Judge Strikes Down Property Maintenance Ordinance

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HOWELL, Mich. (AP) -- A federal judge has struck down rules in Howell requiring homeowners to maintain areas between sidewalks and city-owned streets.

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reports the case was brought on behalf of homeowner David Shoemaker.

His lawyer Liz Downey said the case first centered on the lack of an appeal process for homeowners. On Tuesday, however, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Zatkoff struck down the entire ordinance.

Howell City Manager Shea Charles says the city plans to review its options and could appeal.

The ordinance required homeowners to maintain the areas or have the city do it and add its maintenance fees to their tax bills. The judge wrote that the ordinance violated "the right not to be forced by a municipal government to maintain municipal property."

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