David J. and Susan L. MacFadyen, Appellants-Plaintiffs,
City of Angola, City of Angola Plan Commission, and Trine University, Inc., Appellees-Defendants
from the DeKalb Superior Court. The Honorable Kevin P.
Wallace, Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 17D01-1203-CT-14.
FOR APPELLANTS: Stephen L. Fink, Barnes and Thornburg, LLP,
Fort Wayne, Indiana.
FOR APPELLEES CITY OF ANGOLA AND CITY OF ANGOLA PLAN
COMMISSION: Richard P. Samek, Esq., Larry L. Barnard, Esq.,
Carson Boxberger LLP, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
FOR APPELLEE TRINE UNIVERSITY, INC.: Robert D. Moreland,
Judge. Najam, J., and Riley, J., concur.
David and Susan MacFadyen appeal a decision by the Angola
Plan Commission to vacate a portion of an alley on Trine
University property near the MacFadyens' property. As the
MacFadyens did not show they were aggrieved by the vacation,
and Procedural History
The MacFadyens own lot 6 in J. Darling's Addition to the
City of Angola, and their property is contiguous to property
Trine owns. An alley runs east to west from Darling Street,
along the back of the MacFadyens' lot, and through
Trine's property to University Avenue. The portion of the
alley on Trine's real estate is not improved; it is
grass-covered, and there is no curb cut where the alley meets
Trine petitioned the Commission to vacate certain lot lines
and the part of the alley that is on Trine's real estate.
The vacation petition did not include that part of the alley
located behind the MacFadyens' lot, and the MacFadyens
can still access their property by using the remaining
portion of the alley that runs east to Darling Street.
The Commission heard evidence that the value of the land in
the platted area that Trine did not own would not be
diminished by the vacation, and Trine's development
activities in the platted area had not caused a decrease in
property values and might have increased them. David
MacFadyen stated he believed vacation of the part of the
alley on Trine's property would have " substantial
negative impact" on the value of his property because
" [o]ne could drive west through the alley all the way
to College (now University), or turn southbound to access
Gale Street. [Trine] now seeks to cut off this access."
(App. at 188.)
The Commission approved Trine's petition.
Decisions of an area plan commission are subject to the same
process of review as are local zoning decisions. Area
Plan Comm'n, Evansville - Vanderburgh Cnty. v.
Hatfield, 820 N.E.2d 696, 698 (Ind.Ct.App. 2005),
trans. denied. Decisions of a zoning board are
subject to court review by certiorari. Ind. Code
§ 36-7-4-1003. Only a person aggrieved by a decision
of the board may petition for certiorari review by
the courts. Hatfield, 820 N.E.2d at 698. In
interpreting what it means to be " aggrieved" for
purposes of the statute, our Supreme Court has said the
person must experience a " substantial grievance, a