Kids Zone Realty LLC v. Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Shelton; Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Shelton v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Shelton
Apparent 1st Impression On Automatic Approval After 90 Days
Land Use and Planning | Residential and Commercial Real Estate
- Ansonia/Milford J.D., at Milford
- CV13-6012979 and CV13-6014176
- Apr 24 2014 (Date Decided)
- Matasavage, J.
A 90-day period during which, if no decision is made, approval is automatic, begins to run when the P&Z votes to review a zoning application. On Jan. 4, 2013, the plaintiff, Kids Zone Realty LLC, applied for a special exception to operate a daycare in a residential, R-1, zoning district. On January 10, the defendant planning and zoning commission met and voted to review the plaintiff’s application. On April 9, 2013, the P&Z unanimously voted, 6 to 0, to deny the plaintiff’s application. Kids Zone appealed, and the Zoning Board of Appeals voted to overturn the P&Z. In consolidated appeals, Kids Zone appealed the decision of the P&Z to the Superior Court, and the P&Z appealed the decision of the ZBA. Kids Zone claimed that the P&Z did not act within 90 days of the date that the application was received, and that the application was automatically approved, pursuant to Section 33.3 of the zoning regulations. The court did not find any court decisions directly on point, concerning when the 90-day period begins. The court relied on C.G.S. §8-7d, which provides, “[T]he date of receipt of a petition, application, request or appeal shall be the day of the next regularly scheduled meeting of such commission, board or agency, immediately following the day of submission to such commission.” The court found that the 90-day period began on January 10, when the P&Z voted to review the application. The P&Z acted timely, within 89 days of January 10. On the merits, the municipal chief of police expressed opposition to the plaintiff’s proposal, because of traffic and safety concerns. The P&Z did not act arbitrarily when it denied the application, because it would generate increased traffic. Substantial evidence existed that the proposed day care would affect the residential character of the neighborhood, because it would require a dumpster, a retaining wall, nine parking spaces and a sign. The court dismissed Kids Zone’s appeal from the decision of the P&Z. The court also found that the ZBA abused its discretion, because the ZBA wrongly concluded the P&Z did not act timely, within 90 days.