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Land Use Law

Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3681

AC41220 - Autumn View, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of East Haven, appeals from the decision of the Superior Court, sustaining the appeal of the plaintiffs, Autumn View, LLC (Autumn View), Statewide Construction Corporation, and Vicki Imperato. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that (1) the September 27, 2016 affordable housing application filed by the plaintiffs pursuant to § 8-30g was not a new application, (2) the September 27, 2016 application complied with a remand order issued by the Superior Court, (3) evidence regarding the failure to comply with town regulations did not support the defendant's denial of the application, and (4) evidence of how the storm water drainage aspects of the application posed significant dangers to human health and safety did not support the defendant's denial of the application. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.")

AC41696 - Putnam Park Apartments, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The plaintiffs, Putnam Park Apartments, Inc. (Putnam Park), and Putnam Hill Apartments, Inc. (Putnam Hill), appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court affirming the decision of the defendant Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Greenwich (commission), which had approved the special permit and site plan applications of the defendant Neighbor to Neighbor, Inc. (Neighbor), to construct a new building on property, owned by the defendant Parish of Christ Church (Church) and leased to Neighbor, abutting the plaintiffs' properties. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly (1) agreed with the commission's interpretation of § 6-94 (b) (1) of the Greenwich building zone regulations (regulations), (2) concluded that the commission properly found that the record contained substantial evidence that Neighbor's proposal was consistent with §§ 6-15 and 6-17 of the regulations, and (3) concluded that § 6-95 of the regulations did not apply to Neighbor's special permit application. 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=3646

AC41208 - One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("The plaintiff, One Elmcroft Stamford, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court denying its appeal from the decision of the defendant Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Stamford (board), approving the application of the defendant Pasquale Pisano (defendant) to locate the defendant used car business, Pisano Brothers Automotive, Inc. (Pisano Brothers), at 86 Elmcroft Road in Stamford. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly (1) determined that the defendant had standing to apply to the board for approval of the application, (2) upheld the board's decision, despite the board's failure to review the application in accordance with General Statutes § 14-55, and (3) searched beyond the board's stated reason for approval of the application. We disagree with the plaintiff's first claim but agree with the plaintiff's second and third claims. Accordingly, we reverse 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=3616

AC40519 - Garden Homes Management Corp. v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission (Zoning; "The defendant, the Town Plan and Zoning Commission of the Town of Fairfield (commission), appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court sustaining the appeal of the plaintiffs Garden Homes Management Corporation (Garden Homes) and Garden Homes Residential, L.P., from the decision of the commission denying Garden Homes' application to construct an affordable housing development. On appeal, the commission claims that (1) reversing the court's decision will serve the public interest; (2) the court improperly declined to review certain evidence presented to the commission on remand; (3) the commission has satisfied its burden under General Statutes § 8-30g on the basis of fire safety deficiencies in Garden Homes' site plans; and (4) the commission has satisfied its burden under § 8-30g on the basis of pedestrian and traffic safety concerns. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3593

AC40976 - Monroe v. Ostrosky (Injunction; "The defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to open and to vacate the court's judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, the town of Monroe and several of its agencies and employees. The defendant claims that he did not have notice of and an opportunity to be heard at an evidentiary hearing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40975 - Newtown v. Ostrosky (Injunction; "The defendant . . . appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to dismiss the action and to open and vacate the court's prior judgment that had been rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, the town of Newtown and several of its agencies and employees. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the plaintiffs' claims, (2) he was deprived of his due process right to notice and the opportunity to be heard on the merits of his case, and (3) the court had continuing jurisdiction to enforce and to modify its injunctive orders even if the motion to open and to vacate judgments was untimely. 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=3538

AC41601 - Farmington-Girard, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission of the City of Hartford, The Pamela Corporation et al. v. Planning & Zoning Commission of the City of Hartford ("The plaintiff Farmington-Girard, LLC, appeals from the judgments of the trial court, rendered after a trial to the court, dismissing the plaintiff's four consolidated appeals that challenged text amendments to the Hartford Zoning Regulations (regulations) and zoning map changes made by the defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Hartford (commission), for failure to exhaust its administrative remedies. In this appeal, the plaintiff claims that (1) the trial court improperly concluded that it was required to appeal to the city's Zoning Board of Appeals (board) and, thus, failed to exhaust its administrative remedies, and (2) the defendant is estopped from applying the current regulations to the plaintiff's property. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3492

