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Lilly v. Caroline County

ELR Citation: 30 ELR 20394
Nos. No. 990746, 526 S.E.2d 743/(Va., 03/03/2000)

The court holds that a trial court correctly ruled that landowners, aggrieved by a zoning administrator's oral decision, failed to exhaust administrative remedies by not filing a timely appeal to the board of zoning appeals, as required by state statute. The landowners contested the zoning administrator's decision that the construction of a radio tower was a use permitted by right in the county zoning ordinances. The county filed a special plea seeking dismissal of the landowners' motion for declaratory judgment. The court first holds that the applicable law is clear—a landowner may be precluded from making a direct judicial attack on a zoning decision if the landowner failed to exhaust adequate and available administrative remedies before proceeding with a court challenge. The court then holds that the trial court's findings in sustaining the special plea are based on credible evidence. A final decision was communicated to the landowners, the landowners had actual notice of the decision, and that the landowners did not comply with the county code for appealing zoning decisions.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (4 pp., ELR Order No. L-189).

[Counsel not available at this printing.]