A small strip of land does not necessarily mean a lack of riparian rights
Typically, for a piece of property to have riparian rights, the land must physically touch the water's edge of a Michigan inland lake, river, or stream. A lack of physical connection runs solely to the property which actually has the body of water's boundaries.
However, Michigan law recognizes a practical problem with such plats: shorelines are not straight.
To solve that problem, Michigan case law has recongized the existence of "meander lines" within property plats.
Meander lines have been defined as drawn lines which:
- run in surveying fractional portions of the public lands bordering upon navigable rivers, not as boundaries of the tract, but for the purpose of defining the sinuosities of the banks of the stream, and as the means of ascertaining the quantity of the land in the fraction subject to sale, and which is to be paid for by the purchaser.
Example of a meander line as compared to shoreline
But, be careful, there are differences in plats with an assumed meander line and the actual existence of an actual small piece of land.
Notice that a 'Park' exists between the edge of the lots and the lake.
These lots likely lack riparian rights.
Protect Your RightsOLC represents private land owners regarding disputes with local governments, enforcement officials, neighbors, home and property owners associations, and others. Contact a riparian rights attorney at Outside Legal Counsel today.
RIPARIAN RESOURCESRiparian Basics & Law
The Great Lakes Difference
Public Road Ends
Public Act 56
JUDICIAL DECISIONS2000 Baum Family Trust
Gilroy v Speidel
Natural Rivers Program
Right to Farm Act