The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Administrative Appeal Supreme Court Opinion

by Dowd, Jeffrey


SC20838 - 9 Pettipaug, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission (Administrative appeal; Zoning appeal, constructive notice, "This certified appeal requires us to consider a significant question in this time of great change in the local journalism industry, namely, how a publication qualifies as "a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality" for purposes of providing constructive notice of that municipality's promulgation of zoning regulations under General Statutes § 8-3 (d). The defendant, the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Borough of Fenwick (commission), appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiffs, 9 Pettipaug, LLC, and Eniotna, LLP. 9 Pettipaug, LLC v. Planning & Zoning Commission, 217 Conn. App. 714, 717, 737, 290 A.3d 853 (2023). On appeal, the commission claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that its publication of notice in The Middletown Press (Press) of an amended zoning regulation did not comply with § 8-3 (d) because none of Fenwick's fourteen year-round households subscribes to the Press and it is not sold anywhere in Fenwick. Given the Press' focus on news items of general interest, its ready availability for purchase in the commercial area of the town of Old Saybrook, in which the borough of Fenwick is located, the fact that the Press' website allows free access to legal notices, and the deference that we afford the commission's long history of using the Press for its legal notices, we conclude that the Press is a newspaper having a substantial circulation in the municipality of Fenwick under § 8-3 (d). Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")