Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 18, 2016

MO Appeals Court Upholds County Commission’s Decision to Rezone Property

PC Homes, a real estate developer, entered into a purchase agreement to buy real property for the purpose of developing it into the Chapel Ridge Development, a residential single-family community in Platte County. In July 2013, Intervenors submitted an application to the Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone the Chapel Ridge Development property from “agricultural” and “rural estates” to “single family high density.” The planning and zoning commission voted unanimously to deny the application and Intervenors submitted a second application requesting to change the property’s zoning classification to “planned residential.” The Platte County Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to deny Intervenors’ second application. Intervenors then submitted their request to rezone the property to the Platte County Commission. One Commissioner recused himself from the proceedings due to a conflict of interest, one voted against Intervenors’ request, and the Presiding Commissioner voted in favor of it. Since by statute, the Presiding Commissioner’s vote prevailed in the event of a tie, the Commission approved the Intervenors’ request to rezone the Chapel Ridge Development property from “agricultural” and “rural estates” to “planned residential.”

Rita Aust and 41 other Platte County property owners (“Appellants”) appealed the circuit court’s judgment dismissing their petition for a writ of certiorari, declaratory judgment, and preliminary and permanent injunctions against Platte County. At the outset, the court noted the Appellants filed their petition asserting the illegality of the Commission’s decision in the circuit court within 30 days after the decision. However, Appellants named only Platte County and not the Commission, as a party to the case. Accordingly, because Appellants failed to seek a writ of certiorari against the proper party under Section 64.660, and thus failed to file the record within the 30–day period prescribed by Section 536.130, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing Appellants’ petition for writ of certiorari.

Appellants next contended that the court erred in dismissing their request for a declaratory judgment. However, because Section 64.660 of the Platte County Code provided for judicial review of the Commission’s zoning decisions through a petition for writ of certiorari, a declaratory judgment was not available to Appellants since the existence of this legal remedy precluded declaratory relief. Likewise, because Appellants did not plead any facts showing that they lacked an adequate remedy at law, the court did not err in dismissing their request for injunctive relief. The circuit court’s judgment was therefore affirmed.

Aust v Platte County, 2015 WL 9478180 (Mo App 12/29/2015)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: