Articles Posted in Connecticut Supreme Court

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Plaintiff, a developer, appealed a decision of Defendant, a planning and zoning commission, denied Plaintiff’s application for an affordable housing subdivision pursuant to the Affordable Housing Appeals Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. 8-30g. The trial court sustained Plaintiff’s administrative appeal. The Appellate Court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the commission was required to grant Plaintiff’s application for subdivision approval despite the application’s lack of compliance with a municipal road ordinance; and (2) the trial court properly ordered the commission to approve Plaintiff’s application “as is” rather than for consideration of conditions of approval. View "Brenmor Properties, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission of Town of Lisbon" on Justia Law

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The Town of Middlebury and sixteen residents and entities situated in Middlebury and nearby towns (collectively, Plaintiffs), appealed the dismissal of their appeal from the decision of the Connecticut Siting Council granting CPV Towantic, LLC’s petition to open and modify a certificate for an electric generating facility. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court properly determined that the council had adequately considered neighborhood concerns in accordance with Conn. Gen. Stat. 16-50p(c)(1) where Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proving that the council acted contrary to law and ignored the neighborhood concerns that were presented to it. View "Town of Middlebury v. Connecticut Siting Council" on Justia Law

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Defendant, the owner of real property, filed a subdivision map that purported to subdivide the property into three new parcels. Defendant, however, did not obtain permission from the city planning and zoning authorities before filing the revised subdivision map. Defendant subsequently obtained a mortgage loan from a predecessor-in-interest to the substitute plaintiff. The loan was secured by a mortgage on two of the tracts. Defendant later defaulted on the mortgage loan, and plaintiff’s predecessor-in-interest commenced this action to foreclose on the mortgage. Defendant objected to the foreclosure, arguing that a judgment of foreclosure would have the effect of validating an illegal subdivision of property. The trial court rendered judgment in favor of Plaintiff and ordered a strict foreclosure of the two tracts. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a trial court may render a judgment of foreclosure on mortgaged property that consists of parcels of land within a subdivision that has not been approved by municipal zoning authorities. View "ARS Investors II 2012-1 HVB, LLC v. Crystal, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Meriden granted a variance to Mark Development, LLC to use a parcel of real property located in a regional development zone as a used car dealership on the grounds that the effect of applying the Meriden Zoning Regulations was so severe as to amount to a practical confiscation. Plaintiffs, the City of Meriden and two of its officers, appealed from the Board’s decision granting the variance. The trial court sustained Plaintiffs’ appeal in part and remanded to the Board for further proceedings. Both parties appealed. The Appellate Court reversed and remanded the case to the trial court with direction to sustain Plaintiffs’ appeal, holding that substantial evidence did not support the Board’s conclusion that the property had been deprived of all reasonable uses. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Appellate Court correctly found that substantial evidence did not support the Board’s conclusion that the property had been practically confiscated. View "Caruso v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals" on Justia Law

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Applicant applied for zoning variances allowing for the vertical expansion of a nonconforming building. There was no showing, however, that the strict application of the zoning regulations would destroy the property’s value for any of the uses to which it could reasonably be put. The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Fairfield granted the application, concluding that the strict application of the zoning regulations would produce an unusual hardship. The trial court rejected Plaintiff’s claims and dismissed the appeal. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court improperly determined that the strict application of the zoning regulations would produce an undue hardship for Applicant, justifying the variances. Remanded to the Board with direction to deny Applicant’s application for the variances. View "E and F Assocs., LLC v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff owned real property on a highway. In 2006, the board of selectmen of the town of Lyme (board) concluded that the highway extended through and across Plaintiff's property. Plaintiff brought an administrative appeal in the superior court. The superior court granted Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, concluding (1) it was entitled to consider the appeal in a trial de novo, and therefore, the motion for summary judgment was procedurally appropriate; and (2) the board exceeded its authority by determining the length of the highway rather than its width. The appellate court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the trial court properly concluded that Plaintiff was entitled to a trial de novo; but (2) the board was statutorily authorized to determine the width of the highway as well as its length. Remanded. View "Marchesi v. Bd. of Selectmen of Town of Lyme" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs obtained a variance from the zoning board of appeals (board) to construct a single-family house on their lakefront property. Plaintiffs then applied for and received a zoning permit and building permit from the town of Lebanon (town) to construct the house. After construction was completed, Plaintiffs constructed a deck. Plaintiffs did not receive the required building permits for the deck, nor did they notify the town of the deck's construction. Several years later, the zoning enforcement officer discovered the deck violated the town's zoning regulations and issued a notice of violation and cease and desist order to Plaintiffs requiring them to abate the setback violation. The board denied Plaintiffs' appeal. The superior court reversed, concluding that the deck at issue was a "building" as that term is used in Conn. Gen. Stat. 8-13a(a) and, therefore, Defendants' enforcement action was untimely under the three year statute of limitations set forth in section 8-13a(a). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the deck was not a "building" under the statute. Remanded. View "Tine v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Town of Lebanon" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed to the superior court from the decision of the planning and zoning commission of the town of Clinton (Defendant), granting, subject to certain conditions, its applications for a special permit and for coastal site plan review. Plaintiff caused Defendant to be served with a complaint, but the complaint was not accompanied by a citation or a summons. The trial court dismissed the administrative appeal for lack of personal jurisdiction because the service of process did not conform to the requirements of Conn. Gen. Stat. 8-8(f)(2). Plaintiff appealed, claiming that, although the service of process was defective, it should have been allowed to add the citation and serve the corrected process pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 52-72. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiff's failure to attach a summons or citations to the complaint was a substantive defect in the service of process and, thus, was not the type of technical defect that was amendable pursuant to section 52-72. View "New England Road, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Comm'n" on Justia Law

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The zoning board of appeals of the town of Madison (board) approved a variance to replace Plaintiffs' house on the footprint of the prior structure. After Plaintiffs built a new house on the property, Plaintiffs submitted an application for a certificate of zoning compliance seeking approval to convert their present balcony into a large, uncovered deck. The proposed deck would fully comply with the zoning regulations but arguably would not comply with the previously approved variance. The zoning officer denied the application, and the board upheld the decision. The trial court dismissed Plaintiffs' appeal. The appellate court reversed, concluding that the board could not deny Plaintiffs' application because the footprint limitation was not expressly described in the certificate of variance. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) conditions attached to the granting of a variance are not to be construed solely on the basis of the language in the certificate of variance; and (2) the board properly denied Plaintiffs' application for a certificate of zoning compliance. Remanded. View "Anatra v. Town of Madison Zoning Bd. of Appeals" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff interred her husband's remains in the backyard of her property. The town's zoning compliance officer issued a cease and desist order for violation of the town's zoning regulation. Plaintiff appealed to the town zoning board of appeals, seeking a variance. Subsequently, the compliance officer withdrew the order to allow Plaintiff to remedy the violation. Plaintiff then notified the board she was withdrawing her objection to the order. Thereafter, Plaintiff commenced an action in the trial requesting a judgment declaring she had the right to use her property for the interment of her and her husband's remains. The court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The appellate court reversed and remanded, concluding that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's complaint because Plaintiff had failed her exhaust her administrative remedies by not appealing to the board. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Plaintiff's failure to pursue her appeal and, thereby, to exhaust her administrative remedies left the trial court without jurisdiction over her action for a declaratory judgment; and (2) because Plaintiff was actually challenging the proper interpretation of the town zoning regulations, which was a function of the board, Plaintiff was required to exhaust her administrative remedies. View "Piquet v. Chester" on Justia Law