Fighting Fire with Fire: Eliminating Commercial Restrictive Covenants and the Unintended Consequences of “Dark Store” Legislation

he Michigan Zoning Enabling Act allows municipalities to regulate the development and use of land pursuant to a zoning power granted by the state. By attempting to amend the Zoning Enabling Act to prohibit negative use restrictions and restrictive covenants in commercial developments, HB 4909 attempts to undercut a retailer’s argument that the market for its property has been reduced by a restrictive covenant precluding the sale (or lease) of the property to its competitors. While this approach may address the immediate argument being raised by retailers, it contradicts decades of Michigan jurisprudence pertaining to restrictive covenants.    Read the article…………..