Specht v. Big Water Town

May 10, 2017

Utah Court of Appeals

May 4, 2017

2017 UT App 75 (Click for text of opinion)

The Utah Court of Appeals upheld the land use variance and road vacation by Big Water Town. The record included findings and substantial evidence sufficient to support the variance, and the complainant lacked standing to contest the vacation.

The Hydes own two adjacent lots on the Rose Garden cul-de-sac. To enable installation of a septic tank on one of the lots, the Hydes applied for a land use variance to reduce the rear yard setback from twenty feet to ten feet. The Hydes also applied for a vacation of a portion of the cul-de-sac, in order to reduce the slope needed to access their lot.  The Town Council approved the variance and the vacation. Their neighbor, Mr. Specht, appealed.

Although Specht argued that the Town failed to meet the legislative conditions, the court concluded that the evidence in the record was sufficient to support the variance granted by the Town. The court also concluded that Specht did not have standing for his claim opposing the vacation of the cul-de-sac because he could not show a direct special injury, beyond mere inconvenience or injury to the public in general. Moreover, he suffered no harm due to the alleged lack of notice, because he attended and fully participated in the public hearings.