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Wedding and events venue shut down for alleged building code violations

GALIEN, Mich. -- A Berrien County judge has issued a temporary restraining order against a Galien wedding and events venue for its alleged failure to comply with a stop construction and cease use order issued by the state.

The state alleges the Harbor Banks Winery Barn on Cleveland Avenue has failed to comply with the state building codes.

On September 22, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Construction Codes issued a Notice of Violations and Notice to Appear and Show Cause.

The state alleges the venue was not granted a certificate of occupancy because of the following issues:

  • A building permit applied for on October 25, 2016 was received without full payment, without zoning approval, plans or specifications for change of the building's use
  • Plan review submitted on February 27, 2017 for remodeling of a first floor bathroom was denied with a letter of deficiencies
  • A September 15, 2016 mechanical permit for two exhaust fans was withdrawn after inspections revealed several violations
  • An April 12, 2017 fire suppression system permit was placed on hold for lack of a complete system because there was no water supply in the plans

Harbor Banks appeared at the BCC offices on September 25, 2017 to present its case why a stop construction and cease operations order should not be issued, but the BCC determined they presented insufficient evidence.

  • No new site plan was provided
  • No fire system plan was submitted
  • Fees are due on the building permit and a plan review has not been submitted or completed

On September 28, the state issued an Order to Stop Construction and Cease Use and Occupancy to Harbor Banks.

After the order was issued on September 28, the state alleges Harbor Banks Winery Barn continued to operate and host events.

Because Harbor Banks did not comply with the Order to Stop Construction and Cease Use and Occupancy of September 18, the BCC went to the circuit court and obtained a restraining order to prevent the Harbor Banks Winery Barn from operating.

The restraining order was issued on October 6.

Harbor Banks has been ordered to appear and show cause at a hearing on October 19.

ABC57's Caleigh Bourgeois attempted to contact the owners of the venue, but was unable to reach them.

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