2010-01-07 / News

Websters Seek Supreme Court Consideration on Island Home Foundation

Mackinac Island property owners Len and Sue Webster are asking the Michigan Supreme Court to intervene in a lower court decision that orders them to restore their Hubbard's Annex lot to its natural state by removing a house foundation they constructed more than 10 years ago but never completed. The foundation protrudes four feet above the ground and is protected by a fence, which the Websters erected several years ago.

The city contends the unfinished construction is a blight and a detriment to the neighborhood and nearby property values. In 2007, it sought and obtained from the lower courts an order to remove the foundation or to fill it in and remove the four-foot protrusion. The circuit court ruling was upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals October 22, but the Websters contend the remedy ordered by the court should have been less drastic.

City attorney Tom Evashevski said it could take several months for the supreme court to decide whether it will hear the case.

The Websters' attorney, Richard Bensinger of Gaylord, filed the application with the Michigan Supreme Court December 1 and the city filed its opposition December 16.

"They [Websters] have asked for leave and written a brief in support of their request," said Mr. Evashevski. "The Supreme Court will either grant leave or deny leave. If they deny leave, that's the end."

If the court decides to consider hearing the case, both parties will have to submit more comprehensive briefs, he said.

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