Articles Posted in Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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The thirty-day period under Wis. Stat. 68.13(1) during which certiorari review may be obtained for a town board’s highway order to lay out, alter, or discontinue a highway begins to run on the date that the highway order is recorded by the register of deeds. In this case, the circuit court granted the town boards’ motions to dismiss Appellant’s petitions for certiorari review of highway orders recorded in Rock and Walworth Counties. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for certiorari review in either Walworth County Circuit Court or Rock County Circuit Court because Appellant’s petitions were filed within thirty days of the dates on which the highway orders were recorded by the registers of deeds. View "Pulera v. Town of Richmond" on Justia Law

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The circuit court affirmed the Trempealeau County Environment & Land Use Committee’s denial of a conditional use permit application for non-metallic mineral mining submitted by AllEnergy Corporation and allEnergy Silica, Arcadia, LLC (collectively, AllEnergy). The court of appeals affirmed the circuit court’s order. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Committee applied the factors and considerations set forth in the applicable ordinance and thus kept within its jurisdiction in denying AllEnergy’s application for a conditional use permit; (2) there is substantial evidence to support the Committee’s decision to deny AllEnergy a conditional use permit; and (3) this court does not adopt the new legal doctrine urged by AllEnergy that a conditional use permit applicant is entitled to the permit under certain conditions. View "AllEnergy Corp. v. Trempealeau County Environment & Land Use Committee" on Justia Law

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McKee Family I, LLC (McKee) objected to the City of Fitchburg’s rezoning of two lots from a planned development district (PDD) zoning classification to a residential-medium (R-M) zoning classification. McKee sought declaratory judgment, damages, and injunctive relief on the grounds that the rezoning of the lots was unlawful. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the City. Acknowledging that it did not submit an application for a building permit, McKee appealed, arguing that it had a vested right in developing land under the PDD zoning classification. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that McKee did not have a vested right in the PDD zoning classification when the City rezoned the lots. The court declined to address McKee’s constitutional taking argument, reasoning that it was an undeveloped argument. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) McKee did not have a vested right in developing the property under the PDD zoning classification because it did not apply for a building permit and because a PDD zoning classification does not create contractual expectations upon which developers may rely; and (2) because McKee conditioned its takings claim on its claim for vested rights, the Court need not reach McKee’s constitutional takings claim. View "McKee Family I, LLC v. City of Fitchburg" on Justia Law

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Oneida Seven Generations Corporation proposed a renewable energy facility and sought a conditional use permit to install the facility in the City of Green Bay. The City voted to approve the conditional use permit but later voted to rescind the permit on the grounds that it was obtained through misrepresentation. The circuit court affirmed the City’s decision to rescind. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the City’s decision that the permit was obtained through misrepresentation was not supported by substantial evidence. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, based on the evidence presented, the City could not reasonably conclude that the statements by Oneida Seven’s representative regarding the facility’s operations were misrepresentations. View "Oneida Seven Generations Corp. v. City of Green Bay" on Justia Law

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Amjad Tufail leased property to Midwest Hospitality pursuant to a lease agreement. The City Board of Zoning Appeals ultimately approved Midwest's application for a special use permit to operate a Church's Chicken fast-food restaurant with a drive-through on the property but placed conditions on the permit. Midwest subsequently notified Tufail that it was no longer responsible for lease payments because Tufail made a false representation to Midwest regarding the terms of the lease. Specifically, Midwest contended that Tufail represented that Midwest may not be prevented from using the property for certain specified purposes. Tufail brought this breach of contract action against Midwest. Midwest counterclaimed for breach of contract, deceptive advertising, and unjust enrichment. The trial court ruled in favor of Tufail. The court of appeals reversed, determining that Midwest's early termination of the lease was justified by Tufail's misrepresentation. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Tufail's representation was not false where (1) the representation did not include any use of the property as a Church's Chicken fast-food restaurant with a drive-through; and (2) the circuit court found Midwest was not prevented from using the property for the uses specified in the lease. Remanded. View "Tufail v. Midwest Hospitality, LLC" on Justia Law

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The circuit court dismissed the inverse condemnation claims of several landowners whose property was close or immediately adjacent to the regional airport. The landowners alleged that an extension of the airports runway by 1500 feet amounted to the compensable taking of an easement because the resulting overflights had adverse effects on their properties. The circuit court acknowledged that the subject properties had been adversely affected but concluded that for a taking to be compensable, the property owner must be deprived of practically all of the beneficial use of the property. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the standard for regulatory takings does not apply to physical occupation cases. At issue on appeal was what standard to apply in airplane overflight cases for determining a taking. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a taking occurs in airplane overflight cases when government action results in aircraft flying over a landowner's property low enough and with sufficient frequency to have a direct and immediate effect on the use and enjoyment of the property. View "Brenner v. City of New Richmond" on Justia Law

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The Town of Magnolia granted an application for a livestock facility siting permit submitted by Larson Acres, Inc., but imposed several conditions on the permit. The State Livestock Facilities Siting Review Board affirmed with modifications the permit, determining that certain conditions exceeded the Town's legal authority. The circuit court reversed and remanded the cause to the Siting Board, concluding that the Town acted within its lawful authority when it imposed the conditions. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Town impermissibly conditioned the terms of the siting permit without following the guidelines set forth by the legislature. View "Adams v. State" on Justia Law

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The Town of Dell Prairie, in renewing the Class "B" and "Class B" alcohol beverages licenses (hereinafter "license") of Wisconsin Dolls, reduced the described premises of the license from the entire eight acres of Wisconsin Dolls' resort property to only the Main Bar / Entertainment Building of the resort. The circuit court dismissed Wisconsin Dolls' certiorari action challenging the reduction. The court of appeals affirmed on different grounds, holding that the original license was void because it failed to particularly describe the premises to which it applied. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the original license granted to Wisconsin Dolls was not void due to an insufficient description of the premises; and (2) the Town exceeded its authority when it modified the description of the premises in renewing Wisconsin Dolls' alcohol beverages license, as the Town here did not proceed on a correct theory of law in modifying the license. Remanded to the circuit court to order the Town to restore the premises description to Wisconsin Dolls' former and current alcohol beverages licenses. View "Wis. Dolls, LLC v. Town of Dell Prairie" on Justia Law

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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation acquired a parcel of land owned by Country Side, a portion of which Country Side leased to the Lamar Company. Country Side and Lamar agreed that all proceeds would be transferred to Country Side, save for $120,000, of which the parties were unable to agree to a division. Consequently, Lamar filed a claim for petition, seeking the full amount on deposit. Country Side responded by petitioning for the full amount. The circuit court granted Country Side's petition and ordered the $120,000 to be disbursed to Country Side, concluding that Lamar had lost its right to seek a share of the award of damages issued to Country Side and Lamar by failing to join in Country Side's appeal of the award. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Lamar had not lost its right to seek a share of the award of damages issued to Country Side and Lamar, and therefore, the circuit court improperly dismissed Lamar's claim for petition. Remanded. View "Lamar Co., LLC v. Country Side Rest., Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, several residents of the Town of Cooks Valley, brought a declaratory judgment action against the Town to declare the Town's nonmetallic mining ordinance invalid because the ordinance did not have county board approval. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs. At issue on appeal was whether the mining ordinance was a zoning ordinance. If the ordinance was not a zoning ordinance, county board approval was not required. The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court, holding that, even though the ordinance at issue had some similarities to traditional zoning ordinances, it was not to be classified as a zoning ordinance. Rather, it was a non-zoning ordinance adopted under the Town's police power. View "Zwiefelhofer v. Town of Cooks Valley" on Justia Law