals involving Haring and Clam Lake townships and developers TeriDee LLC and Cadillac regarding which municipality has jurisdiction over the development of Cadillac Junction.

Cadillac Junction is a 142-acre parcel located off M-55 near the U.S. 131 interchange.

The dispute revolved around Cadillac Junction’s location, with the developers and city saying it belongs in Cadillac and townships saying it was transferred from Clam Lake to Haring via an Act 425 agreement.

The basic framework for the tentative settlement agreement is that the existing 425 agreement with Haring Township will be rescinded and replaced with an Act 425 agreement with Clam Lake and the city of Cadillac.

Through the agreement, the TeriDee and Cadillac investment properties will be conditionally transferred to the city by contract for a minimum period of 50 years, but up to 100 years because the agreement provides for up to one term of renewal.

Ron Redick, attorney for both Clam Lake and Haring townships, said after the joint meeting Tuesday that the townships approved the tentative settlement documents with what he hopes the other parties will feel are “reasonably minor” revisions.

“It would be a real travesty at this point if the other parties wouldn’t sign on to what the townships have approved at this point,” he said.

From the city’s perspective, he couldn’t imagine marijuana being the issue that derails the settlement “because I’m sure none of the city officials want to be in a position of prioritizing proliferation of marijuana businesses over getting this case settled,” he said.

The city will also still have a majority vote on the joint planning commission, there’s no reasonable need to have a super majority and it would be unreasonable to force that, he said.

There is a status conference scheduled on Friday for the parties involved in the litigation.

“On Friday when we meet with the judge, I’m hopeful and optimistic we’ll all be on the same page,” he said. “That everybody will agree to these minor changes and then we can move forward with implementing the settlement.”