Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Soil Friends Hard Cider Company has been in a 4 month battle with Comstock Township over zoning laws regarding their property. 

At the beginning of November the Township abruptly condemned a barn on the property where hard cider and a tasting room was located, along with vegetables and other items for sale. 

Shortly after the Township filed a lawsuit in the Kalamazoo 8th District Court to halt all operations on the property of Soil Friends. On November 19th the district magistrate signed the townships proposed order, which gave Soil Friends 15 days to fix the supposed zoning violations. To meet that deadline was an impossible task. 

Local townships should be in the practice of promoting business and encouraging growth throughout the community. If you have ever been to Soil Friends, you would know there’s really not much around that attracts people to come visit the area. 

Last week at a Comstock Township Board meeting, Soil Friends attorney Joseph Infante spoke to the board and highlighted legal reasons why some of his clients’ business activities are protected by the “Michigan Right To Farm Act.” Soil Friends filed a Writ of Supervisory in the Kalamazoo 9th Circuit Court a few weeks ago, asking as a circuit court judge to reverse the lower courts order. 

Yesterday afternoon the circuit court granted the writ, which moves the case to circuit court. 

Last night at another board meeting, the township voted 7-0 to allow Soil Friends to resume some business operations.   

The KGOP was honored to have Ben Martin, the owner of Soil Friends, at a “Friday Coffee” event on January 20th to speak about his journey as a business owner and what Soil Friends was currently going through with Comstock Township. Congressman Bill Huizenga was also at the event and was able to listen to Mr. Martin’s story.

Congressman Bill Huizenga, KGOP Chairwomen Kelly Sackett, Owner of Soil Friends Ben Martin