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Court Gives Tavern at Tina's Until Oct. 15 to Build Bypass Lane or Close

Having missed the court's previous deadline to construct the lane opposite their property on North Avenue, the Imbronone sisters now have until Oct. 15 to build the lane and reimburse Macomb for court costs accumulated during the dispute.

If owners of The Tavern at Tina’s fail to comply with the latest orders from a  Macomb County Circuit Court judge, their business will be closed on Oct. 15.

Ruling in the case of TTCH Development LLC vs. Macomb Township, Judge James Biernat, Jr. ordered TTCH (Tina's owners) to build a southbound bypass lane opposite the tavern's property on North Avenue and pay court costs accumulated by Macomb Township during the dispute by 5 p.m. Oct. 15 or face closure, according to court documents.

These orders stem from the January 2011 consent judgment signed by TTCH Development and Macomb Township following some three years of legal disputes. Per the consent judgment, Tina’s owners, sisters Cathy and Mary Jo Imbronone, had until June 1 to build a bypass lane on the west side of North Avenue.

When the deadline passed and the work was not completed, Macomb Township's legal counsel asked the court to hold TTCH Development in contempt of court and costs.

On Aug. 29, Biernat ruled to give TTCH Development until Sept. 24 to complete the work. When that deadline passed and the work was still not completed on Sept. 25, the judge ordered TTCH Development to reimburse the township for approximately $4,500 in court costs and attorney fees. 

Richard Taubman, attorney for TTCH Development, said the Imbronone sisters have engaged a contractor at this time and work is expected to begin next week.

“They have been issued a permit by the (Macomb County Department of Roads) and they are going to do everything they can to facilitate the work,” he said. “I hope this is the end, I really do. I think my clients do also.”

While Taubman could not speak to the total cost of construction, he said his clients have had to borrow money to cover the expense.

“It is no secret my clients have been struggling financially,” he said. “They have had to borrow from an individual to pay for the work. This has really taken them to the edge. They’ve been unable to get bank support.”

If by 5 p.m. Oct. 15, the bypass lane is installed, inspected and approved per the plans of the Macomb County Department of Roads, the case will be closed.

Should an event beyond TTCH's control prevent construction of the bypass lane, TTCH may file an emergency motion to have the court review the issue. But if TTCH fails to comply with the court's orders for any other reason, The Tavern at Tina's will be closed at 5 p.m. Oct. 15 and remain closed until the work is done and payments submitted.

jamie marick September 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM
It is just the same people I saw posting on here during the elections, that will defend this current board no matter what they do. Putting people out of business- defend them. Losing tax revenue by putting businesses out of business- defend them. Putting workers out of work- defend them. Some poor kid accuses them of using township resources to collect election signatures- defend them. Raise water rates-defend them. Actually lie to us before the election saying "they closed negotations on the court moving here" then after the election re-open the negotiations after they are voted back in- defend them. Apperently even when the state police have turned in their investigation of voter fraud to the prosecuter- they still defend them. Can they do no wrong?
Fred Hahnel September 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Christopher, To your comment about traffic on 23 Mile Road, that is absolutely true and only seems to have worsened because of the 'updated' traffic signals. I travel north on North Avenue for at least six years every afternoon around 6 pm. The traffic NEVER backed up more than about 15 cars behind the 23 Mile light. Now with the "upgraded" lights, I'm seeing regularly northbound backups sometimes to 22 Mile Road. The township is so concerned about a lousy bypass lane, they need to widen North and 23!
Liz MacDonald September 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM
My son lives at 23 & Card & I know that 23 Mile is a very busy street. I try not to go in that area during rush hour because forget it, the traffic is terrible. You are right Fred, they need to do something, if its the lights ajust them, the township should be more worried about the traffic jams on 23 Mile because the area has grown so much then the bypass by Tina's
whatthefrack September 27, 2012 at 09:35 PM
If any of you have been paying attention to 23 Mile at all, you may have noticed all of those cables across the road. They are currently doing a survey about widening 23 Mile to 5 lanes like it is west of Romeo Plank.
HappyVoter September 29, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Jamie... just like it's the same people on here trying to defend the indefensible actions of the Imbronones and their buddy John Johnson? A few people have referenced Tina's Country House, which is a long-standing business...they've been catering there for years and years, and by all accounts doing a good job. This fiasco started when they decided to buy the old Mutt & Jeff's and open a bar/restaurant there... Great, not a bad idea. However, as you should know as a business owner, when you are starting a new business (or even substantially changing an old one) you are responsible for following zoning and building code rules. This includes things like sewer service and traffic management. The township doesn't make these rules up as they go, and the Imbronones knew what they were getting into when they bought the place... if they didn't, they should look elsewhere for their advice. Now, years later, they've ended up spending more money than they would have had to spend to just follow the rules in the first place (rules that have been in place longer than the board members), and it's all because they're too stubborn and prideful to just do the right thing. But yeah, if that's "winning the war", then good for them. If they win a few more wars they'll be broke.

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