After a years-long battle, Nestlé Waters will not get the water pumping building it wants in northern Michigan.
The company did not appeal a court decision in December, effectively stopping the bottler from being able to build on land it wasn’t zoned for.
Nestlé wanted to build a 12-foot by 22-foot building to hold a booster pump that would allow it to transport additional groundwater.
But the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with Osceola Township, which blocked the construction for zoning reasons.
The court’s decision hinged on Nestle’s argument for a zoning loophole, stating water is an essential service to the public, like electricity and gas.
Osceola City Manager Tim Ladd says the final decision settled what zoning rules can be applied for the public good.
“Our zoning is confined to 36 square miles of Osceola Township so the public is really the people of our township,” he says.
Nestlé was not available for an interview. In an email statement, a spokesperson says the court’s recent ruling is wrong, and that they met the Township’s requirements.
But the company says it won’t pursue more legal action, so it will now explore other options to transport water.
Lad says Nestlé mentioned another idea for the site before, but he doesn’t know the company's current plans.