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Successful Appeal of ZBA Decision Granting A Variance Based on Practical Confiscation

City of Meriden (Connecticut), Meriden City Planner and ZEO

Represented the City of Meriden, its city planner and zoning enforcement officer in their successful challenge to the approval by the Meriden Zoning Board of Appeals of a use variance for a large used car dealership.  The applicant had convinced the Board that the City’s zoning regulations resulted in a “practical confiscation” of its 48-acre property by eliminating any demand for the property.  The trial court sustained the City’s appeal on the basis of a conflict of interest claim, but found that the record supported the Board’s decision to grant the variance.  The Appellate Court reversed the judgment of the trial court, finding that the developer had failed to prove practical confiscation.  The Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court decision, holding that the applicant failed to prove that the property could not reasonably be used in the zoning district and failed to prove that the property’s value had diminished after it was purchased for over one million dollars, thus requiring the defeat of its practical confiscation claim.  Caruso v. Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Meriden (Feb. 2, 2016).


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