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Land Use Law

Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5405

AC45252 - Taylor v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("In this certified zoning appeal, the plaintiff, William W. Taylor, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court denying his appeal from the decision of the defendant Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Westport (commission), denying his 2019 site plan and special excavation and fill permit applications. The principal issue in this certified appeal is whether the court improperly concluded that the commission did not deprive the plaintiff of fundamental fairness by preventing him from being heard on whether his application was sufficiently complete such that it should be adjudicated on its merits. We reverse the judgment of the court because, under the circumstances of this case, the commission was required to provide the plaintiff with an opportunity to be heard on whether his application was complete at the public hearing on his application, prior to denying it for incompleteness.

.....

We reverse the judgment of the Superior Court and remand with direction to sustain the plaintiff's appeal and to order the commission to hold a hearing on the plaintiff's application.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5387

AC45283 - Wihbey v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("In the last few years, an increasing number of courts around the country have been required to address the extent to which local zoning regulations and restrictive covenants that have been in place for decades restrict the relatively recent practice of residential property owners renting their homes on a short-term basis through websites like VRBO and Airbnb. This case represents the first opportunity for an appellate court in Connecticut to address this question. The defendants, the Pine Orchard Association Zoning Board of Appeals (board), Michael B. Hopkins, and Jacqueline C. Wolff, appeal from the judgment of the trial court reversing the decision of the board upholding the issuance of a zoning enforcement officer's order directing the plaintiff, Frances Wihbey, to cease and desist from using his property located at 3 Crescent Bluff Avenue in the Pine Orchard section of Branford (property) for short-term rentals. The defendants claim that the court improperly determined, as a matter of law, that the plaintiff's use of the property was lawful under § IV of the 1994 Pine Orchard Association zoning regulations (1994 regulations) because it was consistent with the definition of a 'single-family dwelling' and, therefore, was a protected nonconforming use. The defendants also claim, in the alternative, that the court should have remanded the case to the board for consideration of whether, even if short-term rentals were permitted under the 1994 regulations, the plaintiff's rental of the property met the other requirements of those regulations. We reject the defendants' claim that the use of any property in the Pine Orchard Association (Pine Orchard) for short-term rentals was impermissible under the 1994 regulations. We agree, however, that the court improperly determined that the plaintiff had established a lawful nonconforming use of the property when there is no indication in the record that the board decided that question in the first instance. Accordingly, we reverse in part the judgment of the court.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5359

SC20682 - Markatos v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("The issue presented by this appeal is whether the trial court abused its discretion in concluding that a motion to intervene was untimely. The plaintiffs, David Markatos and Jennifer Holme, appealed to the trial court from a decision of the named defendant, the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of New Canaan (board), upholding the issuance of a zoning permit to the intervening defendant, Grace Farms Foundation, Inc. (Grace Farms). The proposed intervenors, Timothy J. Curt and Dona M. Bissonnette, sought intervention nearly nineteen months later. The trial court, noting that it had already issued a decision remanding the case to the board for further proceedings, denied their motion to intervene as untimely. The proposed intervenors now appeal from that decision. For the reasons that follow, we reject the proposed intervenors' claim of error and affirm the trial court's denial of the motion to intervene.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5351

AC45200 - 9 Pettipaug, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("In this certified zoning appeal, we consider whether a zoning body has complied with the statutory notice requirement in General Statutes § 8-3 (d) if it published notice in a newspaper that had no subscribers in the relevant municipality but was available on the Internet. The defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Borough of Fenwick, appeals from the summary judgment of the Superior Court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, 9 Pettipaug, LLC, and Eniotna, LLP, holding that the defendant's zoning amendment was invalid because the defendant failed to comply with the applicable statutory notice requirement. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) determined that the defendant failed to satisfy the 'substantial circulation' component of the notice requirement in § 8-3 (d), and (2) shifted the burden of proof to the defendant. We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5227

