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Graff v. Zoning Board of Appeals

Supreme Court of Connecticut
894 A.2d 285 (2006)


Nicole Graff (plaintiff) owned nine acres of land within the rural Town of Killingworth. Graff kept 14 dogs on the land. Graff tried to address neighbors’ complaints about the dogs, including by surgically de-barking several of her dogs. The planning-and-zoning commission passed a resolution that the keeping of four or fewer dogs in a household was a permissible accessory use of residential property, while the keeping of more than four dogs was not. Graff unsuccessfully appealed to the zoning board of appeals (the Board) (defendant). Graff then sued, and the trial court found in Graff’s favor. The Board appealed, arguing that household pets were accessory land uses subject to limitation under town regulations. Graff argued that the number of household pets was unaddressed by and therefore exempt from regulation. Graff further argued that the keeping of household pets was not a use of land, but rather a use of a house.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Borden, J.)

Concurrence (Katz, J.)

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