LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation that makes the first significant changes to Michigan's sand dune law since the state established protections for critical areas more than two decades ago.
The law signed Tuesday cleared the Republican-controlled state Legislature last month. It gives builders an easier time gaining approval for houses, driveways and other projects on private land.
Environmental groups say the law will allow overdevelopment by weakening regulators' authority to block projects or require changes to reduce their impact.
Pro-development interests say the previous law was tilted heavily in favor of dune protection and prevents landowners from using their property.
The Republican governor says two-thirds of critical dunes already are publically owned. He says it's important to recognize private property rights.