Venture Holdings LLC v Metro Board of Zoning Appeals, 2019 WL 1897596, is a somewhat interesting conditional use permit case. As I have frequently mentioned, generally speaking, the applicant for the conditional use permit generally has the upper hand. The applicant must show that it meets the requirements for the particular conditional use it is applying for, and typically what happens is that the neighbors show up in opposition, but not very well organized and not prepared to address the particular requirements of the zoning ordinance.
This case is somewhat the antithesis of the general rule. In this case, one of my partners, Shawn Henry, had been retained to represent the neighbors and he had hired the services of a young urban planner to help oppose the application. Ultimately, the difficulty for the applicant was not the opposing claims of the neighbors so much as the failure of the applicant to satisfy the board and the courts that the impact on the surrounding land uses would not be substantial. A number of the surrounding manufacturing uses were somewhat sensitive to air-quality issues, and ultimately the board ruled against the application based on the sensitivity of the surrounding areas and the courts essentially upheld that determination.