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Goodwyn v. Board of Zoning Appeals of Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County, TN

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

April 26, 2018

WAYNE GOODWYN
v.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE & DAVIDSON COUNTY, TN

          Session March 28, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 16C-399 Joseph P. Binkley, Jr., Judge

         After the Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals granted a special exception permit for a nearby property, Appellant filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the Davidson County Circuit Court. The trial court ultimately concluded that the permit was properly issued. Having reviewed the record transmitted to us on appeal, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed and Remanded

          Jamie R. Hollin, Nashville Tennessee, for the appellant, Wayne Goodwyn.

          Thomas V. White and George A. Dean, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ed Clay.

          Board of Zoning Appeals The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, appellee [1]

          Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Brandon O. Gibson and Kenny Armstrong, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE

         Background and Procedural History

         The property at issue in this case is located in Nashville at 209 S. 5th Street ("the Property"). Marketed under the name "East Ivy Mansion, " the Property boasts 44, 000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space and sits on a parcel that is over one acre. The perimeter of the Property is bordered by a brick wall.

         In 2013, the Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals ("the Board") granted Ed Clay ("Mr. Clay") a special exception permit to use the Property for historic home events. The permit had a limited term of 26 months and was subject to a number of other special conditions. Among other things, Mr. Clay was not allowed to host more than a maximum of 250 guests at any event.

         Mr. Clay applied for a new special exception permit in December 2015, and by letter dated December 23, 2015, the Board sent a notice to neighboring owners informing them of his application. The letter specifically informed nearby owners of Mr. Clay's intent "to use the existing residence and property for Historic Home Events." Formal opposition to Mr. Clay's request soon followed.

         By letter dated January 19, 2016, counsel for Wayne Goodwyn ("Mr. Goodwyn") notified the Board of his client's opposition to the pending application. Mr. Goodwyn, who owns a home near the Property, objected to the application due to his belief that "any and all events [should] be limited to the inside of the principal dwelling" on the Property. In support of this position, the January 19 letter noted that pursuant to Metro Code § 17.16.160(B), the location for historic home events are directed to be "within a historically significant structure, as determined by the historic zoning commission." To that end, the January 19 letter further observed that Robin Zeigler ("Ms. Zeigler"), Historic Zoning Administrator with the Metropolitan Historic Zoning Commission, had reported that the principal dwelling was the only historic structure on the Property.

         Mr. Clay's application was first entertained by the Board at a hearing on January 21, 2016. Upon the conclusion of the proceedings on that date, however, the matter was deferred to the Board's next meeting on February 4, 2016. In advance of the February 4 hearing date, the Board received multiple comments from concerned citizens. Whereas many citizens wrote the Board in support of Mr. Clay's proposal, other citizens wrote the Board to object to it. At the end of the February 4 hearing, the Board ultimately decided to grant Mr. Clay the special exception permit by a vote of six to one. The order resulting from the Board's hearing specifically noted that (a) the brick wall surrounding the Property was "attached to the home and is . . . therefore a part of the home" and (b) "[u]se of the property within the wall is customary, incidental and subordinate to the special exception." As previously, the permit granted by the Board was subject to a number of special conditions.

         In response to the Board's actions, Mr. Goodwyn filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the Davidson County Circuit Court. The petition averred that the Board's ruling was "arbitrary, capricious, or illegal" and took specific issue with the fact that the Board's ruling allowed events to take place anywhere within the brick wall that surrounded the perimeter of the Property. In an affidavit filed contemporaneously with the petition, Mr. Goodwyn stated that the allowance of outside events on the Property would greatly diminish his family's ability to enjoy their neighborhood. Following the filing ...


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