SC20061 - Griswold v. Camputaro (Zoning; "This certified appeal arises from a consolidated zoning appeal and enforcement action relating to a manufacturing facility located in Jewett City, which had been subject to a long-standing stipulated judgment imposing various restrictions on its operation since 1997 (1997 stipulated judgment). After a short calendar hearing held on November 16, 2015, the trial court opened and modified the 1997 stipulated judgment by agreement of the parties. The issue on appeal concerns the fact that the public had been informed that the parties' joint motion to open and modify the judgment would not be heard until one week later, at a short calendar hearing scheduled to occur on November 23, 2015. A landowner who resides near the manufacturing facility, Kathryn B. Londé, appeared at the publicly noticed short calendar hearing on November 23, 2015, intending to a file a motion to intervene pursuant to General Statutes § 22a-19 for the purpose of raising claims of environmental harm, only to learn that the hearing had occurred one week earlier and that the 1997 stipulated judgment already had been modified. Londé nonetheless filed her motion to intervene. On December 9, 2015, another proposed intervenor, Jeffrey Ryan, also filed a motion to intervene pursuant to § 22a-19, alleging environmental harm. The trial court denied the motions to intervene as untimely.

Londé and Ryan (proposed intervenors) appealed to the Appellate Court, which reversed the judgment of the trial court. Griswold v. Camputaro, 177 Conn. App. 779, 802, 173 A.3d 959 (2017). The Appellate Court concluded that the trial court's expedited consideration of the parties' joint motion to open and modify the 1997 stipulated judgment 'violated our rules of practice,' 'violated the [proposed] intervenors' right to timely, accurate notice,' and denied the proposed intervenors 'their statutory right[s] to intervene pursuant to § 22a-19 (a)' and to 'participate in the hearing on the stipulated settlement' pursuant to General Statutes § 8-8 (n). (Emphasis in original.) Id., 796, 799. We affirm 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=3486

AC41357 - Day v. Perkins Properties, LLC (Nuisance per se; "The defendants, Perkins Properties, LLC, and Mark J. Perkins, Jr., appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, Kieran Day and Jennifer Day. The defendants claim that the court improperly determined that a nuisance per se existed solely on the basis of violations of local zoning regulations. We agree that a violation of a local zoning ordinance in one town cannot be said to constitute a nuisance everywhere in the state of Connecticut as the nuisance per se doctrine requires and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3485

AC40885 - Commissioner of Transportation v. Lagosz (Eminent domain; "The defendant Teresa B. Lagosz appeals from the judgment of the trial court reassessing damages in the sum of $600,000 for the taking of her property by the plaintiff, the Commissioner of Transportation, on May 4, 2015, in connection with the improvement of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail corridor. The defendant's primary claim on appeal is that the court improperly found and summarily enforced, after conducting a hearing pursuant to Audubon Parking Associates Ltd. Partnership v. Barclay & Stubbs, Inc., 225 Conn. 804, 626 A.2d 729 (1993) (Audubon), an oral settlement agreement in the amount of $600,000 as just compensation for the taking by eminent domain of the defendant's real property. Specifically, the defendant claims that (1) the settlement agreement was not inclusive of all the essential terms of the parties' agreement and (2) the court's finding that an enforceable agreement existed was clearly erroneous because it was based on unclear and ambiguous testimony elicited at the Audubon hearing. Conversely, the plaintiff claims that the court, after the Audubon hearing, correctly concluded that there was a settlement agreement in the amount of $600,000 that was just compensation for the taking of the defendant's real property. We agree with the plaintiff and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3454

AC40102 - American Institute for Neuro-Integrative Development, Inc. v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission ("The plaintiff, American Institute for Neuro-Integrative Development, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing its appeal from the decision of the defendant, the Town Plan & Zoning Commission of the Town of Fairfield (commission), in which the commission denied the plaintiff's request for a special exception pursuant to § 27.0 of the Fairfield Zoning Regulations (regulations). On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court erred when it concluded that the commission properly denied the plaintiff's special exception application on the basis of (1) concerns about increased off-site traffic, and (2) the plaintiff's inability to identify specific tenants that would occupy the proposed office spaces. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41209 - Watson v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("The plaintiff, Cindy Watson, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing her appeal from the decision of the defendant Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Glastonbury (board), in which the board affirmed the decision of the defendant zoning enforcement officer, Peter R. Carey, declining to approve the plaintiff's application for permission to conduct a customary home occupation from a home office within her residence. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the Superior Court erred in upholding the decision of the board and dismissing her appeal because the court improperly concluded that (1) the plaintiff needed to prove that her home occupation was 'customary,' in that other people in Glastonbury also were managing off-site companies from a home office, in addition to establishing that it complied with the specific standards set forth in § 7.1 (b) (2) (a) of the Glastonbury Building Zone Regulations (regulations), and (2) the determining factor of whether a specific customary home occupation is allowed under the regulations is by a consideration of the nature of the business to which the home occupation relates and whether any part of that business is conducted off-site. We reverse 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=3367

