Rehab leads to lawsuit

Rehabilitation of a former nursing home into a drug and alcohol rehab facility is on hold while the property owner and local government officials battle over it in court.
Becky Vargo
Nov 21, 2013

A lawsuit filed by the property owner in Ottawa County Circuit Court asks for relief to remedy the situation.

Earlier this year, Wright Township officials "red-tagged" the project at the former Creekview Nursing Home, 15140 16th Ave. in Marne. Township officials said the developers did not have the proper permits and did not meet the zoning requirements for the area.

Creekview Nursing Home closed in 2011.

Corporate counsel Phillip Slot said the new owners — Best Drug Rehabilitation Inc., a Nevada corporation — did their due diligence in notifying the township of their intentions prior to buying the property and putting in more than $450,000 worth of updates to the facility. Those updates included a permitted commercial well.

Slot said early communications between the company and township officials made it “perfectly clear” what type of operation would be going on in the building.

“The township really held my client’s hand through the whole process,” Slot said. “But when the neighbors objected, they backpedaled on their position.”

Township Supervisor Josh Westgate said the initial contact with the company was by the township's zoning administrator.

“They asked if it could be a medical rehab clinic,” Westgate said. “It wasn’t completely spelled out to the zoning administrator.”

Slot said the company was told the facility is a permitted use in the zoning district. Later, they were told it would have to be considered as a special use, so the corporation submitted an application for that — but the township's Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals both denied the request.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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