Posted by: Patricia Salkin | September 17, 2010

KS Appeals Court Upholds Approval of Parking Lot on Land Listed on State Register of Historic Places

The Kansas Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the city council, permitting a church to build a parking lot on a historically preserved parcel it possessed (the land was listed on the State Register of Historic Places).  A local preservation group challenged the decision of the council, which had overruled the objected of the State Historic Preservation Officer.  The District Court found City’s action to allow the construction was arbitrary and capricious.  But the City and the Church appealed, claiming the nonprofit has no standing to sue because the individual members had no pecuniary interest in the property.

The Court of Appeals found that at least two members of the group had alleged injuries specific enough to their own property to confer standing.  The court also found that, despite alternative plans offered by the group, the City’s deliberations were adequate to establish that there was no “feasible and prudent alternative” to the parking lot as required by statute.

Friends of the Bethany Place v. City of Topeka, 222 P.3d 535 (Kan.App. 1/22/2010)

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/CtApp/2010/20100122/100997.pdf  

Special thanks to Deborah Rosenthal, Esq. of Sheppard Mullin for providing this case summary at the 2010 ALI-ABA Land Use Institute.


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