Posted by: Patricia Salkin | December 20, 2018

NH Supreme Court Dismisses Conflicts Claim on the Part of the ZBA Chair Due to Longtime Relationship with Applicant Since Claim was Untimely

This post was authored by Touro Law student Aisha Scholes ‘20

The Rochester City Council appealed the lower Court’s dismissal of their claims. The plaintiffs updated a local zoning ordinance which eliminated manufactured housing parks.  The Rochester Zoning Board of Adjustment heard a case in which a company, “Toys” requested a variance to expand their manufactured housing park.  This variance was requested after the plaintiff’s instituted the change to the zoning ordinance.  The defendants granted the variance request seemingly without the addition of Toys meeting their burden of proving unnecessary hardship.  The plaintiffs claim that the ZBA chairman is a longtime friend and associate of Toys. There may have been discussions about this transaction outside of an official meeting.  The Court held that the plaintiff did not raise the issue of a potential conflict in a timely manner. “The conflict of interest or potential bias issues must be raised at the earliest possible time in order to allow the local board time to address them.”

Rochester City Council v. Rochester Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 194 A.3d 472 (NH 2018)

 


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