Monday, January 9, 2012

Court reviews a case involving the approval of a planned unit development

CK DEVELOPMENT, LLC v. TOWN OF NOLENSVILLE, ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. January 9, 2012)

The Developer of a Planned Unit Development in Nolensville sought final approval from the planning commission of phase 7 of the development. The planning commission conditioned its approval of the plan on the developer's agreement to construct the roads in phase 7 in accordance with more recent road standards that were adopted in 2007. The developer filed a petition for writ of certiorari claiming it had vested rights in the earlier road standards and that complying with the more rigorous standards would require it to spend more money than it had originally planned.

The trial court agreed with the developer and concluded that it had vested rights in the earlier road standards. The town appealed.

We reverse the trial court's decision because the developer did not rely on any final governmental approval, the application of the improved road standards was not a zoning change, and the developer has neither engaged in substantial construction of phase 7 nor incurred substantial liabilities with respect to phase 7. We also reject the developer's argument that the planning commission exceeded its jurisdiction by acting in a legislative rather than an administrative capacity when it determined the developer was required to comply with the 2007 road standards.

Opinion available at: