Plains Grains Limited Partnership v. Board of County Commissioners of Cascade County
Supreme Court of Montana
357 Mont. 61, 238 P.3d 332 (2010)
Southern Montana Electric (SME) and Duane, Mary, Scott, and Linda Urquhart (the Urquharts) sought to have 668 acres of land (the property) in Cascade County rezoned from agricultural to heavy industrial. The property was surrounded on all sides by agricultural land. The purpose of the rezoning was to allow SME, after purchasing the property sold by the Urquharts, to construct and operate a natural-gas-fired power plant known as the Highwood Generating Station (HGS). SME and the Urquharts could have applied for a discretionary special-use permit to build the HGS, but instead sought rezoning to enable SME to create a tax-increment financing district to help finance the HGS. The Board of County Commissioners of Cascade County (the county) (defendant) approved the rezoning. Before the approval, the Cascade County Planning Department provided the county with a report stating that, while the HGS would be incongruous with the existing agricultural use of the land surrounding the property, the HGS could be built with a special-use permit under current zoning and therefore would not be incongruous with the land uses allowed under current zoning. Plains Grains Limited Partnership (Plains) (plaintiff) filed suit in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Cascade County, arguing, inter alia, that the zone change constituted impermissible spot zoning. The district court held that the zone change did not satisfy the three-part test for impermissible spot zoning established in Little v. Board of County Commissioners, 631 P.2d 1282 (Mont. 1981). Plains appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Morris, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.