AC43965 - Tracey v. Miami Beach Assn. ("This case involves an action to enforce a judgment that memorialized the rights of the general public to freely access and use a parcel of waterfront property in Old Lyme. Following a bench trial, the trial court concluded that the prior judgment in question precluded the defendant, Miami Beach Association, from restricting public access and use of that property. On appeal, the defendant challenges the propriety of that determination. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5067

SC20579 - International Investors v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission ("This certified appeal concerns whether a local zoning authority may, by regulation, condition the continuing validity of a special permit on completing development in connection with the permitted use within a specified period of time. The defendant Fairfield Commons, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which (1) affirmed the trial court's judgment insofar as the trial court concluded that the named defendant, the Town Plan and Zoning Commission of the Town of Fairfield (commission), improperly granted Fairfield Commons' request for an extension of its special permit deadline to complete development, and (2) reversed the judgment insofar as the trial court concluded that the special permit could not be subject to a temporal limitation as a matter of law. See International Investors v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission, 202 Conn. App. 582, 606–607, 246 A.3d 493 (2021). With regard to the latter determination, the Appellate Court concluded that the commission had authority to adopt a regulation prescribing a temporal condition for special permits; see id., 599; and that a temporal condition does not violate the tenet that special permits run with the land. See id., 606. We agree with those conclusions subject to an important—and, in this case, determinative—limitation that the Appellate Court did not recognize: such a special permit regulation may not prescribe a shorter time limitation for completing development than the statutory period prescribed for completion of development in connection with an accompanying site plan under General Statutes § 8-3 (i) and (m). Because the statutory period governing completion of development in connection with Fairfield Commons' coastal area management site plan (site plan) had not expired, Fairfield Commons' special permit could not have expired for failure to satisfy that condition by force of a municipal regulation. We therefore reverse the Appellate Court's judgment.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5026

AC41208 - One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("This administrative appeal returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court. One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 337 Conn. 806, 256 A.3d 151 (2021) (Elmcroft II). In One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 192 Conn. App. 275, 283–89, 217 A.3d 1015 (2019) (Elmcroft I), rev'd, 337 Conn. 806, 256 A.3d 151 (2021), this court concluded, inter alia, that General Statutes (Rev. to 2003) § 14-55 had not been repealed and required the defendant Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Stamford (board) to consider the suitability of the location in question as a prerequisite to the granting of a certificate of location approval in accordance with General Statutes § 14-54. Following its grant of certification to the defendants, Pisano Brothers Automotive, Inc., and Pasquale Pisano; see One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 333 Conn. 936, 218 A.3d 594 (2019); the Supreme Court concluded, as a matter of law, that § 14-55 had been repealed by Public Acts 2003, No. 03-184, § 10. See One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals, supra, 337 Conn. 809–10. The court thus reversed the judgment of this court and remanded the matter to us with direction to consider the remaining claims of the plaintiff, One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC. See id., 826.

In accordance with that order, we now consider whether the Superior Court properly rejected the plaintiff's claims that the board (1) lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the application due to defective legal notice, (2) violated the plaintiff's right to fundamental fairness in administrative proceedings, (3) applied an improper legal standard in granting the certificate of location approval, and (4) failed to 'consider or distinguish' a prior denial of a certificate of approval application for the location in question. We affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the Superior Court.")

  • AC41208 Concurrence & Dissent - One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals


Land Use Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4921

SC20541 - McLoughlin v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The principal issue in this certified appeal is whether the Appellate Court's decision in St. Joseph's High School, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Commission, 176 Conn. App. 570, 170 A.3d 73 (2017) (St. Joseph's), allows a zoning commission to deny an application for a special use permit based on the applicant's noncompliance with the general standards enumerated in the zoning regulations, despite its full compliance with the technical requirements contained therein. The plaintiffs, B. Shawn McLoughlin and Mono-Crete Step Co. of CT, LLC (Mono-Crete), appeal, upon our grant of their petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the trial court's dismissal of their appeal from the decision of the defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Bethel (commission), to deny their application for a special permit to construct a crematory on their property. See McLoughlin v. Planning & Zoning Commission, 200 Conn. App. 307, 309, 334, 240 A.3d 709 (2020). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the Appellate Court (1) improperly interpreted its decision in St. Joseph's to allow nonspecific objections to the crematory based on the general standards contained in the zoning regulations to serve as a basis for the denial of their application, and (2) incorrectly concluded that the commission's denial of their application was supported by substantial evidence. Although we conclude that the Appellate Court correctly determined that the precedent set by its holding in St. Joseph's permits objections based on the general standards in the zoning regulations to serve as the basis for the denial of a special permit application, we nevertheless agree with the plaintiffs' argument that the commission's denial of their application was not supported by substantial evidence. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Land Use Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4888

