Granger v. Bd. of Adjustment

241 Iowa 1356, 44 N.W.2d 399 (1950)

 

RULE:

Zoning is an exercise of the police power in the interest of public peace, order, morals, health, safety, comfort, convenience, and the general welfare. Under the guise of zoning, arbitrary and unreasonable restrictions upon the use and enjoyment of property, prohibition of use which does not interfere with the equally rightful use and enjoyment by others of their property, or deprivation of property without due process of law may not be made. Zoning being an exercise of police power by the municipality, which is a power delegated from the state, such delegated power must be strictly construed. 

FACTS:

The landowners owned three lots where they conducted a business. The neighboring landowner's residence was in the vicinity. Under a zoning ordinance, one of the landowners' lots was zoned for residential uses where the other two lots were zoned for commercial uses. A city building inspector issued a building permit to the landowners for certain repairs to their existing building on the three lots. The neighboring landowner objected to the Board. The Board approved the issuance of the building permit, and the neighboring landowner filed a writ of certiorari with the trial court, which was annulled. The neighboring landowner appealed, and the court affirmed the decision of the trial court. The court found that the landowners' building on the property was a non-conforming use.

ISSUE:

Did the trial court err in finding a substantial compliance with the law in making application for the permit, and that the authorized work was not a violation of the zoning regulations?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

Reading section 2A-8, Municipal Code, and section 2, chapter 270, Acts of Forty-eighth General Assembly, both supra, together, we are unable to accept the interpretation placed thereon by either appellant or appellees.  Zoning is an "exercise of the police power, in the interest of public peace, order, morals, health, safety, comfort, convenience, and the general welfare."  Under the guise of zoning, arbitrary and unreasonable restrictions upon the use and enjoyment of property, prohibition of use which does not interfere with the equally rightful use and enjoyment by others of their property, or deprivation of property without due process of law may not be made.  Zoning being an exercise of police power by the municipality, which is a power delegated from the State, such delegated power must be strictly construed.

Each application for a permit calls for an exercise of discretion upon the part of the building inspector in determining whether the proposed work is, or is not, within the prohibitions set forth in section 2A-8. The trial court found that there had not been an abuse of such discretion by the inspector or the Board of Adjustment in approving the acts of the inspector, and held the permit to be valid. The record amply sustains such finding. There is no merit to this assigned error.

Click here to view the full text case and earn your Daily Research Points.