an Armed Revolt Possible, or Inevitable?
Township resident threatens armed confrontation over zoning
BY FRED GRAY
NEWS-REVIEW STAFF WRITER
HORTON BAY - Lyle Barkley is bulldozing
four-foot berms around his three acres in Bay Township and
requesting support from conservative militia groups to prepare
for a possible armed confrontation with county law enforcement
officers over a zoning dispute.
55-year-old excavator vows that neither he, his family nor
the three manufactured housing units in dispute will be
removed from his property without a shootout.
April District Judge Richard May granted a township request
that Barkley be ordered to remove the housing units from
his property on Camp Daggett Road.
Barkley failed to act, May found him in contempt on Aug.
28 and gave him until next Thursday to comply or face 28
days in jail and over $7,800 in fines.
who appeared in district court without an attorney, said
May's decision at the request of the township amounted to
an unconstitutional taking of his property.
maintained that his property is "patent land"
granted to the initial owner in 1871 by President U.S. Grant,
and as such he has rights to do with his property as he
wants, irrespective of zoning laws. He said May dismissed
his argument and said he would not be allowed to appeal
unlike many who hold patent land and dispute any governmental
authority over it, Barkley said he does not challenge the
right of government to tax his land.
pay my taxes," he said. "But Judge May called
my personal property junk, and so I feel I don't have to
pay taxes on junk."
a native of Charlevoix County, and his daughter, Kim, 22,
live in separate houses on the property, and both are subject
to the court order. They have extensive files on the dispute
that go back years.
predicament has drawn the attention of Norman Olson of Alanson,
senior adviser to the Michigan Militia, and Rick Stanley,
leader of the Denver-based Second American Revolution Militia
"Mutual Defense Pact."
issued a press release on Thursday, urging citizens throughout
Michigan to become aware of what is taking place and to
speak out in an attempt to forestall or stop armed conflict.
Barkley is unlikely to run. He's preparing to defend. I
admire his spirit," Olson said, adding he did not expect
an armed confrontation to occur as a result of the court
deadlines come and go. It's a bunch of hype. But the situation
stinks of crooked politics, corruption and favors,"
reached in Denver, said Barkley is a member of his organization
and could expect 670 armed supporters, including two dozen
in Michigan, to come to his assistance within four days
of the onset of an armed confrontation.
he's defended himself and repelled any attack, we'll send
our militia, the largest in the U.S.," Stanley said.
But he said he considered it unlikely.
County Sheriff George T. Lasater said that as the chief
law enforcement officer for the court, he would do whatever
was required. But he said he did not anticipate the dispute
would come to armed confrontation.
don't see this mushrooming out of control," Lasater
said. "We'll do everything in our power to make sure
there are no injuries, including to police officers, citizens
and Lyle Barkley and his family."
said Barkley had sent him a notice over the weekend that
if he trespassed on his property, he would be assessed a
civil penalty of $1 million "to be paid in silver coin."
said on one previous occasion in the county several years
ago a half dozen armed members of a militia group did appear
to back a landowner, but the matter was settled peacefully.
supervisor Larry Moeschke and trustee Chris Monk said in
an interview today that the township considers the matter
one of compliance with the township zoning ordinance.
he brought the manufactured homes in, he already had two
single-wide homes legally on the property," Moeschke
said. "He ultimately brought in two additional single-wide
mobile homes and what we call a modular school house for
a total of what we consider to be five homes on the property.
Bay Township zoning ordinance allows one single family residence
but he was able to bring in the second home in the mid-1990s
under a caretaker clause."
he was doing was not what he applied for," Monk said,
adding: "There is no agenda, no favors. We're merely
trying to keep the character of Bay Township."
said the township doesn't have a blight ordinance.
not trying to dictate to anyone in the township how their
property should appear. All we want is simply compliance
with our zoning ordinance," he said.
building official Ken Doty said, "If there are no zoning
permits and health department permits in place, we cannot
issue building permits. It's that simple."
Frykberg, the township zoning administrator, said the matter
has been settled in court and is a matter of public record.
He said he would have no further comment.
Fred Gray can
be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org.
web site: http://www.stanley2002.org
we site: http://www.michiganmilitia.com/