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Marandino v. Planning and Zoning Com'n of Town of Greenwich

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

May 8, 1990

Robert L. MARANDINO et al.
v.
PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION OF the TOWN OF GREENWICH.

Argued Jan. 18, 1990.

Page 769

John H. Reilly, Asst. Town Atty., for appellant (defendant).

Harry T. Constas, Greenwich, for appellees (plaintiffs).

Before EDWARD Y. O'CONNELL, FOTI and MULCAHY, JJ.

[21 Conn.App. 422] MULCAHY, Judge.

The defendant planning and zoning commission appeals from the judgment of the trial court sustaining the plaintiffs' appeal from the denial of their application for site plan approval for the construction of an office building on Route 1 in Greenwich. The dispositive issue is whether the trial court erred in holding that the plaintiffs' application was approved by operation of law, pursuant to General Statutes § 8-7d(b), [1] because the commission failed to render a decision thereon within sixty-five days of the date of the Superior Court's remand order. We find no error.

The facts are not in dispute. On February 12, 1985, the plaintiffs filed an application for site plan approval as owners of real property known as 1297 E. Putnam Avenue (Route 1), Greenwich. [2] Following a hearing held on September 4, 1985, the application was denied "without prejudice." The plaintiffs appealed to the Superior Court from the denial of their application and, on January 15, 1987, the trial court sustained the appeal and remanded the matter. The commission conducted a second hearing and, on April 7, 1987, it again denied the plaintiffs' application, this time noting that the plaintiffs' proposal did not conform to the amendments to the zoning regulations adopted in June and September, 1986. [3] The plaintiffs appealed a second time [21 Conn.App. 423] to the Superior Court, claiming that the commission improperly applied the new zoning regulations, and that the application had been approved by operation of law due to the commission's failure to render

Page 770

its decision within sixty-five days of the January 15, 1987 remand. The trial court sustained the appeal based on the commission's noncompliance with the sixty-five day limitation imposed by § 8-7d(b). Since the plaintiffs' application had been approved by operation of law, the trial court ruled that it was unnecessary to consider the effect of the amendments to the zoning regulations.

The defendant claims that the trial court erred in holding that the sixty-five day countdown under § 8-7d(b) started on January 15, 1987, the date of entry of judgment in the original appeal. The defendant argues that this countdown should have begun twenty days after that date because the defendant had twenty [21 Conn.App. 424] days in which to petition the Appellate Court to certify the case for further review. [4] In other words, the defendant urges us to enlarge the statutory sixty-five day period by an additional twenty days. Such result would make timely the commission's denial of the plaintiffs' application.

We agree with the trial court that the entry of judgment triggered the sixty-five day statutory period. When the Superior Court remands a zoning appeal with direction that the zoning commission reconsider the plaintiff's application and the commission, as in this case, does not petition for appellate review of that decision, the entry of the Superior Court's judgment triggers the running of the sixty-five day period under § 8-7d(b). Gervasi v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission, 184 Conn. 450, 452, 440 A.2d 163 (1981); see also Pellitteri Chevrolet, Inc. v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 21 Conn.App. 347, 573 A.2d 347 (1990).

There is no error.

In this opinion the other judges ...


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