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Terrazas v. Blaine County

Supreme Court of Idaho
207 P.3d 169 (2009)


Facts

Ed Terrazas and Jackie Weseloh (plaintiffs) submitted an application to the Board of County Commissioners of Blaine County (the Board) (defendant) to subdivide property. The Board denied the application on the ground that the proposed subdivision would disturb the Mountain Overlay District (MOD), defined in the MOD ordinance as (1) hillside slopes exceeding 25 percent and the areas above such slopes, and (2) hillside slopes exceeding 15 percent located in the Scenic Corridor and the areas above such slopes. In the Board’s denial, which was made after multiple public hearings, a site visit, and other review of the evidence, the Board specifically rejected the opinion of Planning and Zoning Administrator Linda Haavik (the Administrator) and Planning and Zoning Senior Planner Tom Bergin that the MOD ordinance contained an exception for developments located on “bench slopes” as opposed to “hillside slopes.” Terrazas and Weseloh appealed the Board’s denial to the district court, arguing that (1) the Administrator had the final authority to determine the MOD’s boundaries; (2) the Board was estopped from applying the MOD ordinance because Terrazas and Weseloh had relied on the Administrator’s opinion; (3) the site visit violated Terrazas’s and Weseloh’s due-process rights; (4) the MOD ordinance was unconstitutionally vague, as Board and Commission members had said they had difficulty interpreting the ordinance; and (5) the Board’s decision was arbitrary and capricious and violated equal protection. The district court affirmed the Board’s denial. Terrazas and Weseloh appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Horton, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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