Court: Township can sue couple raising hogs in non-farm area
FRASER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A township near Bay City can pursue zoning violations against a man who is raising hogs in a non-farm area, the Michigan Supreme Court said.
The unanimous opinion Tuesday was a victory for Fraser Township, which had lost a decision at the Court of Appeals, and will help guide Michigan’s local governments in nuisance disputes.
The Supreme Court said the township’s lawsuit in Bay County wasn’t barred by a time limit, even if officials waited years to formally try to get Harvey and Ruth Haney to remove hogs.
The Haneys started with one hog in 2006, according to a summary of the case, but the township didn’t file a lawsuit until 2016 when there were approximately 20. The property isn’t zoned for agriculture.
The township said the property was saturated with animal waste, “creating a horrible stench and attraction for flies.”
The Haneys raise hogs that are known for their unique hooves, which look like the hooves of a mule.
The Haneys’ position at the Supreme Court was tied to the question of time, not the condition of the property.