Posted by: Patricia Salkin | August 18, 2016

SD Supreme Court Determines Circuit Court Lacked Authority to Declare Underlying Ordinances Relating to Conditional Use Permits Invalid

Petitioners appealed the Beadle County Board of Adjustment’s decision granting a conditional use permit (CUP) to Westside Gilts RE, LLC. Petitioners argued that the Board lacked authority to issue the permit because the county zoning ordinances, which authorized the Board to grant the permit, were improperly enacted. The circuit court agreed, reversing the Board’s decision and declaring the 2011 Ordinances invalid, and the Board appealed.

On appeal the Board argued that the statutes which authorize a circuit court to resolve an appeal from a CUP “do not support an examination into the propriety of the underlying zoning ordinance.” As the validity of the Ordinances determined whether the Board had jurisdiction to grant the CUP, the circuit court’s consideration of the Ordinances was proper. Since the Board did not dispute that the Planning Commission failed to validly enact the Ordinances, the circuit court correctly held that the Board was without jurisdiction to grant the CUP. Accordingly, even though the circuit court properly considered the validity of the ordinances in resolving the challenge to the CUP, the scope of review under the certiorari standard did not give the court the power to invalidate the ordinances themselves in this action.

Lastly, the court argued the circuit court abused its discretion by taking judicial notice of the minutes from the Planning Commission’s 2011 meetings. However, the court was faced with a challenge to the Board’s jurisdiction, and the minutes were relevant and material evidence in making this determination. As such, the court affirmed the circuit court’s ruling reversing the Board’s decision to grant the CUP, but reversed the court’s order invalidating the Ordinances, as the order exceeded the options available to the court pursuant to SDCL 11–2–65.

Wedel v Beadle County Commission, 2016 WL 4397973 (SD 8/17/2016)


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