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Posted on Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township asks judge to order a stop to 'overwhelming' marijuana odor

By Tom Perkins


Ypsilanti Township alleges the odor emanating from 1397 Crestwood is disturbing neighbors and must be halted.

Tom Perkins | For

Ypsilanti Township has filed a lawsuit against a man and a woman accused of pumping a strong marijuana odor from their home.

According to a verified petition filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, the odor is so “overwhelming” that it has regularly disrupted next door neighbors’ life over the last year.

Police and township officials say they have smelled the odor outside the home at 1397 Crestwood Ave. on multiple occasions. That constitutes a violation of a zoning ordinance that states that the "creation of offensive odors shall be prohibited" in any zone, attorneys contend.

The township is asking a judge to order the defendants, Deborah Klochubar and Michael Engle, to stop pumping the alleged marijuana fumes out of the home.

Engle declined an interview with

Officials aren’t sure what exactly is happening inside the home to produce the odor, which is especially prevalent between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. It is coming from a metal piping protruding from the basement window, according to the petition.

Township officials and attorneys stressed that the case has nothing to do with a violation of the state’s medical marijuana laws, but is about the violation of the township’s zoning code relating to odors.

“It’s the noxious odors that’s really the nuisance and that’s the bottom line,” Township Attorney Doug Winters said.

Township Attorney Dennis McLain said the smell is so extreme that one neighbor has been physically sickened, it has disturbed neighbors’ sleep and prevented them from opening their windows on warm days over the summer.

“The neighbors are just beside themselves because of this over the past months. It’s an unacceptable situation,” McLain said.

In May, Engle entered into a plea agreement in which he agreed to stop the emissions after he was cited for a civil infraction in March. Officials say that agreement with the 14-B District Court has gone ignored. Winters said Engle admitted that there was a disruptive odor being pumped from the home by entering into the agreement.

The verified petition also questions whether Klochubar and Engle live at the property and states that it believes a grow operation or dispensary is being run out of the house. Neither is permitted in a residential zone per the township’s zoning ordinance.

It also states Engle told Mike Radzik, the township's community standards director, that he was not in violation of the township’s local zoning laws because they were “unconstitutional.”


Debbie K Engle-Eller

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

funny how this editorial board can publish private medical information and then censor posts that detail the names of the actors in a public record of a court proceeding. The names of the neighbors who brought the complaint and signed the affadavits alleging a foul odor from our home are public record but when I name Ken Foster and his family as possible defendants in a defamation suit based on their conduct and the subsequent conduct of other actors like this paper in perpetuating this lie.

Alfred Edward Newmann

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:34 a.m.

There has NEVER been any cannabis odor coming from this address. 2 firemen, 2 paramedics and a neighbor can now attest that on the night of 1/21/13 when officer morrison of WCSD knocked at this address at 520 am that the only odor anyone other then her and officer yie could smell were the sulphorous thiol compounds found in the anal gland sacs of the wild North American Skunk. I repeat, Officer Morrison stated that she could smell cannabis when everyone else could only smell SKUNK in the area and there are witnesses to the lie she put in her police report.. The township lied to the reporter in this article as this has always been about Ytowns illegal ordinance that clearly infringes on the MMMA and they state it is only about the odor. There was never any odor released at this house. There are only patients living there who publicly stated their position on Cannabis in an Mlive article. The township inspector who came in May 2012 to look at the basement said they got onto the house due to the article posted on Mlive. He then counted my plants and left. The township was back a month later and said at that time there was again no odor and on both visits they noted my air scrubbers. The township has always been about trying to enforce their ordinance and are willing to lie and break the law to do so. They are facing the judge tomorrow when Newburg Law LLC of Lansing argues that the MMMA preempts their ordinance at about 130 pm in front of Judge Brown at Washtenaw Trial Court on Huron. There will be Medical Cannabis Activists present as well as reporters from the Detroit Free Press, the last real journalists in town.

Debbie K Engle-Eller

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

As the victim of the vicious lies and unsubstantiated rumors contained in this article and the article of 9/4/12 I can now state that Ypsitown Never had an odor complaint as it was all based on the "mistaken" confusion between a wild animal odor (A Skunk) as opposed to a growing cannabis plant (THE Skunk) Judge Brown would not take up the issue. it just disappeared from the docket. The hearing today as argued my Eric Misterovich re: patient caregiver rights and Ypsilanti townships MMMA infringing ordinance was the only matter argued today. The "odor" allegations have JUST DISAPPEARED. We are now talking to our lawyers about CIVIL Defamation suits


Fri, Dec 28, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

Any chance a local authority take a peek inside and find out for sure where the smell is coming from?

