Posted by: Patricia Salkin | March 2, 2011

Mississippi Appeals Court Upholds Zoning Map Despite Prior Technical Failings

Bostwick and several others filed a petition asking the City to correct its zoning map to reflect that the 29.42 acre property in question was zoned for agricultural use and not industrial use.  The City denied the request and stated there was no mistake. The City determined that the property was zoned industrial and that following a public hearing in 2001, the property had been properly zoned industrial.  Additionally, the City determined that Bostwick failed to show a mistake in the rezoning of the subject property that was not cured by the 2001 hearing. Bostwick appealed and the circuit court determined that there was insufficient notice of the City’s intent to classify the property as industrial and as such, the City’s decision was arbitrary and capricious.  Appellants intervened and appealed the circuit court’s decision.

The Mississippi appeals court reversed, noting that they were unable to determine why the property was changed from agricultural to industrial use but that this change had been in place since 1997.  In 2001, the zoning map reflected the change from 1997 but it was not until 2008 that Bostwick challenged the map. While there may have been technical failings, the Court concluded that these were insufficient to invalidate the City’s official zoning map that had been relied on by the City and the property owner for many years.  The Court determined that the challenge was untimely and as such, the appellees were estopped from bringing such a challenge.

Riverside Traffic Systems, Inc. v. Bostwick,  2011 WL 294392 (Miss. App. 2/12011).

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.mssc.state.ms.us/Images/HDList/..%5COpinions%5CCO67620.pdf


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