TOWN OF COLLIERVILLE, ET AL.
TOWN OF COLLIERVILLE BOARD OF ZONING, ET AL.
Session April 4, 2017 
Appeal from the Chancery Court for Shelby County No.
CH-13-0203-1 Walter L. Evans, Chancellor No.
the third appeal in an ongoing dispute between the Town of
Collierville and the owner of property on which two
billboards are situated. On February 12, 2013, the Town filed
a petition for writ of certorari, challenging a decision of
the Board of Zoning Appeals. Because the petition for writ of
certorari does not comply with Tennessee Code Annotated
section 27-8-106, the trial court and, therefore, this Court
lack subject matter jurisdiction. We vacate the judgment of
the chancery court and dismiss the petition.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Vacated and Dismissed
Richard L. Winchester, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Abbington Center, LLC.
Cates, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Town of
Collierville and Town of Collierville Development Department.
Brandon O. Gibson, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., and Jeff Parham, Sp.
BRANDON O. GIBSON, JUDGE.
the third appeal regarding two billboards in the Town of
Collierville (the "Town") on land owned by
Abbington Center ("Abbington"). See Town of
Collierville v. Town of Collierville Board of Zoning
Appeals, No. W2013-02752-COA-R3-CV, 2015 WL 1606712
(Tenn. Ct. App. 2015); Abbington Center, LLC v. Town of
Collierville, 393 S.W.3d 170 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2012). Our
2015 opinion regarding these billboards provides an
appropriate recitation of the facts underlying the dispute:
[T]he billboards were constructed in December 1979. At that
time, building permits and a sign permit fee were the only
requirements for construction of a billboard in the Town. On
June 24, 1982, the Town passed an ordinance prohibiting the
construction of any new billboards.
Abbington purchased the billboards in 1993. Abbington began
making inquiries as to whether the billboards were
"grandfathered in" and could be torn down and
reconstructed. The Town assured Abbington that the billboards
were "grandfathered in." Shortly thereafter,
Abbington discovered that the billboards were leased for use
by a third party for fourteen years, so Abbington did not
pursue the matter.
In 2007, Abbington submitted proposed designs to the
Town's Design Review Commission for new billboards to
replace the billboards in question. The Design Review
Commission approved the design with the requirement that
Abbington obtain building and electrical permits for the
billboards. Abbington began removing and replacing the old
billboards but failed to apply for the permits. Therefore,
the Town posted "Stop Work" orders at the sites for
Abbington subsequently applied for the necessary permits. The
Town denied the permits on the basis that the billboards did
not constitute a legal nonconforming use. The Town asserted
that there was no proof that the requisite permits were
obtained for the construction of the billboards in 1979.
Abbington appealed the decision to the Board of Zoning
Appeals ("BZA"). The BZA affirmed the Town's
stop work orders and the denial of the request for building
Abbington filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the
chancery court. Following a remand and second hearing before
the BZA, the chancery court invalidated the stop work orders
and permitted Abbington to reconstruct the billboards. The
Town then appealed to the Court of Appeals, but ...