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Appeals court dismisses Ford Marshall battery plant challenge

Portrait of Breana Noble Breana Noble
The Detroit News

The Michigan Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss a lawsuit aimed at stopping Ford Motor Co.'s electric-vehicle battery plant in south-central Michigan.

The court determined the plaintiff, residents organized under the Committee for Marshall - Not the Megasite, didn't have legal right to a ballot referendum in its case against the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance and the city of Marshall. The project is expected to open in 2026 and create 1,700 jobs after Ford decreased the scope of the project last year as demand for EVs trailed projections.

Construction progresses at Ford Motor Co.'s BlueOval Battery Park in Marshall, Michigan, in this March 29, 2024, photo. The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a decision by a lower court to dismiss a lawsuit seeking a referendum on whether the project should proceed.

In the original case, some Marshall residents had raised concerns over the plant being close to the Kalamazoo River and how the city approved zoning for industrial development. The appeals court concluded the committee didn't have a clear, legal right to have a referendum on a Marshall ordinance containing appropriations, and it had an adequate legal remedy through judicial review of the city council’s decision.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

@BreanaCNoble