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Trucking business - spot zoning?

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Anybody see a problem here?

Situation:

An individual has been operating a trucking business from his farm in an adjacent municipality. The agricultural zoning does not permit this use, yet it has continued for several years. The master plan for the town shows future residental development in this location and all around it. The city's master plan is in agreement, showing future residential development. The property is even in the city's sewer service area (urban service area). Finally confronting the issue of an illegal use, the owner applied to rezone several acres to a manufacturing district. The city was never notified that this item was up for consideration at the meeting. The Land Use Committee recommended approval.

Is this spot zoning?

Does it fail to meet the consistency requirement in state statutes?

Could the decision (if it is approved by the county board) be successfully challenged in court?
 

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,490
Points
27
I would consider it spot zoning since it is to benefit one parcel and one owner. And the proposed zone is not the same as the General Plan. The General Plan should be changed prior to any consideration of a rezone.
 

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
From my limited exposure, it does seem like spot zoning to me(what with all the history behind keeping the area residential). Not sure about WI's Consistency statutes though. I'd be willing to bet that it could go to court and be repealed.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
I'm surprised he didn't try to get "grandfather claused" in because he had been operating this way for so long. Where were the zoning code officers for all of these years? Obviously they weren't doing their jobs.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Re: Anybody see a problem here?

Cardinal said:
Is this spot zoning?

Does it fail to meet the consistency requirement in state statutes?

Could the decision (if it is approved by the county board) be successfully challenged in court?

Yes, Yes, and Yes.

Plus, I'd have the Common Council begin the process of enforcing its extraterritorial zoning powers and club the Town a good one. Even just the threat of removing their local control can make them back away.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
How do you define spot zoning?

From my experience in PA, spot zoning is used to designate 1 or only a few parcels for certain "undesirable" land uses, thus meeting planning reqs to allow for all uses.

Are your citys planning documents legal documents? Or are they simply a vision for future growth? Is your "sewer service area" only intended to serve residential development?

What is this Land Use Committe you speak of? Any legal authority? Did the landowner go about the rezoning the right way?

Sorry so many questions, just not familiar with the states planning regs, and I'm sure they are much different than the PA area since you're talking about county's with authority.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
I don't know the the rezoning of several acres can be considered spot zoning, particularly considering the the ultimate subdivision of this land (within a City) may include several properties owned by numerous entities. Therefore, it would not provide any single owner a right not conveyed on others in the vicinity.

I don't know what the consistency standards are in Wisconsin. Unless state law requires or it is required pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement, the neighborhing jurisdiction may not be required to notify other jurisdictions.

If the rezoning is directly inconsistent with the jurisdictions Plan, at a minimum they should concurrently approve a Comprehensive Plan amendment, which should not be taken lightly and should be subject to specific findings, but this is somewhat a political decision.
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
This is pretty much a classic example of spot zoning: a relatively small parcel, benefit primarily to one owner, and inconsistent with the local plan. It shouldn't be hard to challenge successfully.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,423
Points
34
Counties don't have squat in Texas in terms of power, but I know how consistency rules work here for municipalities.

Rezoning in Texas must be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan for the city. I don't know how things work up in the land of cheese, but I don't think the rezoning would fly down here.

I have to wonder where the zoning enforcement officer has been that this use has gone on so long. Zoning to benefit a particular parcel inconsistent with the comprehensive plan and incompatible/inconsistent with surrounding land uses or proposed land uses sounds like spot zoning to me. Time to pull out the old case law book...
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
What is this "consistency requirement in state statutes" you speak of. ;)

But seriously, probably 90-95 percent of the rezonings I do require an amendment to our Official Plan/Comp Plan/Development Plan (pick the one that fits). Our MDP is written to address the fact that it will change and what should be considered in making the changes.

What you describe is typical here also. so and so, he's a good lad, just ignore it and don't woory he'll clean up and move if asked. 20 years later, after huge expansions and degradation of the neighbourhood, the problems hit.

Here is an example of a scrap yard right in a predominately residential neighbourhood/fringe neighbourhood. Same general situation as described above.

173junkyard2.jpg

We ended up legalizing the use, because then we could regulate it better.
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
Several acres is a lot for spot zoning, but the proposed use is so different from the recommended use...I'd be concerned about the impact on the comp plan. Having a chunk of land that's several acres and intended for residential use go industrial/manufacturing is a significant change that could negatively impact surrounding properties as well as undermine the intentions of the comp plan.

sorry, got into staff report mode there for a minute.
 
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