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January 23, 2015

Zoning Appeal

CaseMetro v. The Board of Zoning Appeals

Issue:  Can a city challenge a zoning determination with a writ of certiorari?

Facts:  A billboard company applied to Metro Codes for permits. When the applications were denied, the company appealed to the Board of Zoning Appeals, which reversed the initial decision and granted the permits. The city of Metro filed a petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review. The trial court dismissed the petition on the ground that the city did not have standing.

Appellate Decision:  The intermediate court ruled in favor of the city by reversing and remanding to the trial court. The intermediate court ruled that the city has standing because the initial decision adversely impacts its ability to enforce zoning code, and because Tenn. Code Ann. § 13-7-208(a)(2) expressly gives the city the authority to initiate a certiorari proceeding to prevent a violation for the zoning code.

Review Granted:  January 16, 2015.

Prediction:  Ben thinks the Supreme Court will affirm. In its order granting review, the Court also expressed interest in the issue of what authorization is required by the city to file a petition for certiorari, and whether such authorization was given.