Lake George Corp. v. Standing

Decision Date26 April 1971
Citation180 S.E.2d 522,211 Va. 733
CourtVirginia Supreme Court
PartiesLAKE GEORGE CORPORATION v. Patrick L. STANDING, Director, etc., et al.

Frank E. Butler, III, Virginia Beach (Ansell, Butler & Canada, Virginia Beach, on brief), for plaintiff in error.

Grover C. Wright, Jr., Virginia Beach (Caton & Wright, Virginia Beach, on brief), for defendants in error.


I'ANSON, Justice.

This is an appeal by Lake George Corporation (Lake George) challenging an order of the court below holding that the Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Virginia Beach (Board) did not have the power or jurisdiction to hear an original application for a variance from the terms of the City's zoning ordinance.

Lake George owns twelve parcels of unplatted land in the City of Virginia Beach. Each parcel is 100 feet wide and 300 feet long, and lies along and is contiguous to the western end of twelve blocks of land shown on the 'Plat of Cape Henry Syndicate.' The lands of Lake George and that shown on the Plat of Cape Henry Syndicate are situated in the RD--2 zoning district, which requires that each lot have a 75-foot frontage on the street and 10,000 square feet of land area. However, the lots shown on the Plat of Cape Henry Syndicate are nonconforming to the zoning and they have a 50-foot frontage and a land area of 7,500 square feet.

Lake George desires to develop each of its twelve unplatted parcels into four lots with 50-foot street frontage and 7,500 square feet land area, thereby making these lots conform with the sizes of adjoining lots on the Plat of Cape Henry Syndicate. Through its officers, Lake George requested Mr. John Gibbs, the building inspector and zoning administrator of the City, to issue four building permits for each of its twelve parcels. Gibbs denied the request.

Thereafter Lake George filed an original application with the Board for a variance from the requirements of the zoning ordinance. After a hearing the Board granted the variance.

Upon the petition 1 of Patrick L. Standing, director of planning for the City, and 125 interested landowners, certiorari was granted by the court below to review the decision of the Board. After a consideration of the pleadings, evidence and exhibits, the court held that under the provisions of Code § 15.1--495 the Board had no jurisdiction to act upon an application for a variance except upon an appeal 'from a prior adverse action or decision of the Building Inspector or Zoning Department Officer,' and that the Board's decision to grant the variance was null and void.

Lake George, by counsel, says that the provisions of Code § 15.1--495(b) confer upon the Board original jurisdiction to grant a variance from the terms of the zoning ordinance when, owing to special conditions, a literal enforcement of its provisions would result in unnecessary hardship. Counsel argues that the language of the statute refers to...

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11 cases
  • Board of Sup'rs of James City County v. Rowe, 740994
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court
    • June 13, 1975
    ...15.1--495, --497 (Repl.Vol.1973, Cum.Supp.1974); Article 13, James City County Zoning Ordinance. See also, Lake George Corporation v. Standing, 211 Va. 733, 180 S.E.2d 522 (1971). However, when the relief sought constitutes a challenge to the constitutionality of a zoning ordinance in its e......
  • Coles v. Commonwealth, Record No. 0624-08-2 (Va. App. 10/27/2009)
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals
    • October 27, 2009
  • Michelle Coleman v. Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Fairfax, et al. The Lamb Center v. City of Fairfax, et al.
    • United States
    • Circuit Court of Virginia
    • April 7, 2011
    ...time as to make any restrictions on uses irrelevant. The authority of the BZA is prescribed by statute. Lake George Corp. v. Standing, 211 Va. 733, 735, 180 S.E.2d 522, 523 (1971). Generally, the BZA may not consider equitable principles in reaching its decision. Bd. of Supervisors, 271 Va,......
  • Foster v. Geller, s. 931783
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court
    • November 4, 1994
    ...The authority of both the director and the BZA is established and limited by statute and city ordinance. Lake George Corp. v. Standing, 211 Va. 733, 735, 180 S.E.2d 522, 523 (1971). The director is provided generalized administrative authority to interpret and apply zoning ordinances. Code ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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