Justia Zoning, Planning & Land Use Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Mississippi
by
A circuit court reversed the Board of Supervisors of Hancock County, Mississippi's decision to deny the application of Razz Halili Trust d/b/a Prestige Oysters (the Trust) to use a location within Hancock County zoned “C-4” (Zone C-4) as a marina — a use allowed as a matter of right in Zone C-4. The Board appealed, and after review, the Mississippi Supreme Court found that the Board’s decision was arbitrary, capricious and not supported by substantial evidence. The Supreme Court therefore affirmed the circuit court's decision. View "Board of Supervisors of Hancock County, Mississippi v. Razz Halili Trust" on Justia Law

by
This appeal arose from two cases filed in the Chancery Court of Madison County, Mississippi, consolidated by the chancery court on its own order. Petitioners from the community of Gluckstadt sought incorporation of approximately 10.8 square miles of incorporated territory in Madison County. The City of Canton petitioned for annexation of approximately 6.7 square miles of unincorporated territory in Madison County, consisting of five proposed areas (Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). The chancery court entered a final decree, granting, in part, the Gluckstadt Incorporators’ petition. The decree granted Canton’s proposed annexation of Areas 1 and 2 but denied Canton’s proposed annexation of Areas 3, 4, and 5. Canton and Ron Hutchinson (Incorporation Objectors) appealed the chancery court’s grant of incorporation, claiming the chancery court lacked jurisdiction over the incorporation petition because it did not include two-thirds of the signatures of the qualified electors residing in the proposed incorporation area. Various citizens (Annexation Objectors) appealed the chancery court's grant of annexation of Areas 1 and 2. Canton cross-appealed the chancery court's denial of annexation as to Areas 3, 4 and 5. Finding no manifest error with the chancery court's final decree in both cases, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed. View "In the Matter of the Enlarging, Extending and Defining the Corporate Limits and Boundaries of the City of Canton, Mississippi" on Justia Law

by
Mississippi Sand Solutions (Solutions) appealed a judgment by the Warren County Special Court of Eminent Domain denying its petition to establish a private right-of-way across lands owned by the defendants (the Fishers). Because the Mississippi Supreme Court fount the special court did not err by applying collateral estoppel to claims relating to access to Solutions’ property, judgment was affirmed. "When a party has been given voluntary access to its property over the land of another and that party continues to have access for the purposes of ingress and egress, that party cannot assert a claim under Mississippi Code Section 65-7-201 for a private road through the land of their obliging neighbor. Even without applying the doctrine of collateral estoppel, Solutions, by its own arguments and testimony of its own witnesses, demonstrated it could not make a prima facie case under this statute." View "Mississippi Sand Solutions, LLC v. Otis, et al." on Justia Law

by
The case originated from an action brought by Bay Point Properties, Inc. against the Mississippi Transportation Commission in which Bay Point sought damages resulting from inverse condemnation. After the verdict, Bay Point filed a motion requesting attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses. The trial court awarded $500 in nominal damages and denied Bay Point’s request for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses. Finding no reversible error, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's judgment. View "Bay Point Properties, Inc. v. Mississippi Transportation Commission" on Justia Law

by
The mayor and the board of aldermen of the City of Laurel, Mississippi unanimously passed an ordinance to extend Laurel’s boundaries, but the Pendorff Community Association contested the annexation. Following a bench trial, the Chancery Court of Jones County ruled in favor of Laurel and entered an order approving the annexation. Pendorff appealed the chancery court’s ruling. After reviewing the record, the Mississippi Supreme Court could the chancery court’s approval of the annexation was reasonable. Therefore, the Court affirmed. View "Pendorff Community Association, LLC v. City of Laurel" on Justia Law

