February 9, 2005
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION
On May 8, 2003 the plaintiff/appellant Priscilla Zweeres filed an application with Peter Crabtree, Assistant City Planner for Milford for certification of a parcel of land which was a nonconforming lot, as a building lot. (Ret. of Record a) the application was circulated among the involved agencies (Ret. of Record 5-12) and with no objection Crabtree approved the application.
Robert Astriab filed an objection to the approval (Ret. of Record a) and the defendant/appellee herein, Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Milford "ZBA" set the matter down for public hearing on July 8, 2003. (Ret. of Record d) Following the public hearing the ZBA voted to overturn the action of Mr. Crabtree and denied the application. The minutes reflect only a cursory consideration of the application and the assistant planner's approval. (Ret. of Record j, k)
Section 6.4, Non-Conforming Lots of the Milford Zoning Regulation, sets out certain criteria for the issuance of a zoning permit for a lot which fails to meet the existing standards for a building lot. Four conditions are set out to be met before such an application may be approved.
By stipulation of counsel the appellant is found to be an aggrieved party. It is the contention of the plaintiff/appellant that the ZBA failed to conduct a "de novo" hearing in order to determine whether the application met the standards and that the action of the ZBA was improper and illegal in overturning the approval of the application of Mr. Crabtree. The record does not reflect any findings by the ZBA as to their consideration of the four requirements set out under Section 6.4 of the zoning regulations.
The court's consideration of the plaintiff's appeal in this matter is guided by Judge Curran's decision in Brian Climis et al v. Zoning Board of Appeals et al, Superior Court, Judicial District of Ansonia/Milford at Milford, Docket No. CV03-0082231S decided August 20, 2004 wherein the identical issue of the failure to conduct a "de novo" hearing was presented ( 37 Conn. L. Rptr. 707). Judge Curran remanded the case to the ZBA for rehearing by the board pursuant to Sec. 8-7d C.G.S. This ruling was consistent with the authority set out in Caserta v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 226 Conn. 80, 88.
Finding that no hearing "de novo" was conducted by the ZBA from an examination of the record and as noted by both counsel, the matter is remanded to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Milford with direction to conduct a hearing in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes and the Zoning Regulations of the City of Milford.
George W. Ripley II Judge Trial Referee