Mich. Senate OKs changes to dune protection law

Builders would have an easier time gaining approval for houses, driveways and other projects in sensitive coastal dune areas under a measure pending in the Michigan Legislature.
AP Wire
Jun 8, 2012


The bill won Senate approval Wednesday and now goes to the House. It would make the first significant changes in Michigan's sand dune law since protections for critical areas were established in 1989.

Environmental groups say the Republican-sponsored bill would allow overdevelopment in dune areas by weakening regulators' authority to block projects or require changes to reduce their impact. Pro-development interests say the existing law is tilted too heavily in favor of dune protection and prevents landowners from using their property.

The Department of Environmental Quality says it's neutral on the bill but agrees some changes are needed to avoid costly "takings" lawsuits.


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