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Utica Township Fire Department Inc. v. Floyd County Board of Zoning Appeals

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 7, 2019

Utica Township Fire Department Incorporated, Appellant-Petitioner,
v.
Floyd County Board of Zoning Appeals, Appellee-Respondent

          Appeal from the Floyd Circuit Court The Honorable J. Terrence Cody, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 22C01-1710-PL-1405

          Attorney for Appellant Larry O. Wilder Jeffersonville, Indiana

          Attorney for Appellee Keith D. Mull New Albany, Indiana

          VAIDIK, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] Utica Township Fire Department Incorporated ("Fire Department") appeals the trial court's denial of its petition for judicial review of a decision of the Floyd County Board of Zoning Appeals ("BZA"). We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] In June 2017, the Fire Department, a non-profit corporation, bought the property at 1436 W. Knable Road in Georgetown for use as an emergency medical services sub-station. The property, which includes a house and a two-stall garage, is located in an area zoned for residential use. However, the Fire Department did not seek permission to operate the sub-station either before or after purchasing the property. Instead, it simply began using the property as a sub-station.

         [¶3] Shortly thereafter, "a complaint was filed with the Floyd County Plan Commission asserting that [the Fire Department] was operating in violation of the County's zoning ordinance." Appellant's Br. p. 6. Only then did the Fire Department file a Conditional Use Application with the BZA. The Floyd County Zoning Ordinance, Section 15.09, provides that the BZA must approve such an application if:

a. The conditional use will not be injurious to the public health, safety, moral, and general welfare of the community.
b. The use and value of area adjacent to the property will not be adversely affected.
c. The need for the conditional use does not result from[1] any conditions, unusual or peculiar to the subject property.
d. The strict application of the terms of the Floyd County Zoning Ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship in the use of the property.
e. The approval of the conditional use will not contradict the goals and objectives of the Floyd County ...

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