Articles Posted in Zoning, Planning & Land Use

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the order of the circuit court dismissing Appellants’ appeal of a Georgetown-Scott County Planning Commission for lack of jurisdiction. The Planning Commission had approved a plat amendment requested by a developer to remove a planned lake from the development plan applicable to Appellants’ subdivision. Appellants appealed. The circuit court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over the matter because Appellants had not strictly complied with the provisions of Ky. Rev. Stat. 100.347 by taking their appeal within the statutorily-allotted time period. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellants failed to commence their action before the expiration of the time allotted by section 100.347(2). View "Isaacs v. Caldwell" on Justia Law

by
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Board of Adjustment (Board) filed a motion for a temporary injunction pursuant to Ky. R. Civ. P. 65.04 seeking to enjoin Boone Creek Properties, Inc. (Boone Creek) from operating certain commercial recreational activities on property in Fayette County. The circuit court granted the temporary injunction, finding that the activities were in violation of a zoning ordinance and a conditional use permit issued by the Board. The court of appeals concluded that the circuit court had properly granted the injunction. Boone Creek appealed, arguing that the Board failed to satisfy the “irreparable harm” prong of rule 65.04. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) when a governmental entity charged with enforcement of a civil law seeks an injunction restraining an ongoing violation of the law, irreparable harm is presumed; and (2) under the circumstances of this case, the circuit court did not abuse its discretion by granting the requested injunction. View "Boone Creek Props., LLC v. Bd. of Adjustment" on Justia Law

by
Flanagan’s Ale House applied for a retail liquor drink license to replace its restaurant drink license. The Louisville/Jefferson County Government (Louisville Metro) denied the application, relying on Ky. Rev. Stat. 241.075, which prohibits the issuance of a retail drink license to an applicant located in a combination business and residential area of a “city of the first class or consolidated local government” if another similar establishment is located within 700 feet of the establishment. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC Board) affirmed. Flanagan’s appealed, arguing that section 241.075 was unconstitutional local and special legislation in violation of Sections 59 and 60 of the Kentucky Constitution. The Court of Appeals agreed with Flanagan’s and declared the statute unconstitutional. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 241.075 violates Sections 59 and 60 of the Kentucky Constitution. Remanded. View "Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Gov’t v. O’Shea’s-Baxter, LLC" on Justia Law

by
The City of Lebanon sought to annex several hundred acres of nearby property. The owners of the property subject to the annexation, including Appellees, filed a lawsuit against the City to invalidate the annexation ordinance. The trial court granted Appellees’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that the City, by intentionally manipulating the annexation boundaries to guarantee a successful annexation, violated Appellees’ constitutional rights. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the boundaries of territory to be annexed must be “natural or regular” and that the boundaries of the proposed annexation in this case did not meet this standard. The Supreme Court reversed and declared the annexation valid, holding (1) the court of appeals erred in applying a “natural or regular” standard; and (2) the City’s annexation fully complied the the statutory requirements and did not violate Appellees’ constitutional rights. View "City of Lebanon v. Goodin" on Justia Law

by
Appellants, several individuals, contended that a Robertson County passway was a private drive, and Appellees, Robertson County, the County Fiscal Court, and an individual (collectively, Fiscal Court), argued that the passway was a part of the formal county road system of the County. Appellant asked the Fiscal Court to acknowledge there had never been a formal adoption of the passway into the official county road system, but the Fiscal Court declined. Appellants subsequently filed a complaint in the circuit court seeking a declaratory judgment that the passway was not a lawfully adopted county road. The trial court granted Appellants' motion for summary judgment. The Fiscal Court appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by treating the case as an original action pursuant to the declaratory judgment statute instead of an appeal from an action of the County Fiscal Court. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Appellants' action could be brought in the circuit court only as an appeal from the decision of the County Fiscal Court. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because no appealable event occurred under the facts of this case, Appellants properly invoked the declaratory judgment process to challenge the legal status of the passway. View "Whitley v. Robertson County" on Justia Law

by
At dispute in this case was passway located in Robertson County. Appellants, several individuals, contended that the passway was a private drive, whereas Appellees, Robertson County and one individual, contended that the passway was a county road. Appellants unsuccessfully petitioned the county fiscal court to abandon, or discontinue, the county road system. Appellants then filed a complaint in the circuit court seeking a declaratory judgment that the disputed section was not a lawfully adopted county road. The circuit court treated Appellants' action as a de novo action for declaratory judgment, giving no deference to prior findings of the fiscal court action. The court of appeals reversed, holding that Appellants' action could be brought in the circuit court only as an appeal from a decision of the fiscal court refusing to order the abandonment of the county road, not as a declaratory judgment action. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Appellants properly invoked the declaratory judgment process of Ky. Rev. Stat. 413.040 to challenge the legal status of the disputed passway and that the action could not be characterized as an appeal from a fiscal court decision because no appealable event had occurred. View "Whitley v. Robertson County" on Justia Law

by
At issue in this appeal was the question of an agent's authority to bind his or her principal to an arbitration agreement presented with other documents upon the principal's admission to a long-term care facility. Agent in this case was the daughter and executrix of the deceased Principal. Agent brought a claim for negligence against the long-term care facility where Principal spent the last years of her life. Invoking an arbitration agreement executed in conjunction with Principal's admission to the nursing home, Defendants moved the trial court to dismiss the complaint. The trial court denied the motion, holding that Agent, who executed the admissions agreement on behalf of Principal, had no authority to agree to arbitration. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the agreement was enforceable. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the optional arbitration agreement Agent purported to execute on Principal's behalf was beyond the scope of Agent's authority and was therefore unenforceable. View "Ping v. Beverly Enters., Inc." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court in this case granted review to decide whether the City of Florence violated the Open Meetings Act when it agreed in private discussions to settle a pending lawsuit in a zoning matter when the settlement itself was voted on in an open meeting. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the City. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because the Open Meetings Act specifically allows for private discussions of pending or proposed litigation, the City did not violate the Open Meetings Act, where the final, binding vote on the settlement was conducted at a public meeting. View "Cunningham v. Whalen" on Justia Law

by
After the fiscal court voted to discontinue maintenance on a county road, Appellant, who owned property and lived on the road, erected a locked gate blocking the road and provided a key to each property owner on the road. Appellees, a non-profit association known as Preserve Rural Roads of Madison County, filed suit against Appellant to force him to remove the gates. The circuit court granted Appellees' motion for summary judgment, finding that Appellees had standing and that Appellant was without legal right or ownership to prohibit others from using the road. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Rural Roads had associational standing in this matter; (2) the discontinuance of maintenance on the county road did not affect any public easement rights; and (3) the lower courts' decisions in this case, holding that the county road is a public road and that Appellant could not block the road with gates, did not constitute an unlawful taking of Appellant's land. View "Bailey v. Preserve Rural Rds. of Madison County, Inc." on Justia Law