Judge grants Tavern at Tina’s owners more time for bypass lane

By: Robert Guttersohn | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 3, 2012

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Judge James Biernat extended more time for the owners of Tavern at Tina’s to complete a court-ordered bypass lane in front of their business.

Cathy and Mary Jo Imbronone now have until Oct. 15, 2012, to complete construction of the extra lane along their property on North Avenue, according to court records from a Sept. 25 hearing in Macomb County Circuit Court.

If the lane is not completed by that time, Biernat will order the sisters to close Tavern at Tina’s by 5 p.m. that day. The bar would not be allowed to reopen until the bypass lane is completed. Biernat also ordered Cathy and Mary Jo Imbronone to pay $4,500 to the township for attorney and court fees.

The order to build the lane comes from a consent agreement between the owners of the tavern and Macomb Township.

Township Clerk Michael Koehs said earlier this week that it appeared construction on the new lane had begun. “I haven’t seen any new pavement being put it in yet, but stakes are in the ground, which usually means the engineers have been out there,” Koehs said.

It is the latest chapter in a legal battle between Macomb Township and the two owners dating back to 2007, when the Imbronones bought the tavern, which shares the property with Tina’s Country House, also owned by the sisters.

After Cathy and Mary Jo Imbronone bought the bar, the township wanted the Imbronones to pay for the installation of a water and sewer line along the extent of their property on North Avenue. It also wanted them to increase parking capacity and pay for a bypass lane on the north side of the avenue. The Imbronones sued the township.

A 2011 consent agreement allowed the owners to tap into surrounding septic tanks instead of putting in new sewer lines and required a traffic study be done on North Avenue to see if it had to be widened.

In January 2012, the traffic study was completed, and the extra lane was deemed necessary. The court ordered the sisters to install the lane before June 1, 2012.

After Cathy and Mary Jo Imbronone missed the June deadline, the township called for the two to be held in contempt of court at an Aug. 29 hearing. Biernat instead extended the construction deadline to Sept. 24 after an unnamed resident of Macomb loaned the sisters money to complete the project.

Calls to Cathy Imbronone were not returned.