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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Bill Would Modify 90 Day Statute of Limitations for Zoning Lawsuits

Municipalities should be aware of a new bill recently introduced that, if passed, would affect the finality of municipal zoning decisions. The bill was not previously on our radar as it was slipped in as Senate Amendment No. 3 to a water reclamation bill.

Senate Amendment 3 to HB 2862 would amend the Zoning Enabling Act to exempt lawsuits that challenge the facial validity of a municipal zoning decision from the otherwise applicable 90 day statute of limitations. Currently, if someone wants to challenge the validity of a zoning decision, including a special use, variation, rezoning, or zoning text amendment, they must bring their lawsuit within 90 days of the zoning decision. This change would eliminate the 90 day time limitation for facial challenges to zoning decisions, leaving these open to challenge well beyond the 90 day period.

Some municipal organizations are actively opposing this legislation, expressly concerns about how it would eliminate the important finality to zoning decisions that the current 90 day statute of limitations provides.


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