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Mei Li Shan, LLC v. Weston Planning & Zoning Commission

Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Fairfield, Bridgeport

October 9, 2015

Mei Li Shan, LLC
v.
Weston Planning & Zoning Commission et al

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

Dale W. Radcliffe, J.

FACTS

The Defendant, Skunk Properties, LLC, is the owner of a four (4)-lot subdivision known as the Far Horizons Subdivision, located in the Town of Weston. The subdivision consists of approximately eighteen (18) acres, and is situated in a residential zone, which specifies a two (2)-acre minimum size for building lots.

On January 24, 2011, the Weston Planning, and Zoning Commission approved the Far Horizons Subdivision, following an application submitted by ADC/10 Ladder Hill Road, LLC. (ROR 14; ROR 15.) The Defendant, Skunk Properties, LLC, took title to the subdivision in August of 2011.

On November 21, 2011, a subdivision map was filed on behalf of Skunk Properties, LLC, with the Weston Town Clerk. The map differed from the approved map, submitted in January of 2011, in that parallel driveways, originally shown with a solid line, were changed to dotted lines. The surveyor claimed that the revision was necessary to conform to the intent of the subdividor, because the driveways were intended to be shown as easements. (ROR 9; ROR 10.)

In July of 2012, the Weston Planning and Zoning Commission approved a lot development plan for Lot 3 of the Far Horizons Subdivision, subject to five (5) conditions. (ROR 6.) This approval, which was not the subject of an appeal, was followed by the issuance of a building permit in December of 2012 by the Commission, acting through the zoning enforcement officer, James M. Pjura.

The building permit authorized the construction of a four (4)-bedroom single-family dwelling on Lot 3.

Construction commenced in accordance with the building permit, and the development plan. In addition to the four (4)-bedroom residence, a pool, a garage and a small shed were erected on the 5.4-acre lot.

After construction was completed, it was discovered that the shed had been placed within the zoning setback area. In order to remedy this zoning violation, Skunk Properties, LLC sought to revise the line dividing Lot 2 and Lot 3 of the Far Horizons Subdivision. Skunk Properties, LLC is the owner of both lots.

The corrective action proposed the transfer of 4, 644 square feet from Lot 2, to Lot 3. Following the proposed revision, Lot 2 would contain 3.24 acres, while Lot 3 would have an area of 5.52 acres.

On June 17, 2014, Skunk Properties, LLC applied to the Planning and Zoning Commission for approval of a lot line revision between Lot 2 and Lot 3 (ROR 19), and a Special Meeting was convened on September 8, 2014. The proposed lot line revision was considered at the special meeting, along with a request by Skunk Properties, LLC for a certificate of zoning compliance. (ROR 20.)

The Planning and Zoning Commission, consistent with General Statutes S. 8-3(e)[1] and 8-3(f)[2] has adopted S. 410 of the Weston Zoning Regulations. It reads:

Section 440. Zoning Permits . No building or structure shall be erected, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered or moved, or excavation made thereof, or work begun thereon, or use made of any land, until a zoning permit thereof has been issued by the Planning and Zoning Commission . . . Before any permit shall be issued, written application therefor shall be made . . . on a form to be furnished by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

While the statutes permit a planning and zoning commission to delegate its authority, it is not required to do so. Conto v. Zoning Commission, 186 Conn. 106, 112, 439 A.2d 441 (1982).

The Plaintiff, Mei Li Shan, LLC, acting through its representative, one Robert Walpuck (ROR 23, TR., p. 13), opposed the granting of the requested lot line revision, and the certificate of zoning compliance.

Opposition centered on claimed deficiencies in the recorded subdivision map. It was also claimed that the lot line revision constituted a substantial change in the approved subdivision map. (ROR 23, TR., 19-20.)

Following the close of the public hearing, the Weston Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved both the lot line revision, and the certificate of zoning compliance. (ROR 23, TR., 98-99.) The separate motions did not contain collective reasons of the Commission in support of the actions.

From these actions, the Plaintiff, Mei Li Shan, LLC, brings this timely appeal.

AGGRIEVEMENT

This appeal is brought on behalf of Mei Li Shan, LLC, the entity in which title to 18 Ladder Hill Road resides. At trial, Vivian Simons, a Weston resident, testified that she is the only ...


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