Justia Zoning, Planning & Land Use Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Connecticut Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court reversed the appellate court's judgment reversing in part the decision of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission of the Town of Fairfield extending its approvals of a special permit and a coastal site plan review granted to Fairfield Commons, LLC, holding that a local zoning authority may not, by regulation, condition the continuing validity of a special permit on completing development in connection with the permitted use within a period of time that is shorter than the statutory period.The appellate court in this case affirmed the trial court's judgment concluding that the Commission improperly granted Fairfield Commons' request for an extension of its special permit deadline to complete development but reversed the court's conclusion that the special permit could not be subject to a temporal limitation as a matter of law. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a special permit regulation may not prescribe a shorter time limitation for completing development than the statutory period set forth for completion of development in connection with an accompanying site plan under Conn. Gen. Stat. 8-3(i) and (m); and (2) the appellate court incorrectly concluded that the special permit at issue expired in April 2011. View "International Investors v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court affirming the trial court's dismissal of this appeal from the decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Bethel denying Plaintiffs' application for a special permit to construct a crematory on their property, holding that the denial was not supported by substantial evidence.Plaintiffs applied for a special permit to construct a crematory on their property. The Commission denied the application. Relying on St. Joseph's High School, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Commission, 170 A.3d 73 (Conn. 2017), the trial court dismissed Plaintiff's ensuing appeal, concluding that there was substantial evidence to support the Commission's decision. The appellate court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the record did not reveal substantial evidence on which the Commission based its decision. View "McLoughlin v. Planning & Zoning Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court sustaining Plaintiff's appeal from the decision of the Board of Representatives of the City of Stamford rejecting a zoning amendment approved by the Zoning Board of the City of Stamford, holding that the board of representatives did not have the authority to determine the validity of the petition.Local property owners filed a protest petition opposing the amendment. After determining that the protest petition was valid, the board of representatives considered and rejected the amendment. The trial court sustained Plaintiff's appeal, concluding that the board of representatives did not have the authority to consider whether the petition was valid. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in concluding that the board of representatives did not have the authority to determine the validity of the protest petition; but (2) the petition was valid because it contained the requisite number of signatures. View "High Ridge Real Estate Owner, LLC v. Board of Representatives" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the appellate court reversing the judgment of the trial court granting Plaintiffs' request for a permanent injunction prohibiting Defendants, Madison Beach Hotel, LLC and Madison Beach Hotel of Florida, LLC, from hosting a summer concert series at a public park adjacent to the Madison Beach Hotel, holding that there was no error.On appeal, the appellate court concluded that the trial court had abused its discretion in granting Plaintiffs' request for an injunction because the concerts did not violate the Madison zoning regulations. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiffs' interpretation of the zoning regulations was untenable and that Plaintiffs were not entitled to relief on their allegations of error. View "Pfister v. Madison Beach Hotel, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court dismissing Appellants' appeal from the decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Shelton approving an application for a planned development district submitted by Shelter Ridge Associates, LLC, holding that the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion.Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) contrary to Appellants' argument on appeal, the zoning authority conferred by Conn. Gen. Stat. 8-2 supports the creation of planned development districts; (2) the planned development district proposed by Shelter Ridge did not violate the uniformity requirement contained in section 8-2; and (3) the Commission’s decision did not result in an unlawful subdivision. View "Tillman v. Planning & Zoning Commission of the City of Shelton" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the appellate court reversing in part the judgment of the trial court in favor of Plaintiffs, the town of South Windsor and its zoning enforcement officer and remanding the case for a new trial on count two of the complaint, holding that the appellate court improperly remanded the case.The trial court assessed a fine and imposed injunctive relief for certain zoning violations pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 8-12. The appellate court remanded the case for a new trial, concluding that the trial court had improperly assessed a fine on Defendant for zoning violations for a period of time that she was under lawful orders not to disturb her property because of an ongoing fire investigation. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that no dispute remained as to Defendant's liability for the zoning violations alleged in count two of Plaintiffs' complaint. View "Town of South Windsor v. Lanata" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court affirming the judgments of the trial court dismissing Plaintiff's appeals challenging various text amendments to the Hartford Zoning Regulations and zoning map changes made by the City of Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission, holding that the appellate court erred.Plaintiff applied for a special permit to construct a restaurant on property that it owned in the City. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed four separate appeals challenging the City's zoning map changes which, if properly adopted, would effectively preclude Plaintiff from obtaining the special permit. The trial court dismissed the appeal on the ground that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust its administrative remedies. The appellate court affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the appellate court erred in determining that the City's zoning administrator had the authority to void Plaintiff's application for a special permit; and (2) Plaintiff could not have appealed the zoning administrator's action to the zoning board of appeals because it was not a legal decision for purposes of Conn. Gen. Stat. 8-6. View "Farmington-Girard, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission of City of Hartford" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court concluding that Conn. Gen. Stat. 14-55 was not repealed by a sequence of contradictory public acts relating to that statute, holding that section 14-55 has not been repealed.Plaintiff filed an administrative appeal challenging the decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Stamford to grant a certificate of approval of the location for Defendants' used car dealership. The trial court denied the administrative appeal, but the appellate court reversed. At issue was whether the suitability analysis mandated by section 14-55 was still required in order to obtain a certificate of approval for the location of a used car dealership, despite subsequent revisions of the General Statutes listing that provision as having been repealed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the appellate court erred in concluding that section 14-55 had been repealed. View "One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court concluding that Conn. Gen. Stat. 14-55 was not repealed by a sequence of public acts relating to that statute passed by the legislature in 2003, holding that section 14-55 has been repealed, and therefore, the suitability analysis mandated by the statute is no longer required to obtain a certificate of approval of the location for a used car dealership.The Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Stamford granted a certificate of approval of the location for a used car dealership run by Defendants. Plaintiff filed an administrative appeal challenging the judgment, arguing that the board had failed to conduct the suitability analysis mandated by section 14-55. The trial court denied the appeal, concluding that the board was required to consider the suitability factors set forth in 14-55 and that the board had given due consideration to the suitability of Defendants' proposed use. The appellate court reversed, deciding that section 14-55 was not repealed in 2003 but that the board issued no findings as to the suitability factors. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that section 14-55 has been repealed. View "One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court dismissing Plaintiff's appeal from a decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Stamford (zoning board) granting the application of Paul Breunich for variances to reconstruct a legally nonconforming accessory structure on his property after it was damaged by a hurricane, holding that the trial court did not err in determining that the zoning board property granted Breunich's application for variances from the regulations.Plaintiff was the executor of the estate of Gerda Mayer Wittmann, who owned property adjacent to Breunich's property. After the trial court dismissed Plaintiff's appeal, Plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court, renewing his claims that the zoning board improperly granted the variances. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the building retained its status as a legally nonconforming accessory structure, and therefore, Breunich was not barred by the Stamford Zoning Regulations from rebuilding the structure; and (2) the zoning board properly granted the variances on the ground that the enforcement of the regulations would create a hardship. View "Mayer-Wittmann v. Zoning Board of Appeals" on Justia Law