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Nestle Waters wins Osceola must issue building permit

The Osceola Township board is expected to meet on Tuesday and discuss a court decision issued last week by the 51st Circuit Court on Nestle Waters North American’s request for a zoning permit.

Judge Susan Sneigowski’s opinion released after the Nov. 15 hearing ordered the township to provide a zoning permit to NWNA so it can construct a booster-pump at its White Pine Springs production well.

The NWNA appealed Osceola Township’s denial of the booster-pump station. Nestle has applied to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to increase its water withdrawal to 400 gallons per minute and said the booster-pump station is essential to accomplish that.

Sneigowski said the company did meet the essential public service provisions in the township’s zoning ordinance by providing water.

Township zoning administrator Dick Douglas said he hadn’t seen the actual decision.

“I’m disappointed, that’s for sure,” he said. “I’m waiting to hear from the attorney on the whole nine yards. I haven’t been authorized by the board yet to issue the permit. I’m in limbo right now. The board tells me what to do.”

He said the township board is having a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 2 on its next step at the township hall.

“They’ll make the determination at that point,” Douglas said. “They want to hear from the residents of the township on how they feel about this whole issue. I guess that’s where we’re at.”


By: John Raffel

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