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Appeals court backs Michigan district's use of former school

The Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) district is legally permitted to lease a former elementary school to a neighboring school system, an appeals court has ruled.

The Michigan Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision that the district had violated a deed restriction when it leased the former Pine Lake Elementary School to the Waterford School District.

Descendants of the woman who donated the land to the district sued, contending that the Waterford lease was not allowed under the deed restriction. It stated that the land was to be used “for School purposes only.”

The trial court found that the deed required the Bloomfield Hills district to use the property as a school for Bloomfield Hills students.

The three-judge appeals panel disagreed. “While we agree with the trial court that defendants are required to use the subject property for the district's purposes, we reject the trial court's conclusion that such use is narrowly restricted solely to students of the district,” the opinion states. The lease with the Waterford district “comprises a proper and acceptable ‘use’ within the strictures of the document conveying the property.”

TAGS: Construction
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