by
The City of Petal’s March 30, 2017 Amended Annexation Ordinance sought to add six square miles, spread across five different locations, to the City’s limits. The proposed annexation would have also added 296 residents to the City. For the Special Chancellor to approve the City’s petition to ratify, the City had to prove the annexation was reasonable. The chancellor found the City did not fully meet that burden. After trial, the chancellor found a modified annexation acceptable, determining the City already had sufficient available land within its current limits for residential and commercial development. And he found it more beneficial and reasonable for the City to update zoning and improve infrastructure than to approve annexation of an industrial area and two mostly undeveloped and unpopulated areas. There were two smaller proposed areas the judge deemed reasonable for annexation. The City’s last annexation, finalized in 2003, resulted in some parcels or tracts of land erroneously split between the City and Forrest County. So the chancellor granted the City's petition (as modified) to correct those errors. The City appealed. Finding the chancellor's decision supported by substantial and credible evidence, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed his decision. View "In the Matter of the Enlargement & Extension of the Municipal Boundaries of the City of Petal, Mississippi" on Justia Law

by
Matthew Wiggins appealed a decision of a special court of eminent domain to the County Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, approving the City of Clinton’s exercise of eminent domain. Wiggins bought property in March of 2016. At the time, the structures located there were dilapidated and were in need of extensive structural repairs. Soon after Wiggins took possession of the properties, Clinton found that the properties should be demolished due to neglect. Clinton assessed 1,434 separate code violations to property Wiggins owned. Wiggins pleaded guilty to the violations on January 26, 2017. Clinton then found additional violations against Wiggins at those properties and at other properties he owned in Clinton. Wiggins was found guilty of two violations by the County Court of Hinds County in 2018. The remaining violations were dismissed. In June 2018, Clinton adopted an urban-renewal plan. Wiggins' parcel was within the renewal area, and sought to take it. The special court found Clinton’s exercise of eminent domain proper. After review, the Mississippi Supreme Court found sufficient evidence in the special court record to support the taking my eminent domain. Similarly, the Court determined the record offered no evidence to demonstrate the determination of the special court was manifestly wrong. Therefore, judgment was affirmed. View "Wiggins. v. City of Clinton" on Justia Law

by
Following a heavy rain on April 2-3, 2017, several homes in the Mill Creek Place Subdivision in Rankin County, Mississippi flooded and were damaged. Several homeowners, whose homes had been damaged, sued the County for failing to properly maintain Mill Creek, which is adjacent to the Mill Creek Place Subdivision. Rankin County filed a Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the complaint. The trial court granted Rankin County’s motion, finding that Rankin County was immune from liability—specifically discretionary function immunity—under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act. The homeowners appealed, arguing that Rankin County is not immune. The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed. Taking all of the allegations of the plaintiffs’ complaint as true, Rankin County’s alleged failure to maintain Mill Creek was a case of simple negligence, and "such maintenance decisions do not involve policy considerations." The Court therefore determined the trial court erred by dismissing the complaint based on discretionary function immunity. View "Moses v. Rankin County" on Justia Law

by
The mayor and board of aldermen of the Town of Leakesville, Mississippi adopted an ordinance extending and enlarging the boundaries of the town. The Greene County Chancery Court found Leakesville’s annexation request to be reasonable and entered a decree approving the annexation ordinance. Ollie Mae Clay, Crystal Collins, Christine Holloway, Jimetra Holloway, Voncile Holmes, Latiana Jones, Briggett Peters, Jacques Smith, Martin Ray Smith, Marcia Taylor, Clifton Thomas, Glenda Thomas, Jimmy Washington, and Pinchey Woullard (“Opponents”) appealed, contending the chancellor erred in his findings on seven of the twelve reasonableness factors, and that the chancellor’s findings in those areas were manifestly wrong and not supported by substantial and credible evidence. Find that the chancellor’s approval of the annexation request was supported by the record, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed. View "In the Matter of the Enlarging, Extending and Defining the Corporate Limits and Boundaries of the Town of Leakesville, Greene County, Mississippi" on Justia Law

by
The Tippah County Board of Supervisors abandoned a public road, then rescinded its decision a year and a half later without giving notice to the owners of the land on which the road was located. The Mississippi Supreme Court concluded that doing so violated the landowners’ due-process rights, so it affirmed the circuit court’s order voiding the recision order. View "Tippah County v. Lerose" on Justia Law