CADILLAC — Clam Lake Township’s decision to not approve settlement documents for the Cadillac Junction litigation could lead to future trial dates.
Mike Homier, counsel for the city of Cadillac, said the case is still pending and they have a status conference scheduled for Friday, after which they may set dates for a trial.
“It’s unfortunate,‘ he said.
If Clam Lake township didn’t approve the agreement, he doesn’t know what they thought was going to happen, he said.
The basic framework for the settlement was that the existing 425 agreement with Haring Township would be rescinded and replaced with an Act 425 agreement with Clam Lake and the city of Cadillac.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 would 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.
With the agreement, the township would have gotten 2 mills of property tax revenue from the property for the duration of the agreement.
Clam Lake Township also would have been represented in decisions and would have had two members on a seven-member joint planning commission for the properties, said Ronald Redick, counsel for Clam Lake and Haring townships.
Redick’s next steps will be to continue to have meetings with both township boards to see if there is a path to a settlement that is satisfactory for everyone.
In future discussions going forward they will try to address the concerns of individual board members who voted no to the agreement, he said.
One of those members was township clerk Amy Peterson.
“I voted no last night against the settlement agreement because the agreement benefits the city the most, not Clam Lake Township,‘ Peterson said in an email. “The Cadillac Investments Property was added into the agreement by the City last fall and it is a significant amount of Clam Lake Township land.‘
She said this would add an additional 500-plus acres to the south of the TeriDee/Cadillac Junction area the city wants to include for development.
The Clam Lake Township Board will have a closed meeting with Redick next Tuesday to further discuss settlement strategy.
Township supervisor Steve Kitler said he imagines they will move forward with litigation.
His township was having trouble getting this passed and Haring Township still has to pass the settlement agreement too.
Kitler was surprised by the board’s decision and he’s not sure he knows how to read his board right now, 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 property currently is home to a Mobil gas station and Tim Hortons Cafe and Bake Shop, with plans for several big box stores, a residential complex and more.
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 most recent decision by the Michigan Supreme Court sent the matter back to the circuit court level, where Wexford County Circuit Court Judge William Fagerman ruled that the property belongs in Haring Township instead of Cadillac.
Currently, all development on the property has been halted until ongoing legal issues are resolved.
At a meeting on April 15, Cadillac City Council decided to move forward with a settlement agreement with Clam Lake and Haring townships and TeriDee, LLC.
But first, the city and townships need to hold public hearings and formalize the settlement.
Homier said all parties have been included the last six months, including Clam Lake Township, and around 200 pages of settlement documents were drafted.
To get to this point it appears a lot of valuable time and resources were wasted, he said.
He said he didn’t want to get ahead of the situation about renegotiations, but the township should not think it can use this decision as leverage to renegotiate.
The city did its part and it’s not like the township hasn’t been involved in settlement negotiations every step of the way, he said.
“I suspect nobody is going to be pleased about it,‘ he said.
Brion Doyle, counsel for TeriDee LLC, did not respond to a request for comment.
Kirk Soule, Haring Township clerk, said the township will have a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6.
The board will go into closed session to discuss the agreement with the attorney and Soule did not think they would be taking actions that night, but might take action at their regular scheduled board meeting on May 13.
Cadillac’s settlement agreement public hearing is still scheduled for May 20.