Posted by: Patricia Salkin | July 8, 2014

Utah Appeals Court of Appeals Confirms Time to Appeal a Land Use Decision Runs from Date Actual or Constructive Notice of the Decision is Received

The Greens obtained a land use permit for construction on their property, which included the installation of utility lines that would crossover on a portion of Brown’s Lot. Brown was also informed that the building of a driveway would utilize the full width of the right of way, which in return would tamper with Brown’s usage of his Lot. Brown requested a copy of the permit on September 4, 2010, and Brown then proceeded to send a letter on October 7, 2010 that asked whether the land use permit would be revoked and if not, why. Brown received a reply on October 27, 2010 from the county’s planning director, which stated that the land use permit would remain in effect because there were no appeals filed against the land use permit. Brown then proceeded to file an appeal on November 9, 2010, but the board denied this appeal based on the fact that Brown filed it forty-five days after receiving a copy of the building permit, which did not fall within the board’s fifteen-day filing window. Brown then filed a cross complainant in district court and the district court dismissed Brown’s complaint.

In addressing Brown’s appeal, the appeals court found that Brown’s appeal was properly barred, as Brown failed to cite authority that supports the proposition that the fifteen-day time limit for filing an appeal does not apply when a person who lacks authority makes that decision, and that the issue of whether the planning director had the authority to grant the permit could have been addressed if it was timely appealed. With respect to Brown’s claim that the October 27th reply constituted a new land use decision which restarted the time for appeal, the court ruled that Brown had actual or constructive notice of the land use permit on September 4th, and the October 27th letter was merely a response to Brown’s questions submitted on October 7th, which did not reset the time given for Brown to appeal.

Green v Brown, 2014 WL 2989801 (Utah App. 7/3/2014)

The opinion can be accessed at: http://www.utcourts.gov/opinions/appopin/brown247070314.pdf


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