Parish of St. Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Church v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of City of Stamford

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Writing for the CourtBefore KING; COTTER
Citation155 Conn. 350,232 A.2d 916
PartiesPARISH OF ST. ANDREW'S PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH et al. v. ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS OF the CITY OF STAMFORD et al.
Decision Date13 July 1967

Page 916

232 A.2d 916
155 Conn. 350
PARISH OF ST. ANDREW'S PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH et al.
v.
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS OF the CITY OF STAMFORD et al.
Supreme Court of Connecticut.
July 13, 1967.

[155 Conn. 351]

Page 918

Charles Townsend, Jr., Stamford, for appellants (plaintiffs).

Thomas J. Dolan, Bridgeport, with whom, on the brief, was James J. O'Connell, Bridgeport, for appellees (defendant, California Oil Co. et al.).

Theodore Godlin, Asst. Corp. Counsel, with whom, on the brief, was W. Patrick Ryan, Corp. Counsel, for appellee (named defendant).

Before [155 Conn. 350] KING, C.J., and ALCORN, HOUSE, COTTER and THIM, JJ.

[155 Conn. 351] COTTER, Associate Justice.

Upon the application of the defendants Nicholas P. Nanos and California Oil Company, the defendant zoning board of appeals unanimously granted a special exception under the zoning regulations and a certificate of approval for the construction and operation of a gasoline service station on premises owned by Nanos at the northwesterly[155 Conn. 352] corner of North Street and Washington Avenue in Stamford. As a condition to the granting of the special exception and the issuance of the certificate of approval, the board provided that the owner 'shall convey to the City of Stamford, at such time as the City shall request, so much of the easterly eleven (11) feet of the premises as shall be required by the City of Stamford for the widening of Washington Avenue; and if the owner shall fail to comply with said request of the City of Stamford, the approvals granted herein shall be revoked, at the option of the Zoning Board of Appeals.' The Court of Common Pleas, on appeal by the plaintiffs, who are neighboring property owners, rendered judgment affirming the action of the board, and the plaintiffs have taken the present appeal to review that judgment. The land in question is in a C-N zone, also designated neighborhood business district, in which the operation of a gasoline service station is a permitted use, subject to the issuance of a special exception by the zoning board of appeals. Stamford Zoning Regs., App. A, table II, No. 54 (1965).

I

A basic claim of the plaintiffs is that the decision of the board is illegal and in abuse of its descretion because it is predicated on the applicants' offer to donate an elevenfoot strip of land to the city. This offer, it is claimed, was the 'real basis' and 'primary motivation' of the board's decision. In support of this claim, the plaintiffs reason that to impose a condition such as this is to violate the purpose and intent of the zoning regulations and that the board has exceeded its powers in reserving the right to revoke the grant of a special exception [155 Conn. 353] and the certificate of approval upon a breach of the condition.

The factual situation supporting this claim consists solely of the testimony of Nanos, at the public hearing before the board, concerning the contemplated widening of Washington Avenue, which would require eleven feet of the applicants' property. Nanos stated that he would be willing to have the board make it a condition of the approval of the application that the eleven-foot strip be dedicated by him to the city of Stamford at no expense. This testimony, represeenting the totality of the evidence on this issue, in and of itself does not show improper motive on the part of the members of the board. While the members of the board precipitously and injudiciously accepted the suggestion, there is nothing in the record which demonstrates that this offer was the basis of and the primary motivation for their action.

A special exception, as requested herein, allows an owner to put his property to a use which is expressly permitted under

Page 919

the regulations, in contradistinction to the grant of a variance, for instance, wherein the zoning board has the power to extend to the owner a right to use his property in a manner forbidden by the zoning enactment and need not depend upon express authorization in the zoning enactment. The conditions under which an exception is permitted must be found in the regulations themselves and cannot be altered. 1 Fox v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 146 Conn. 70, 72, 147 A.2d 472.

The regulations provide that the board may exercise[155 Conn. 354] its powers and duties 'subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards, in harmony with the purpose and intent of these regulations and in accordance with the public interest and the most appropriate development of the neighborhood.' Stamford Zoning Regs. § 19(A) (1965). The condition requiring a conveyance of the strip of land and containing an option to revoke approval in the event of a failure to comply does not come within the expressed authority of the board of relate to the standards promulgated in the regulations. Service Realty Corporation v. Planning & Zoning Board of Appeals, 141 Conn. 632, 638, 109 A.2d 256. The board had no authority to impose, as a condition of the use of the property for a gasoline service station, a requirement that the owner convey the strip to the city. Such a requirement may be revoked and set aside. Abbadessa v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 134 Conn. 28, 34, 54 A.2d 675. So much of the decision as imposed the condition and reserved the right to revoke the permission is void and of no force. Service Realty Corporation v. Planning & Zoning Board of Appeals, supra, 141 Conn. 639, 109 A.2d 256; Kelley v. Board of Zoning Appeals, 126 Conn. 648, 652, 13 A.2d 675; 8A McQuillin, Municipal Corporations (3d Ed. Rev.) § 25.271; 2 Rathkopf, Law of Zoning and Planning, c. 49; 101 C.J.S. Zoning § 234, p. 999.

