Posted by: Patricia Salkin | July 28, 2013

CT Appeals Court Upholds Board’s Denial of Dog Grooming Business as a Home Occupation

Pursuant to zoning regulations of the Black Point Beach Club Association (“board”), which required permits for home occupations, plaintiff, Maureen Lowney (“Lowney”) filed a permit for a dog grooming business to be conducted out of her attached garage. The board denied the permit claiming the business fell outside the guidelines of the zoning regulations for home occupations, and Lowney appealed.

The Court held that zoning boards have a rebuttable presumptive discretion to decide within prescribed limits and consistent with exercise of discretion how to interpret particular sections of its zoning regulations. Absent any findings of unreasonable, arbitrary or illegal exercise of such discretion, the courts will not second guess zoning boards’ interpretations of particular section of the regulation and will affirm.

The trial court had affirmed the board’s denial of the permit, but held that Lowney’s dog grooming business was a proper home occupation under the zoning regulations. The Appellate Court reaffirmed the board’s decision but agreed that the court erred in finding contrary to the board’s interpretation of the regulations. The Court stated, “in applying the law to the facts of a particular case, the board is endowed with a liberal discretion, and its decision will not be disturbed unless it is found to be unreasonable, arbitrary or illegal . . . .”

Lowney v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Black Point Beach Club Ass’n, 2013 WL 3368970 (CT. App. 7/16/2013)

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.jud.state.ct.us/external/supapp/Cases/AROap/AP144/144AP437.pdf

 


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