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Case No. 17-1149

Ames 2304, LLC
v.
City of Ames, Zoning Board of Adjustment

The court granted further review of the court of appeals opinion that concluded because Ames 2304, LLC’s proposed remodeling project does not increase the number of dwelling units, it does not violate Ames’s ordinance’s prohibition against increases in intensity of a nonconforming use. The court of appeals found the City of Ames, Zoning Board of Adjustment’s interpretation of the ordinance is erroneous and denial of the permit on that basis illegal. Accordingly, the court of appeals remanded to the district court for an order sustaining the writ of certiorari.

County:
Story

Resister

Ames 2304, LLC

Applicants

City of Ames, Zoning Board of Adjustment

Attorneys for Resister

Debra Hulett

Attorneys for Applicants

Eric M. Updegraff
Brent L. Hinders
Hugh J. Cain

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

15-15-5

Feb 12, 2019 9:00 AM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
17-1149
Date Published:
Mar 08, 2019

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
17-1149
Date Published:
Oct 10, 2018
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Michael J. Moon, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, J.  (16 pages)

            Ames 2304, LLC appeals the district court order annulling its writ of certiorari.  It contends the Ames Zoning Board of Adjustment acted illegally in denying it a permit for its proposed remodeling plan by incorrectly applying the law in interpreting the zoning ordinance concerning nonconforming use.  It also contends substantial evidence does not support the Board’s finding that the plan would increase the intensity of the nonconforming use.  OPINION HOLD: The municipal ordinance’s definition of “intensity” does not apply to residential uses.  However, limiting the application of the “increase in intensity” test to just enlargements, expansions, or extensions of nonconforming uses would be contrary to the purposes of the zoning ordinance.  Looking elsewhere in the ordinance for a definition of intensity to apply to residential uses, the only instance we could find ties intensity to the number of dwelling units.  Because the proposed remodel does not increase the number of dwelling units, it would not increase the intensity of the nonconforming use.  In relying on its erroneous interpretation of the zoning ordinance, the Ames Zoning Board of Adjustment acted illegally in denying Ames 2304 a permit for its proposed interior remodel.  We reverse the district court order annulling the writ of certiorari and remand to the district court for entry of an order sustaining the writ.

Other Information

Date Further Review is Granted:
Dec 04, 2018

View archived opinions from prior to November 2017

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