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2018 MTA Annual Conference

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April 23, 2018

Foster Swift attorneys will be in attendance at the 65th Annual Michigan Townships Association Educational Conference & Expo. The conference takes place April 23-26 at the Grand Traverse Resort located in Acme township. Attendees will learn innovative solutions, processes and ideas to affect greatness in their community.

Be sure to catch one of the following sessions presented by a Foster Swift attorney:

Lessons Learned from Menard Inc. v. City of Escanaba April 23: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

This informative session will explore the case Menard Inc. v. City of Escanaba, the process of preparing for the Michigan Tax Tribunal, and whether “big box” stores and similar venues will continue to appeal their assessments. Dig into the elements that make up what’s commonly known as “dark store” assessing, including the validity of the cost approach, appraisal issues and techniques regarding functional and economic obsolescence and mass appraisal treatment, as well as use of land sales and cost of new. Get the inside scoop on legal determination of appraisal and assessing that create the context for valuation. Future effects and potential legislation will also be discussed. This session will include a continental breakfast. Speaker: Jack Van Coevering

Drafting and Policing Developments, Developers and Development agreements April 24: 1:00 – 2:15 pm

What’s the best method to formalize development agreements? How are they best enforced? Dig into the process of creating binding obligations developers must satisfy as a condition of your township approval. Plats, planned unit developments and site condos almost always are approved with conditions. Speaker: Mike Homier

Alternative Energy Regulation Tips April 25: 10:15 – 11:30 am

As the popularity (and profitability) of alternative energy soars, townships are seeing increasing numbers of special land use requests from energy developers, including those harnessing both wind and solar energy. We can help you tailor your ordinances and develop land use standards to regulate wind and solar energy farms. Speakers: Laura Genovich and Mike Homier

Regulating Liquor Licensing in your Community April 25: 10:15 – 11:30 am

Over the past few years, local governments have lost significant control over liquor licensing in its communities. This session will focus on the recent changes to the law and Michigan Liquor Control Commission procedure, and will also offer alternative solutions to regain some control by adopting, updating or amending current ordinances. Speaker: Lisa Hamameh

That’s Unconstitutional! Fact and Fiction Regarding Townships and the Constitution April 25: 3:15 – 4:30 pm

As public bodies, townships and their officials must comply with the requirements of the Michigan Constitution. However, there are misconceptions regarding how the constitution affects public property and public regulations. Review issues such as closings on religious holidays, petitioning on public property, sign regulation and other constitutional issues that impact townships. Speaker: Anne Seurynck

Business Solutions Session – April 25: 12:00 – 1:00 pm

A panel of Foster Swift attorneys will discuss a few of the hot topics Michigan townships are facing in 2018:

  • The Legal Landscape for Townships in 2018: A Practical Approach- Get a real-world view of key legal trends facing Michigan townships including but not limited to solar energy, broadband, special assessments, medical marijuana and compliance with an increasing number of regulations. Get your questions on these hot topics answered.
  • Space is limited. Lunch will be provided to the first 120 people that pre-register. To register, contact Jake Leuvoy at 517.371.8125 or at

Visit with Foster Swift attorneys in the exhibit hall at booth #201: Expo hall hours are April 24: 9:45 am – 2:45 pm and April 25: 9:45 am – 1:30 pm.

*Note* If you would like to register for this conference, March 27, 2018 is the last day to register at the early-bird rate with April 10 being the last day to register. With more than 60 educational workshops and the chance to connect and network with more than 1,000 municipal leaders and experts, makes this conference a priority destination. More information and registration can be found here.