Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lenawee County Airport (KADG) plans to buy more Lake Madison homes

ADRIAN -   An engineering firm is being hired to begin work on the possible acquisition of up to eight more houses at Lake Madison to resolve continuing litigation involving the Lenawee County Airport.

Lenawee County commissioners voted 6-2 Wednesday to contract with Lansing-based Mead & Hunt.

The company is to set up a process for making appraisals and lay the groundwork to acquire additional Lake Madison properties, said county administrator Martin Marshall.

A round of lawsuits over five houses near the airport at Lake Madison were concluded last year with the airport purchasing the entire properties. The litigation began with eminent domain action by the county commission to obtain easements to air space above the homes to maintain an object-free protection zone.

Another lawsuit was filed last year by four other Lake Madison home owners, claiming their property values have also been destroyed by a runway extension at the airport nearly 10 years ago.

The lawsuit claims the longer runway “invites larger, faster, lower-flying aircraft” to use the airport. Airport development plans calling for the eventual acquisition of easements over the property also make the houses “unmarketable,” according to the complaint.

Attorneys for the homeowners asked a judge to order the airport closed or that 1,000 feet of the runway not be used until the lawsuit is resolved.

Marshall said there are a total of eight houses in the Lake Madison subdivision that could be involved in court action and eventual purchase by the county. State aviation officials favor proceeding toward agreements with the property owners rather than engaging in lengthy litigation, Marshall said.

Lawsuits in the first round of litigation went on for seven years with multiple appeals.


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