Smith v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Greenwich

629 A.2d 1089 (1993)

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Smith v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Greenwich

Connecticut Supreme Court
629 A.2d 1089 (1993)

Facts

Under § 101(d) of the Charter of the Town of Greenwich (defendant), the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission may regulate subdivisions such that the land can be used for purposes supporting the health and safety of the town’s citizens. Don Smith (plaintiff) owned property in the town zoned for single homes. In 1987, Smith applied to the Planning and Zoning Commission for division of the property into three separate lots. The Planning and Zoning Commission issued a preliminary approval of the application, subject to the requirement that Smith meet with the Historic District Commission to determine the proper location of a home on one of the lots. After the meeting, the Historic District Commission opposed the subdivision proposal, and the Planning and Zoning Commission denied Smith’s final application, on the basis that it would interfere with the characteristics of the historic district. Smith appealed to the Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals (the board), which affirmed the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision, concluding that the proposal violated subdivision regulations because it did not satisfy the town’s goals of preserving historic and architectural resources. Smith appealed to the trial court, which dismissed the appeal. Smith again appealed. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision, finding that (1) the board was not empowered to consider historical factors when reviewing subdivision applications, (2) “historical factors” is not a fixed standard for subdivision regulation, and (3) the Planning and Zoning Commission’s regulations impinged upon the town’s zoning regulations. The town appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Katz, J.)

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