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H.H.B., LLC v. D&F, LLC

Supreme Court of Alabama
843 So.2d 116 (2002)


Facts

D & F, L.L.C. (plaintiff) was a real estate company. D & F wanted to build a CVS pharmacy on a parcel of land it owned. The land required rezoning in order to accommodate the pharmacy. D & F submitted its rezoning application to the city council. In its application, D & F incorporated a number of restrictions to the property beyond what was required for the zoning it was seeking. The planning commission voted 6-2 in favor of recommending approval of the application to the city council. The city council then voted 4-3 in favor of granting the application; however, a supermajority of the council was required for the change to be adopted. D & F’s application was therefore denied. Several decades prior to D & F’s application, a smaller drugstore occupied the same location. Since that time, the land was used for several other purposes; the land had been cleared at the time D & F submitted its proposal. D & F appealed the denial of its application. The court held that the city’s decision not to grant D & F’s application was arbitrary and capricious. The court held that that maintaining the current zoning status of the property bore no substantial relationship to the health or general welfare of the city. Finally, the court held that the city’s decision not to rezone was not fairly debatable because D & F was not seeking to change the basic use of the property. The case was appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Dissent (Johnstone, J.)

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