Boyajian v. Planning & Zoning Commission

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*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** JAMES BOYAJIAN ET AL. v. PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION OF THE TOWN OF VERNON (AC 43273) Prescott, Suarez and Vitale, Js. Syllabus The plaintiffs, B and J Co., operated a liquor store in the town of Vernon. The town’s zoning regulations required establishments that sell alcoholic liquors to be separated by a distance of no less than 3000 feet. T filed an application with the town’s zoning board of appeals for a variance that would allow him to establish a liquor store in a location that was 2935 feet from the plaintiffs’ store. The board scheduled a public hearing on the application and provided notice of the hearing to the abutting landowners by letter and to the general public in a local newspaper. At the conclusion of the hearing, which the plaintiffs did not attend, the board voted to approve the variance. T then submitted an application to the town’s planning and zoning commission for a special permit to allow the sale of alcohol at the property. After a public hearing, at which B spoke on the record and claimed that the underlying variance was void, the commission approved the special permit application. The plaintiffs appealed the commission’s decision to the Superior Court, claiming, inter alia, that the variance was void, that the commission should not have relied on the variance in determining whether to grant the special permit, and that the board lacked the authority to grant the variance. The trial court denied the appeal, and the plaintiffs, on the granting of certification, appealed to this court. Held that the plaintiffs’ failure to appeal from the decision of the board that granted the application for the variance rendered their opposition to the commission’s decision to grant the special permit an impermissible collateral attack on the validity of the variance: once the statutory period to appeal the board’s decision to grant the variance …

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