Winery Hill aka Chateau Grand Traverse on the Old Mission Peninsula; Master Plan Survey
Winery Hill aka Chateau Grand Traverse on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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(Editor’s Note: OMP resident Lou Santucci harks back to a Peter, Paul and Mary song (written by Pete Seeger) in his latest opinion piece regarding the winery lawsuit. Read on for his thoughts. If you’ve got something to say about anything related to the Old Mission Peninsula, write it up and send it to me, [email protected]. Note that you may only submit opinion pieces once every 30 days. -jb)

As a child of the 60’s, I well remember the Peter, Paul and Mary song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” and the line “When will they ever learn.” That refrain seems an adequate starting off point for this opinion piece on Peninsula Township’s loss in their latest motions.

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Given that the Township has already sued two former lawyers, will the Fahey firm be on the hook once the Township realizes that the many motions that have been denied were a waste of money, time and energy? Will the winery legal bills engendered by these countless losing motions be part of the settlement?

The state of play on motions so far is Township: near zero; Wineries: up many. In the latest court ruling, dated Feb. 16, 2024, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney denied two Motions to Dismiss filed by Peninsula Township.

As noted in the ruling, “The Court will deny the motions because employing the finality doctrine in this matter would be futile, and Plaintiffs’ claims are not moot.” (Editor’s Note: Read the full ruling here.)

It is interesting to note that the Judge saw the Township’s rewrite of the winery ordinances as problematic. You will recall that many farmers on the Peninsula warned the Township that not only was the ordinance anti-farmer, but was most likely illegally passed.

Remember when our planner illegally (in my opinion) refused on her own to accept SUP amendment applications brought to her by one winery and a winery applicant? This refusal was done during the period provided for by law whereby a zoning ordinance amendment is not enforceable when a notice of petition has been filed to rescind it, which was the case. This issue has been challenged in another lawsuit by one of the aggrieved parties. I think the Township will lose on that one, as well.

What folly this winery lawsuit has become. Despite the fact that the Township keeps losing its motions they continue to press on. This whole matter could have been resolved a long time ago. Now we are facing substantial damages.

So I ask again, when will they ever learn? Sadly, I think I know the answer.

(Editor’s Note: Read all winery lawsuit news and opinions here. -jb)

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A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan

1 COMMENT

  1. “They paved paradise and put up a
    parking lot
    With a pink hotel, a boutique and a
    swingin’ hot spot
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til
    it’s gone?..:”

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