Posted by: Patricia Salkin | July 19, 2015

CT Appeals Court Upholds Denial of Variances to Expand Nonconforming Structure

Verrillo sought review of a decision rendered by the town zoning board of appeals granting eight variances sought by applicants to expand an existing nonconforming structure. The court, finding in favor of the plaintiff, held that various unofficial statements of the zoning board did not amount to a formal, collective, official statement of the board delineating the decision for its actions. In the absence of a statement of purpose by the board, it is the responsibility of the court to search the entire record to find a basis for the board’s decision. Here, the court made a number of findings after a review of the record. First, applicant’s personal desire to modernize and expand their existing nonconforming residential structure did not constitute a hardship warranting grant of the variance. Second, absent a showing of legal hardship, applicants were not entitled to variances on grounds that their proposal was reasonable. Finally, the small size of applicant’s property, a condition not unique in the district at issue, did not constitute legal hardship.

Verrillo v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Town of Branford, 155 Conn. App. 657, 111 A.3d 473 (2015)

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