SC20595 - High Ridge Real Estate Owner, LLC v. Board of Representatives ("The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the defendant, the Board of Representatives of the City of Stamford (board of representatives), properly considered a protest petition that opposed zoning amendments approved by the Zoning Board of the City of Stamford (zoning board). The plaintiff, High Ridge Real Estate Owner, LLC, filed an application with the zoning board to amend the zoning regulations of the city of Stamford (city). The zoning board approved the zoning amendment. Thereafter, local property owners filed a protest petition pursuant to § C6-40-9 of the Stamford Charter (charter), which opposed the amendment. The board of representatives determined that the protest petition was valid and, thereafter, considered and rejected the amendment. The plaintiff appealed from the decision of the board of representatives to the trial court, claiming that the board of representatives did not have the authority to consider whether the protest petition was valid, and asserting that the petition was not valid because it did not contain the signatures of 'at least [300] landowners' anywhere in the city, as required by § C6-40-9. The trial court sustained the plaintiff's appeal. Although we conclude that the board of representatives did not have the authority to determine the validity of the protest petition, we conclude that it was a valid petition because it contained the requisite number of signatures. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court sustaining the plaintiff's appeal and remand the case to that court to determine whether the board of representatives properly rejected the amendment.")

  • SC20595 Concurrence - High Ridge Real Estate Owner, LLC v. Board of Representatives

SC20578 - Strand/BRC Group, LLC v. Board of Representatives ("The dispositive issue in this appeal is whether the defendant, the Board of Representatives of the City of Stamford (board of representatives), had the authority to approve a protest petition that objected to master plan amendments approved by the Planning Board of the City of Stamford (planning board). The plaintiffs, The Strand/BRC Group, LLC, 5-9 Woodland, LLC, Woodland Pacific, LLC, and Walter Wheeler Drive SPE, LLC, filed an application with the planning board to amend the master plan of the city of Stamford (city). Shortly afterward, the planning board filed its own application to amend the city's master plan. After the planning board approved both applications with some modifications, local property owners filed a protest petition under § C6-30-7 of the Stamford Charter (charter). The board of representatives determined that the protest petition was valid and rejected the planning board's approval of the amendments. The plaintiffs appealed from the decision of the board of representatives to the trial court, which sustained the plaintiffs' appeal. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

  • SC20578 Dissent - Strand/BRC Group, LLC v. Board of Representatives

AC43209 - Newtown v. Gaydosh ("The defendants, Gary Gaydosh, Barbara Gaydosh, and Justin Gaydosh, appeal from the judgment of the trial court granting the motion for contempt filed by the plaintiffs, the town of Newtown (town) and its zoning enforcement officer, Gary Frenette, for the defendants' alleged violation of a stipulated judgment entered into by the plaintiffs and the defendants and rendered by the court to remedy zoning violations on the defendants' property. On appeal, the defendants claim that (1) the court's finding that they had violated the terms of the judgment was not supported by the evidence and (2) the court abused its discretion with respect to the sanctions imposed as a result of its finding of contempt. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4790

