Michigan Court of Appeals Reverses Decision in Case Involving Nestle, Osceola Twp.

Michigan’s Court of Appeals has reversed a decision that forced a northern Michigan township to give Nestle a zoning ordinance.

Osceola Township argued that a booster pump breaks their zoning rules.

A circuit court judge says Ice Mountain, a division of Nestle, could build the pump and draw water from a well near Evart, allowing the booster because the water was essential to human life and public service.

We have just learned the appeals court has thrown that decision out saying that calling a commercial water bottling operation an essential public service is “clearly erroneous.”

Nestle must now ask for the property to be re-zoned or take the case all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Ice Mountain Natural Resource Manager Arlene Anderson-Vincent released the following statement Tuesday: “Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) is disappointed in the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling, which reversed the decision of the Circuit Court. We firmly believe that the Circuit Court was correct in ordering Osceola Township to issue a permit for our request to build a small, 12-foot by 22-foot building, to house a booster pump.  We believe the plan we proposed met the Township’s site plan and special land use standards. We will evaluate our possible next steps in the legal process.

From the beginning, our goal with this request has been to reduce, as much as possible, any impact to the local community and the environment. In addition, the structure would be a positive contribution and would provide additional tax revenue to Osceola Township. Nestlé Waters has worked to be a good neighbor to Osceola Township for over 17 years. We value our relationships with Township residents and community leaders, and always strive to create shared value within the communities where we operate.”