Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 13, 2017

LA Appeals Court Upholds Decision to Grant Variance for Front-Yard Fence

Raymond Brandt owned property in the Old Metairie Neighborhood Conservation District (“OMNCD”), and applied to the Board for a zoning variance to be allowed to construct a fence in the front yard, with a five foot setback, at a residence that he was building. Brandt’s variance application was opposed by the Metairie Club Gardens Association (MCGA). A public hearing was held and the Board approved Mr. Brandt’s request for a variance, finding a precedent had been set in that there were at least two houses in the neighborhood that had been granted a variance, and that to deny Mr. Brandt his variance would result in his being “deprived of rights and privileges granted to others.”
On appeal, MCGA argued that the trial court committed legal error in failing to enforce the requirements of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinances (CZO). Plaintiff introduced evidence showing that his request for a variance was not opposed by the Environmental Department, the Parish Attorney of the Inspection Code and Enforcement Department, or the Public Works Department. Additionally, the Board considered several letters from surrounding neighbors opposing the fence, the actual structure of the fence, what it would be made of, and how tall it would be. Accordingly, the court affirmed the trial court’s holding that the Board was not arbitrary and capricious in its determination.

Metairie Club Gardens Association, Inc. v. Parish of Jefferson,  2016 WL 7448827 (LA App. 12/28/2016)


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