City of Springfield v. Goff

918 S.W.2d 786 (1996)

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City of Springfield v. Goff

Missouri Supreme Court
918 S.W.2d 786 (1996)

Facts

Section 89.060 of the Missouri Revised Statutes provided that a proposed zoning change could be defeated if (1) at least 30 percent of the landowners affected by the zoning change filed a petition protesting the change and (2) less than two-thirds of the municipality’s legislative body voted in favor of the change. The City of Springfield, Missouri (Springfield) (plaintiff) adopted a charter provision allowing 10 percent of the landowners affected by a proposed zoning change to sign a protest petition that could only be overridden by a vote of three-quarters of the members of the Springfield city council. Lon Goff (defendant) and Debora Goff (defendant) applied for a zoning change to allow them to build a small motel on a site that had previously been zoned for a car wash or self-storage units. A petition protesting the zoning change was filed. The petition was signed by more than 10 percent but fewer than 30 percent of the affected landowners. Sixty-two percent of the Springfield city council voted in favor of the change. Because the zoning change was not approved by a three-quarters majority as required by the charter provision, the city council declared the Goffs’ request defeated. Springfield filed a declaratory-judgment action against the Goffs, requesting that the trial court declare the charter provision valid. The trial court determined that the charter provision conflicted with state statute and was thus invalid. Springfield appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Robertson, J.)

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