A citizens group in Benzie County can’t appeal an agreement between the City of Frankfort and a developer, according to the state Court of Appeals. The agreement allows Marshall Tobin to build condos on Betsie Bay.
The developer has been trying to get approval for more than a decade.
Three years ago the Benzie Circuit Court approved the deal. But the group Friends of Betsie Bay objected. FOBB argued the development would lower property values, increase noise and traffic and cause environmental harm.
Benzie County Judge James Batzer ruled the citizens group didn’t have legal grounds to bring a lawsuit.
This week the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with that. It said the Friends of Betsie Bay wouldn’t suffer any special damages not common to other property owners.
Note: A previous version of this story said the City of Frankfort changed its zoning to accomodate Tobin. That's incorrect. There is an open-ended special use agreement for Tobin, sanctioned by the Circuit Court, that's only in place while the property is in his ownership.