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Great Lakes Article:

Business Stands With Shoreline Owners Before Michigan Supreme Court On Question of Beach Ownership

PR Newswire
07/28/2004


Save Our Shoreline, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and the National Federation of Independent Business last week filed amicus briefs with the Michigan Supreme Court in the case of Glass v Goeckel, a case involving the issue of ownership of Michigan's Great Lakes beaches.

The briefs explain that shoreline owners, and not the state, own Michigan's dry beaches above the water's edge. The organizations were joined on the briefs by the Michigan Bankers Association, the Michigan Hotel, Motel & Resort Association, and the International Great Lakes Coalition, an association of shoreline owners around the Great Lakes.

"Stable and predictable property ownership laws are imperative to business, and we want to be sure the Court keeps this point in mind as it considers this important case," said James Barrett, President and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Elizabeth Gaudio, of the National Federation of Independent Business, headquartered in Washington, D.C., concurred: "If business believes that government will not hold private property rights sacred, it will go somewhere else. As one of our nation's leading industrial states, we know Michigan wants to protect this important civil right."

Ernie Krygier, President of Save Our Shoreline, hailed the participation of the business community in the shoreline issue, and further stated: "Since 1843, our state's courts have told us that Michigan's beaches were privately owned. We've relied on those statements in developing the shores with our homes, our hotels, and our businesses. Now that people have invested what in many cases is their life savings in this property, some want to take beach ownership from them. That just wouldn't be fair."

The Plaintiff in the Glass v Goeckel case asked the Michigan Supreme Court to review a Court of Appeals ruling that shoreline property owners may control trespass on the beach to the water's edge. The Court does not have to review the case, and it could choose to let the ruling stand. But the Amicus briefs ask the Court to consider the case, at least to correct conflicting statements in the Court of Appeals decision about ownership.

Founded in 2001, Save Our Shoreline is a nonprofit membership basis corporation of over 2,000 households committed to the preservation of beaches and waterfront areas, and to the protection of rights to maintain beaches and waterfront areas. Those interested in Save Our Shoreline can find more information at http://www.saveourshoreline.org or by calling (989) 667-2910.

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