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Municipal – Conditional Zoning – Two Owners

Municipal – Conditional Zoning – Two Owners

Wally v. City of Kannapolis. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-16-0192, 15 pp.) (Ann Marie Calabria, J.) Appealed from Cabarrus County Superior Court. (Michael E. Beale, J.) N.C. App. Unpub. Click here for the full text of the opinion.

Holding: Where the defendant-city rezoned 76 acres owned by two entities, this was not spot zoning.

We affirm summary judgment for the city.

Since spot zoning has been held to occur when a tract of land is owned by a common owner, the city’s action of zoning the property at issue cannot be considered spot zoning.

The city’s unified development ordinance provided in part, “If any standards are proposed [for the conditional zoning district] that are different from the underlying zoning district, the applicant must clearly demonstrate that the overall resultant project is greater than that which is typically allowed in the general district.”

The city interpreted this provision to mean that the project must have higher architectural standards than those required for a typical development in the underlying district. The owners’ representatives submitted conceptual drawings showing the building elevations for the office portion of the property complex.

At the meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 7, 2007, the owners’ representatives submitted photographs of architectural features they proposed for the development. From this information, the city evidently concluded that the project would exceed the design standards of a typical development in the underlying development district.


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