AC40710 - Patty v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The plaintiffs . . . appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their appeal from the decision of the defendant Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Wilton (commission), granting the application of the defendant Wilton Youth Football, Inc., for an amendment to an existing special permit and for site plan approval to allow the installation of an artificial turf field at the Middlebrook School in Wilton. On appeal, the plaintiffs claim that the court improperly concluded that the commission's approval did not include prohibited trailers on the property. Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that the only evidence in the record before the commission was that the defendant's application included trailers that were prohibited by § 29-4.C.9 of the Wilton Zoning Regulations (regulations). Our review of the record reveals that the plaintiffs failed to raise this claim before the commission, and, accordingly, we decline to review it.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3348

AC40407 - Wethersfield v. PR Arrow, LLC (Zoning; "In this zoning enforcement action, the defendant, PR Arrow, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting permanent injunctive relief in favor of the plaintiffs, the town of Wethersfield (town) and its zoning enforcement officer, Justin LaFountain. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction in multiple respects, (2) the court improperly applied the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies, (3) the zoning regulation in question is void for vagueness, (4) the court improperly interpreted that regulation, (5) the court improperly granted the permanent injunction, (6) the injunction lacked sufficient clarity and definiteness, (7) the court abused its discretion in imposing daily fines pursuant to General Statutes § 8-12, (8) the court abused its discretion in awarding costs and attorney's fees pursuant to § 8-12 without making a finding that it wilfully violated the zoning regulations and (9) the court improperly found the defendant in contempt. We dismiss as moot the defendant's jurisdictional challenge with respect to the standing of LaFountain. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all other respects.")



Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3317

AC39999 - Truskauskas v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("The plaintiff, Don Truskauskas, appeals from the judgments of the trial court finding him in contempt for violating the terms of a stipulated judgment involving himself, the defendant, the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Harwinton (board), and the intervenors, Ronald Genovese and Jessica Genovese, who own property abutting that of the plaintiff. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly interpreted the March 30, 2016 stipulated judgment and found that he wilfully had violated the stipulated judgment. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.)


Land Use Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3281

SC20011 - Cady v. Zoning Board of Appeals ("The defendant GM Retirement, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the administrative appeal of the plaintiff, Bruce A. Cady. In the present appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court improperly (1) concluded that the defendant's proposed revision of boundary lines between certain adjacent lots constituted a new subdivision under General Statutes § 8-18, thereby implicating § IV.B.5 of the Burlington Zoning Regulations (regulations), which requires an increased minimum lot area for new subdivisions, and (2) applied § III.F.7 of the regulations, which governs the establishment of nonconforming uses on preexisting lots. We conclude that the trial court improperly determined that the defendant's proposed lot line revisions constituted a subdivision and improperly applied § III.F.7 of the regulations.

More specifically, we conclude that, when the town of Burlington (town) adopted § IV.B.5 of the regulations on October 1, 1983, the defendant's property contained three conforming, buildable lots, and that the proposed lot line revisions at issue in this case maintained three conforming, buildable lots. Thus, the defendant's proposed lot line revisions did not create a subdivision because those revisions did not divide one parcel of land into three or more parts. As a result, we further conclude that the defendant did not propose the establishment of a nonconforming use because the property lines, as revised, met the size requirements applicable to lots in existence as of October 1, 1983. Therefore, the trial court improperly applied § III.F.7 of the regulations to the present case. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Property Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3167

SC20044 - Hartford v. CBV Parking Hartford, LLC (Eminent domain; "The plaintiff, the city of Hartford, exercised its power of eminent domain to take certain property owned by three defendants to advance the city's redevelopment plan that included the construction of a minor league baseball stadium in close proximity to the defendants' property. The defendants, believing that the compensation offered by the city did not account for the increased value and prospects for their property due to the planned ballpark, appealed from the statement of compensation filed by the city. The trial court sustained the appeal, increasing the amount of compensation by approximately $3 million and ordering the city to pay interest at the rate of 7.22 percent. The city appeals from that judgment, claiming that the trial court (1) improperly valued the property on the basis of an unreasonable assumption that the defendants would assemble their parcels with adjoining properties owned by the city for commercial development, and (2) exceeded its authority under General Statutes § 37-3c in its award of interest. We disagree with the city's first claim but agree with its second claim.")