Alfred Edward Newmann

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:34 a.m.

they got to peek twice and now there is proof that there was never any plant odor just the odor or a wandering wild North American Skunk


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

How bout an Oreos and Cheetos party!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

I am sure these a just sick people smoking pot to get well again. Isn't this what we voted for?

Alfred Edward Newmann

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:35 a.m.

the patients who live do not smoke, they primarily use topical or edibles.

Robert Granville

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

Two words: carbon filter.

Alfred Edward Newmann

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:37 a.m.

one bit of advice. Believe not at face value what a corporate rag like this will do or say for profit up to and including Defamation. Please note that the newspaper that published all those legal gun owners addresses is now in some trouble for that very act. do you see any similarity here, particularly when the MMMA provides specific privacy protections.?

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 11:38 a.m.

"...... a zoning ordinance that states that the "creation of offensive odors shall be prohibited" That seems like a pretty vague ordinance. If I'm frying up some bacon and my neighbor is a vegetarian and a card carrying dues paying member of PETA am I violating the ordinance? Don't get me wrong, if the odor is that strong i sympathize with the neighbors plight.

Alfred Edward Newmann

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:39 a.m.

It is a seven letter one sentence ordinance and is unconstitutional at first and last read HOWEVER the odor they allege is being created at this residence is actually that of a wandering wild skunk and the wild imaginings of silly city slicker named Officer Morrison.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

Wonder how many people will be lurking around there now.. This article could make em or break em. Business may sky rocket or confiscated and not by the police either.


Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 4:30 a.m.

These people most certainly aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. Forget about the neighbors. Forget the town authorities. If these people don't quit pumping out the smell they're going to be the victims of a home invasion by gun thugs. Controlling the smell just isn't all that much effort.

Alfred Edward Newmann

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:40 a.m.

Critical thinking must be hard on your fragile brain. There has never been any plant odor coming from this house. It is a lie. The odor is that of A skunk as reported By The Polecat Morrison of WCSD.

dading dont delete me bro

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

free smells.... oh, whait, that's jimmy john's

Michigan Man

Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 11:57 p.m.

Looks like the front lawn could use a little attention? Apparently not enough $ left over after buying weed to buy a used lawn mower? How about a neighborhood kid?

Tom Todd

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

Might be manufacturing it. Although is that more trouble then it's worth?


Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 10 p.m.

Say, what was that grow house address again?


Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

You would never make it over the fence.


Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

Didn't notice the first half dozen times I saw the headline so I'm not sure what that means but check the spelling of the word "marijauna".

Rod Johnson

Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

Not to mention "Crestwoood."


Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

It looks like a fine place. The chain link fence in the front yard is a nice touch.

Tom Todd

Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

Good Fences Good Neighbors


Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

I would have to agree. The upholstered chair on the porch, illegal in uppity Ann Arbor, gives an air of sophistication. Yet, the rust on the fence and the neglected lawn suggest the occupants are refined, but not pretentious.


Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

"It also states Engle told Mike Radzik, the township's community standards director, that he was not in violation of the township's local zoning laws because they were "unconstitutional."" Well I almost wanted to defend him...until I got to this part. Know what's "unconstitutional" there guy? You FORCING other people to smell your stank. Period. The simple fact that this guy thinks he's ENTITLED to do this means he should have the book thrown at him. Go git em Ypsi....

Alfred Edward Newmann

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:43 a.m.

SO if the odor is not coming from here and IT ain't because there is now proof that a cop mistook the smell of A skunk for the smell of THE skunk and coupled with the fact that the owners are known advocates and now known patients I must ask you What say you now about Ypsi "gittin' em? The Detroit Free Press will have the truth soon.


Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

. . . township


Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

It's just them damn skunks

Alfred Edward Newmann

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:44 a.m.

Yes that is exactly what it is along with some polecats in Ypsitown like Razdik and Stumbo and at WCSD Like Morrison and Yie, silly city slickers.

Dog Guy

Sun, Dec 23, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

It would be neighborly to keep a couple of yard dogs to cover the odor from their basement.

Alfred Edward Newmann

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 3:45 a.m.

the dogs keep the cops and skunks out of the yard.