Since 1979, when PTP was founded, we’ve been in lots of battles to protect what makes this peninsula so unique – battles at the ballot box, in the courthouse, and at hundreds of township meetings.

Last Friday’s order from Federal District Court Judge Paul Maloney, invalidating most of the winery provisions in the township zoning ordinance that limit non-ag commercialization, is a serious blow to our community and the zoning plan PTP has worked for decades to protect. But it’s too soon for the wineries to declare victory.

Anticipating this potential outcome, last February PTP filed a motion to intervene and participate in the lawsuit to vindicate this zoning ordinance. Eight months later, Judge Maloney decided PTP would be unaffected if the zoning ordinance changes, and denied intervention. That order came just 10 days after the wineries complained about PTP’s efforts to inform the community about the one and only public township meeting for the specific purpose of taking community input on this case, which was held October 6 at St. Joseph’s.

PTP appealed that decision; you can read our and the wineries’ appellate briefs here. On Thursday, attorneys for PTP and the wineries met in Cincinnati for oral argument before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals over whether Judge Maloney made a mistake. You can listen to their argument here.

It is impossible and unwise to predict an outcome in an appeal. But the panel of appellate justices demonstrated understanding that PTP’s rights and interests are being decided in the wineries’ litigation without our participation.

As we have been for over 40 years, PTP remains committed to using every tool available to protect farmland and the pastoral quality of life on this peninsula. PTP steadfastly maintains that our zoning plan is legal, and if PTP is granted the right to participate in this lawsuit, we will vigorously defend it. The case is not over, the June 3 order is not final, there are more battles ahead, and PTP is not going away.

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P.O. Box 1529, Traverse City, MI, 49685

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