AC44130 - Parker v.Zoning Commission ("The plaintiffs, Robert L. Parker, Peter E. Rogness, and Randi M. Solomon, trustee for the Randi M. Solomon Revocable Trust, appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court denying their appeal from the decision of the defendant Zoning Commission of the Town of Washington (commission) to grant the application of the defendant 101 Wykeham Road, LLC (applicant), to modify a special permit previously approved by the commission in 2013 pursuant to a settlement agreement. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly concluded that the application did not constitute an impermissible expansion of both a nonconforming structure and a nonconforming use. The plaintiffs further claim that the court 'failed to require compliance with [the] special permit standards' contained in the Washington Zoning Regulations (regulations). We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")



Supreme Court Land Use Law Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4781

SC20478 - Pfister v. Madison Beach Hotel, LLC (Zoning, permanent injunction; "The plaintiffs Cecilia Pfister, Margaret P. Carbajal, Katherine Spence, Emile J. Geisenheimer, Susan F. Geisenheimer, Henry L. Platt, Douglas J. Crowley, and 33 MBW, LLC, appeal from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court, which granted the plaintiffs' request for a permanent injunction prohibiting the 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 (hotel). The plaintiffs claim that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the trial court had abused its discretion in granting the injunction because the concerts do not violate the Madison zoning regulations. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4698

AC44090 - Savin Gasoline Properties, LLC v. Commission on the City Plan (Zoning; administrative appeal; motion for vacatur; "Having considered the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we conclude that the appeal is moot and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal. Furthermore, because we conclude that this appeal became moot through no fault of Savin; see State v. Boyle, 287 Conn. 478, 489, 949 A.2d 460 (2008); In re Jessica M., 250 Conn. 747, 749, 738 A.2d 1087 (1999); we grant Savin's motion for vacatur and vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand with direction to the trial court to order the commission to vacate the special permit, corresponding site plan and § 14-321 approvals.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4690

SC20549 - Tillman v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The principal question raised in this appeal is whether the zoning authority granted to municipalities by General Statutes § 8-2 permits the use of a zoning device known as a planned development district. The plaintiffs, John Tillman and Judith Tillman, appeal from the decision of the trial court dismissing their appeal from the decision of the named defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Shelton (commission), approving an application for such a district submitted by the defendant Shelter Ridge Associates, LLC (Shelter Ridge). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that (1) this court's decision in Campion v. Board of Aldermen, 278 Conn. 500, 899 A.2d 542 (2006), which concluded that the special act authorizing zoning in the city of New Haven allows for the creation of a planned development district, is inapplicable to municipalities that derive their authority to zone from § 8-2, (2) the planned development district proposed by Shelter Ridge violates the uniformity requirement contained in § 8-2, and (3) the commission's decision resulted in an unlawful subdivision. For the reasons that follow, we reject each of these claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4668

SC20587 - South Windsor v. Lanata ("The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether the Appellate Court properly remanded this case to the trial court for a new trial, rather than a proceeding limited to damages, after reversing in part the judgment of the trial court, which assessed a fine and imposed injunctive relief for certain zoning violations pursuant to General Statutes § 8-12. The plaintiffs, the town of South Windsor (town) and its zoning enforcement officer, Pamela Oliva, appeal, upon our grant of their petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing in part the judgment of the trial court in their favor and remanding the case for a new trial on count two of their complaint. South Windsor v. Lanata, 203 Conn. App. 89, 92, 115, 247 A.3d 626 (2021). On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that, after concluding that the trial court had improperly assessed a fine on the named defendant, Kristin Lanata, pursuant to § 8-12 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 Appellate Court improperly remanded the case for a new trial on that count, rather than a proceeding limited to damages. Because there is no remaining dispute as to the defendant's liability for the zoning violations, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court in part.

. . .

