Kansas Appeals Court Grants Zoning Win to Shook Client

Shook, Hardy & Bacon attorneys have obtained a reversal on appeal in a case involving zoning regulations and permitting.

Shook represented homeowners who sought to repair the fence on their property. To initially build the fence, the homeowners had obtained variances from the city of Mission Hills, Kansas, so they sought permission from the city to replace the pickets and rails while leaving the fence posts intact. The city administrator denied the request, stating that the proposal was a replacement rather than a repair, which required another variance. The zoning appeals board agreed, and the homeowners appealed to state court; the court reviewed the decision for reasonableness and found no objection.

The Kansas Court of Appeals reversed that determination, ruling that the lower court should have approached the issue de novo rather than merely reviewing for reasonableness. The appeals court further considered whether the proposed change was a repair or a replacement per the definitions in the zoning regulations and found it to be a repair, ruling in favor of Shook's client.

The case is Layle v. City of Mission Hills, Kansas, No. 116,095 (Kan. Ct. App., Aug. 17, 2017).