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  • AVR, Inc. v. City of St. Louis ParkAVR, Inc. v. City of St. Louis Park
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AVR, Inc. v. City of St. Louis Park

Minnesota Court of Appeals
585 N.W.2d 411 (1998)


A ready-mix concrete plant was constructed in the City of St. Louis Park (defendant) in 1954 and purchased by AVR (plaintiff) in 1974. In 1990, the city adopted a new comprehensive plan providing that the location of the AVR plant was to be rezoned for high-density residential use, and that ready-mix plants would be phased out. Thereafter, the city passed a 1992 rezoning ordinance requiring owners of property with nonconforming uses to meet with the zoning administrator for the determination of a reasonable amortization period. In determining the length of that period, the administrator was to consider a number of factors, including the nature, location, and character of the use, and the benefit to the public and burden on the owner of requiring termination of the use. After considering the applicable factors, the city amended its zoning ordinance to provide an amortization period of two years, after which AVR’s ready-mix use must cease. In its determination of the proper amortization period, the city also considered the remaining useful life of the plant based on conclusions drawn by an accounting firm and a real estate appraisal firm. The firms found that, over the life of the plant, AVR had earned a 560-percent return on its investment, and that the plant had been completely depreciated for income-tax purposes. On this basis, the city determined that the plant had passed its useful life. AVR brought suit, contending that the two-year amortization period was unreasonable. The city moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion, dismissing AVR’s complaint. AVR appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Willis, J.)

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