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COA affirms its reversal of trial court in land-use case

August 28, 2012

Property owners on a northwestern Indiana lake who argued their land was unconstitutionally taken lost their rehearing before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The court ruled Tuesday in Gunther Kranz and Carol Kranz v. Meyers Subdivision Property Owners Association, Inc.,Christopher Bartoszek, and Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources, 75A03-1112-PL-577, that its prior decision reversing the ruling in favor of the property owners in Starke Circuit Court was correct in all respects. The court in June ruled that the Natural Resources Commission was within its rules in ordering Gunther and Carol Kranz to move a pier on their property at Bass Lake to accommodate a group pier for neighboring easement-holders.

“We grant rehearing solely to clarify why we believe that our interpretation of a regulation promulgated by the Department of Natural Resources …  is consistent with that of the agency’s. Therefore, we reaffirm our original opinion in all respects,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for the unanimous panel.

“The NRC is the final authority for interpreting the regulation at issue,” Crone wrote, citing 312 Indiana Administrative Code 11-4-8(c)(1), which regulates placement of group piers. “We believe that our opinion is consistent with how the NRC interpreted it. Therefore, we reaffirm our previous opinion in all respects.”

 

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