In granting a special exception, the board may, in a proper case, impose a condition but only where it is warranted by the regulations. The imposition of a void condition, however, does not necessarily render the whole decision illegal and inefficacious. If the decision is otherwise...

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39 practice notes
  • Slavitt v. Ives
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 6 Junio 1972
    ...Fruchtman v. Manning, 156 Conn. 500, 502, 242 A.2d 723; Parish of St. Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Church v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 155 Conn. 350, [163 Conn. 211] 360, 232 A.2d 916; Andrew C. Peterson, Inc. v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission, 154 Conn. 638, 640, 228 A.2d 126; Rossignol v. ......
  • Stamford Ridgeway Associates v. Board of Representatives of City of Stamford, Nos. 13805
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 3 Abril 1990
    ...Weigel v. Planning and Zoning Commission, 160 Conn. 239, 250 [278 A.2d 766]; Parish of St. Andrews Church v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 155 Conn. 350, 354, 355 [232 A.2d 916]. Accordingly, the Board of Representatives need not concern itself with zone changes not covered by the From past expe......
  • Hartford Div., Emhart Industries, Inc. v. Amalgamated Local Union 376, U.A.W.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 14 Junio 1983
    ...the evidence, as here, is in conflict, its probative force is for the trier. Parish of St. Andrew's Church v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 155 Conn. 350, 359, 232 A.2d 916 [1967]." Robert Lawrence Associates, Inc. v. Del Vecchio, 178 Conn. 1, 14, 420 A.2d 1142 The exact circumstances warranting......
  • Cambodian Buddhist Society of CT., Inc. v. Newtown Planning & Zoning Commission, No. CV-03-0350572S (CT 11/18/2005), No. CV-03-0350572S
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 18 Noviembre 2005
    ...v. Jencik, 168 Conn. 506, 509, 362 A.2d 1338 (1975); Parish of St Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Church v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 155 Conn. 350, 353, 232 A.2d 916 (1967); see also Mitchell Land Co. v. Planning & Zoning Board of Appeals, 140 Conn. 527, 532-33, 102 A.2d 316 (1953); 83 Am.Jur......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
39 cases
  • Slavitt v. Ives
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 6 Junio 1972
    ...Fruchtman v. Manning, 156 Conn. 500, 502, 242 A.2d 723; Parish of St. Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Church v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 155 Conn. 350, [163 Conn. 211] 360, 232 A.2d 916; Andrew C. Peterson, Inc. v. Town Plan & Zoning Commission, 154 Conn. 638, 640, 228 A.2d 126; Rossignol v. ......
  • Stamford Ridgeway Associates v. Board of Representatives of City of Stamford, Nos. 13805
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 3 Abril 1990
    ...Weigel v. Planning and Zoning Commission, 160 Conn. 239, 250 [278 A.2d 766]; Parish of St. Andrews Church v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 155 Conn. 350, 354, 355 [232 A.2d 916]. Accordingly, the Board of Representatives need not concern itself with zone changes not covered by the From past expe......
  • Hartford Div., Emhart Industries, Inc. v. Amalgamated Local Union 376, U.A.W.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 14 Junio 1983
    ...the evidence, as here, is in conflict, its probative force is for the trier. Parish of St. Andrew's Church v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 155 Conn. 350, 359, 232 A.2d 916 [1967]." Robert Lawrence Associates, Inc. v. Del Vecchio, 178 Conn. 1, 14, 420 A.2d 1142 The exact circumstances warranting......
  • Cambodian Buddhist Society of CT., Inc. v. Newtown Planning & Zoning Commission, No. CV-03-0350572S (CT 11/18/2005), No. CV-03-0350572S
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 18 Noviembre 2005
    ...v. Jencik, 168 Conn. 506, 509, 362 A.2d 1338 (1975); Parish of St Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Church v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 155 Conn. 350, 353, 232 A.2d 916 (1967); see also Mitchell Land Co. v. Planning & Zoning Board of Appeals, 140 Conn. 527, 532-33, 102 A.2d 316 (1953); 83 Am.Jur......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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