The judgment of the Appellate Court is reversed in part and the case is remanded to that court with direction to reverse the judgment of the trial court as to count two of the complaint only as to its determination of fines and remedies, and to remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings as to damages and remedies.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4630

AC42866 - 2772 BPR, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission (Zoning appeal; denial of site development plan application; "The plaintiff, 2772 BPR, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying its appeal from the decision of the defendant, the Planning & Zoning Commission of the Town of North Branford (commission), in which the commission denied the plaintiff's site development plan application to build a facility to be used for the bulk storage of propane. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court erred by (1) upholding the commission's consideration of off-site traffic concerns, the preparedness of municipal services, and the potential impact on property values when conducting an administrative review of its site development plan application, and (2) raising independently a reason to deny the appeal that was not one of the bases for the commission's decision to deny the application. We agree with the plaintiff's first claim, and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case with direction to render judgment sustaining the plaintiff's appeal and directing the commission to approve the plaintiff's site development plan application.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4523

AC43273 - Boyajian v. Planning & Zoning Commission (“This appeal requires us to consider whether the plaintiffs, who failed to appeal from a decision of the local zoning board of appeals to grant a variance; see General Statutes § 8-8 (b); may nevertheless collaterally attack the validity of that variance by opposing, before the local planning and zoning commission, a special permit application related to the property to which the variance attached. We conclude that the plaintiffs may not collaterally attack the validity of the variance.”)


Land Use Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4469

SC20374 - Farmington-Girard, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The primary issues that are before us in this appeal are (1) whether a zoning administrator has the authority to take conclusive action on an application for a special permit, and (2) whether an applicant whose special permit application is rejected as void by a zoning administrator on the ground that it was incomplete must exhaust its administrative remedies by appealing that action to a zoning board of appeals....

We conclude that the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that the city's zoning administrator had the authority to void the plaintiff's application for a special permit. We further conclude that the plaintiff could not have appealed to the board from the action of the zoning administrator because it was not a legal decision for purposes of General Statutes § 8-6, which governs such appeals. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4464

AC43853 - Berka v. Middletown (Zoning; municipal blight citation; anti-blight ordinance; whether trial court properly granted defendants' motion to strike plaintiff's request for jury trial, etc.; "The plaintiff . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his petition to reopen a municipal blight citation assessment and upholding a failure to pay fines notice issued by the defendant city of Middletown (city), with respect to six blight violations that existed on the plaintiff's rental property located at 5 Maple Place in Middletown (property). Specifically, the plaintiff claims that (1) he should have been granted a jury trial, (2) he should have been allowed to raise constitutional issues related to the blight ordinance at his appeal hearing, (3) the blight citation violated his constitutional rights, (4) boarded windows should not constitute blight, (5) it was neither fair nor reasonable to expect him to pour concrete and to paint in the winter, (6) the blight enforcement officer was not qualified to make structural assessments about the property, (7) the siding on his home was not 'seriously damaged,' (8) the outside structural walls of his home were watertight, (9) there was no garbage, rubbish, or refuse being stored or accumulated in public view, and (10) the hearing officer . . . had a conflict of interest. We disagree, and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4396

AC42885, AC42886 - Peterson v. iCare Management, LLC ("These two appeals arise from consolidated cases. The defendants in both actions, iCare Management, LLC, SecureCare Realty, LLC, and SecureCare Options, LLC (defendants), appeal from the judgments of the trial court denying their motions for summary judgment, in which they argued that the plaintiffs' claims were barred by res judicata and/or collateral estoppel. On appeal, the defendants claim that the trial court erred in denying their motions because the plaintiffs' claims were previously litigated in an earlier action. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4343

AC42973 - South Windsor v. Lanata (Zoning; "The defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, the town of South Windsor (town) and its zoning enforcement officer . . . . On appeal, the defendant claims (1) that a February 24, 2017 cease and desist order was unconstitutionally vague as to the conduct to which it applied, (2) that the court erred in failing to conclude that she was justified in not complying with the February 24, 2017 cease and desist order on the basis that she had been instructed by both the police and her insurer not to touch or remove any of the personal property located in the backyard of her property, and (3) that the court misapplied General Statutes § 8-12 in assessing a fine for wilful violation of the town's zoning regulations. We conclude that the court abused its discretion in imposing a fine for a zoning violation that covered a time period during which she was under orders not to disturb the property. Accordingly, we reverse the decision of the trial court as to count two of the plaintiffs' complaint, which alleges the zoning violation, and remand for a new trial on that count. . . .the judgment is affirmed in all other respects.")