A New Canaan woman on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Planning & Zoning Commission, saying the appointed body erred in denying her application to build a tennis court on her property. According to the complaint filed in state Superior Court on behalf of Amy Tucci of 57 Rilling Ridge, P&Z’s denial during a July 26 special meeting was “illegal, unlawful, arbitrary and capricious.”
“The Defendant Commission ignored and acted in a manner that is inconsistent with and violates the procedural and substantive requirements and provisions of the Zoning Regulations, the Connecticut General Statutes and the common law of the State of Connecticut,” attorney Joel Green of Bridgeport-based Law Offices of Green and Gross, P.C. wrote in the complaint.
P&Z also “failed to make proper findings of fact and failed to identify sufficient or adequate reasons for its actions,” the complaint said. The application and proposed tennis court “fully comply with the requirements, standards and conditions necessary for the approval of the application pursuant to the Zoning Regulations,” it said. The lawsuit seeks to overturn P&Z’s decision and to award legal costs and “such other and further relief as the Court may determine.”
The Commission’s decision to deny the application was itself a divided vote.
Tucci—who originally had filed an application to operate a boutique commercial gym at home (later withdrawn)—applied to P&Z for a Special Permit that would allow a tennis court to be located within a 150 feet of the street (see page 55 here), and for a second permit allowing for soil disturbance of more than 10,000 square feet of area in order to (page 149). While some commissioners argued that P&Z has approved applications for similar Special Permits in the past and noted that the court is designed to be just 52-by-115 feet (versus a standard size of 60-by-120), others said it’s inappropriate to approve a tennis court in the front yard and found that the application didn’t meet all Special Permit criteria.