LANSING, Mich. —
A Lansing appraiser is suing Windsor Township after he filed Freedom of Information Act request for transfer documents from eight property sales and the township told him they did not exist.
"I was doing some appraisal work on vacant industrial land and I was aware of Windsor Township's Harvest Park, which was built as the largest marijuana grow facility or development this side of the Mississippi," said appraiser Scott Carlson.
After learning Windsor Township sold acres to a developer that would eventually split the land into smaller parcels to sell, he grew interested.
"This was of interest to me, because we can probably see a premium for land zoned for marijuana processing as opposed to traditional industrial where you can do fabricating and sheet metal," he said.
Carlson said when he obtained the deeds for the sales, the sale prices weren't on the deeds.
He then asked the local assessor for the property transfer affidavits from the sales of those smaller parcels and said he was given the runaround.
Carlson then did something he says he's never had to do.
"I filed a FOIA request. The FOIA request was denied simply to saying the documents don't exist. So I appealed that decision to the township board. And again, it was, you know, the same manner," he said.
Windsor Township Supervisor Kern Slucter said the township makes every effort to comply with Michigan laws, especially the Freedom of Information Act.
"We have told Mr. Carlson and his attorneys in no uncertain terms we do not have the information he has requested," Slucter said in a statement. "Nor have we ever had it. We have provided Mr. Carlson’s attorney with a signed legal affidavit, swearing to those facts. We have asked Mr. Carlson for the documents that support his position that the township has the records he seeks to date. Neither he nor his attorneys have supplied any information, nor case law, which supports any legal claims against the township.
"Mr.Carlson's first attorney withdrew from the case," Slucter added, "and we heard last week that his second attorney will be moving to withdraw. The township understands why now, Mr. Carlson has resorted to trying this case in the media."
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