In re Burns Two-Unit Residential Building (Long, et al. Appellants)Annotate this Case
Applicants Cynthia and Charles Burns wanted to make modifications to a two-unit residential building they owned in Burlington. A group of nineteen Burlington residents (neighbors) appealed a Superior Court, Environmental Division decision declining to reach the merits of neighbors’ claim that applicants converted their home into a duplex without a zoning permit on the grounds that the challenge was precluded by a prior decision under 24 V.S.A. 4472(d) or to consider whether a permit was required for applicants’ other modifications. On appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court, neighbors argued: (1) that their challenge was not precluded under section 4472(d) because the prior decision had not been rendered by the Burlington Zoning Administrator as the statute requires; (2) that preventing an appeal without affording notice and opportunity to be heard violated their due process rights; and (3) that they were entitled to a determination by the Environmental Division of whether applicants’ other modifications violated the zoning ordinance because they were done without a permit. The Supreme Court agreed, reversed and remanded for further proceedings.