Land Use Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3095

SC19730 - Kutcha v. Arisian (Zoning; "'The outdoor sign or symbol is a venerable medium for expressing political, social and commercial ideas.' (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Metromedia, Inc. v. San Diego, 453 U.S. 490, 501, 101 S. Ct. 2882, 69 L. Ed. 2d 800 (1981). The primary issue we must resolve in this case is whether General Statutes § 8-2, which authorizes a municipality's zoning commission to regulate the height, size, and location of 'advertising signs and billboards,' permits a municipality to regulate signs erected on residential property that disparage a commercial vendor.

The plaintiff, the zoning enforcement officer for the city of Milford, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying the plaintiff's request for permanent injunctions ordering the defendant homeowner . . . to remove signs on her property that were not in compliance with city zoning regulations and precluding the defendant from occupying the property until she obtained certain certificates required after home improvements had been made to her residence. We conclude that the defendant's signs are not 'advertising signs,' and, accordingly, the trial court properly concluded that municipal regulation of such signs is outside the scope of the authority granted under § 8-2. We further conclude that the trial court properly exercised its discretion when it declined to issue an injunction precluding the defendant from occupying the subject premises.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=862

AC38290 - Lane v. Cashman (Zoning; "The defendants, Jeffrey S. Cashman and Patricia Cashman, appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered in favor of the plaintiff . . . the zoning enforcement officer for the town of Clinton. The plaintiff brought the underlying action against the defendants to enforce orders to discontinue alleged zoning violations occurring at the defendants' property in Clinton. The defendants claim that the court erred in (1) striking their special defenses related to nonconforming uses and (2) granting the plaintiff's motions in limine. 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=741

AC38889 - Griswold v. Camputaro (Zoning enforcement action; "The would-be intervenors . . . appeal from the judgment of the trial court rendered when the court, Vacchelli, J., denied their respective motions to intervene that were filed pursuant to General Statutes 22a-19 (a) (1). On appeal, the intervenors claim that it was improper for the court to deny their motions to intervene on the ground that there was no pending proceeding because (1) the plaintiff and the defendants manipulated the timing of the short calendar proceedings to their detriment, (2) they were denied their vested statutory rights under 22a-19 to be heard, and 3) the stipulated judgment at issue was not rendered in compliance with General Statutes 8-8 (n). Under the somewhat unusual procedural circumstances of this case in which our rules of practice were violated, we agree with the intervenors and, therefore, reverse the judgment of the trial court denying the motions to intervene and remand the matter for further proceedings.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=670

AC38816 - St. Joseph’s High School, Inc. v. Planning & Zoning Commission ("The intervening defendants Jeffrey W. Strouse, Barbara M. Strouse, Mukesh H. Shah, Vibhavary M. Shah, Jai R. Singh, Sonali Singh, Dennis J. McEniry, and Joanne McEniry appeal from the judgment of the Superior Court sustaining in part the appeal of the plaintiffs, St. Joseph's High School, Inc. (school), and the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. (diocese), from the decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Trumbull (commission) denying the school's request for a special permit pursuant to Article II, § 1.2.4.4, of the Trumbull Zoning Regulations (regulations). On appeal, the defendants contend that the court improperly concluded that the commission could not deny that request on the basis of noncompliance with general standards contained in the regulations. They further submit that substantial evidence in the record supports the commission's decision. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Superior Court.")


Property Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=602

AC38554 - Stratford v. Hawley Enterprises, Inc. (Eminent domain; "The defendant IP Media Products, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court awarding damages to it for the taking of certain real property by the plaintiff, the town of Stratford . . . The defendant claims that the court erred in concluding that the town was entitled to recover back taxes from the condemnation award. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Land Use Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=557

AC38680 - Maluccio v. Zoning Board of Appeals (Zoning appeal; "This appeal is brought by the defendant, the East Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals (board), from a decision of the trial court sustaining an appeal from the board's decision denying a building permit for a parcel of land owned by the plaintiff . . . that was designated as a 'recreation area' on an original subdivision plan. The defendant claims that the trial court improperly found that the designation of the parcel as a 'recreation area' did not preclude the development of that parcel for residential use. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. ")

AC38078 - Stones Trail, LLC v. Weston (Inverse condemnation; "The plaintiff, Stones Trail, LLC, brought this action against the defendant, the town of Weston (town), arising from its attempts to develop certain real property located in Weston, alleging, inter alia, denial of equal protection of the law in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; denial of procedural due process in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; inverse condemnation or regulatory taking of land in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and inverse condemnation or regulatory taking of land in violation of the fifth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, § 11, of the state constitution. The plaintiff appeals from the trial court's dismissal of its claims on the basis of its determination that the lack of a final decision from the town's Planning and Zoning Commission (commission) rendered them unripe for adjudication. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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