Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Court reviews whether members of a planning commission had conflicts of interest in a rezoning application

FRED H. GILLHAM v. CITY OF MT. PLEASANT, ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. March 30, 2012)

A residential property owner challenged the procedures used by a planning commission and city commission in granting a rezoning application submitted by two industrial companies. The companies asked that the zoning for 95.2 acres of land be changed from agricultural to special impact industrial for the purpose of developing a landfill to dispose of salt cake produced as a byproduct of their smelting businesses. The property owner also asserted that two of the commissioners had a conflict of interest and that their participation granting the application invalidated the procedure. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss and motion for judgment on the pleadings.

The trial court granted the defendants’ motions after concluding the planning commission and city commission complied with the procedural requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. §§13-7-203(a) and 6-20-215 and that the two commissioners had no conflict of interest since they had no ownership interest in the rezoning applicants. We affirm the trial court’s judgment dismissing the property owner’s complaint.

Opinion available at: