In this consolidated appeal, the plaintiff, Hendel's Investors Company, appeals from the judgment of the Superior Court dismissing its administrative appeal from the decision of the defendant zoning board of appeals of the town of Montville (board). At issue is the board's decision to grant the defendant Christy's Market, Inc. (Christy's), a certificate of approval for the
The record discloses the following facts and procedural history. On April 30, 1997, Christy's, seeking to construct a gasoline station in Montville, filed an application with the board for a certificate of location approval, as required under General Statutes § 14-321.
On July 9, 1997, the board conducted a hearing on Christy's application. Scott F. Hesketh of F. A. Hesketh & Associates, Inc., a civil and traffic engineering firm, testified on behalf of Christy's and presented a study he had conducted concerning traffic patterns near the proposed site. The study concluded that "there [were] no serious traffic concerns which must be addressed or which require mitigation in planning for the introduction of the ... Texaco-Christy's
The plaintiff, through its attorney, cross-examined Hesketh regarding department of transportation data indicating that there had been nineteen traffic accidents during the past three years in the vicinity of the proposed site. Hesketh testified that the accidents were not indicative of a problem, given the low volume of traffic, and that he had not included the data in his study because the department of transportation had not identified the area as being a "problem area."
The plaintiffs attorney also submitted an assessor's map (map 103) delineating a "jog"
Thomas Sanders, Montville's zoning enforcement officer, recommended that the board approve the application. Sanders' report indicated that the department of transportation had reviewed the proposal, the plans and the traffic study, and had not expressed any specific concerns regarding the location. His report also indicated that, at one time, there had been three gasoline stations in the area and that two of them had since been converted to auto repair facilities. Sanders' report also stated: "It appears that since the opening of Mohegan Sun Resorts, the need for gasoline stations has increased."
Approximately one month after the board's hearing, on August 6, 1997, the board, finding that the proposed location was appropriate for the sale of gasoline, approved Christy's application. The board expressly discounted the plaintiffs concerns regarding the jog
On August 25, 1997, the plaintiff appealed to the Superior Court from the board's decision, as permitted under General Statutes § 14-324.
On April 7, 1999, the plaintiff filed an appeal in this court, along with a petition for certification to appeal, which was granted on May 19, 1999. Thereafter, on June 3, 1999, the plaintiff filed a second appeal, which was identical to its first appeal. On July 16, 1999, we consolidated the appeals, pursuant to Practice Book § 61-7 (b) (3),
The parties complied with our July 16, 1999 order and maintain that the granting by this court of certification to appeal pursuant to § 8-8 (o), now (n), was not required. We agree.
The plaintiff is challenging an action taken by a zoning board of appeals pursuant to § 14-321.
General Statutes § 4-183 is contained in chapter 54 of the General Statutes, the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA). Section 4-183 creates a right to appeal from a decision of an administrative agency to the Superior Court. The next section of the UAPA, General Statutes § 4-184, provides: "An aggrieved party may obtain a review of any final judgment of the Superior Court under this chapter. The appeal shall be taken in accordance with section 51-197b." (Emphasis added.)
General Statutes § 51-197b (d) provides: "Except as provided in sections 8-8, 8-9 and 22a-43, there shall be a right to further review to the Appellate Court under such rules as the judges of the Appellate Court shall adopt." (Emphasis added.) Regarding administrative appeals, § 51-197b establishes a right of direct appeal to the Appellate Court from a judgment of the Superior Court. Ensign-Bickford Realty Corp. v. Zoning Commission, 245 Conn. 257, 263, 715 A.2d 701 (1998). That right is qualified, however, by General Statutes §§ 8-8, 8-9 and 22a-43. Our analysis reveals that those three statutes do not apply to the present case.
Sections 8-8 and 8-9 are contained in chapter 124 of the General Statutes. Section 8-9 provides: "Appeals from zoning commissions and planning and zoning commissions may be taken to the Superior Court and, upon certification for review, to the Appellate Court in the manner provided in section 8-8." (Emphasis added.) Section 8-9 merely establishes a conditional right of appeal to this court from the Superior Court; however,
Thus, for the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the legislature created a right of direct appeal to this court from the Superior Court when an action taken by a zoning board pursuant to § 14-321 ultimately is challenged. Accordingly, the plaintiff was not required to obtain from this court certification to appeal pursuant to § 8-8 (o), now (n).
Notwithstanding the plaintiffs invitation to consider its two part claim, we turn to the defendants' argument that the plaintiff failed to plead aggrievement properly. That issue is dispositive of this appeal.
Prior to examining the defendants' claim, it is necessary to set forth the relevant legal principles that govern our analysis. "In determining the suitability of a proposed location for a gasoline station and [consequently] whether [to] issue a certificate of approval, the zoning board of appeals [acts] as a special statutory agent of the state under §§ 14-321 and 14-322 of the General Statutes." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) New Haven College, Inc. v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 154 Conn. 540, 542, 227 A.2d 427 (1967). Appeals to the courts from determinations rendered by entities acting as agents of the state exist only under statutory authority. Office of Consumer Counsel v. Dept. of Public Utility Control, 234 Conn. 624, 640, 662 A.2d 1251 (1995). There is a statutory right to appeal from determinations by zoning boards concerning certificates of approval for locations of gasoline stations. That right is set forth in § 14-324.
"It is well settled that the question of aggrievement is a jurisdictional one...." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Bakelaar v. West Haven, 193 Conn. 59, 65, 475 A.2d 283 (1984). The question of aggrievement is
"[T]he fundamental test for determining aggrievement encompasses a well-settled twofold determination: first, the party claiming aggrievement must successfully demonstrate a specific personal and legal interest in the subject matter of the decision, as distinguished from a general interest, such as is the concern of all members of the community as a whole." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) Med-Trans of Connecticut, Inc. v. Dept. of Public Health & Addiction Services, 242 Conn. 152, 158-59, 699 A.2d 142 (1997). "The second prong of the aggrievement test requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that its asserted interest has been specially and injuriously affected in a way that is cognizable by law." (Emphasis added; internal quotation marks omitted.) Id., 159. In considering whether a plaintiffs interest has been injuriously affected by an administrative decision, our Supreme
In the present case, paragraph six of the plaintiffs complaint, which contains its attempt to allege aggrievement, states: "6. Plaintiff is aggrieved by the decision of the Defendant ZBA in one or more of the following respects:
"a. The Plaintiff is the owner of land which is within a radius of 100 feet of the land for which the Certificate of Approval was granted by the Defendant ZBA upon the Application of the Defendant Christy's.
"b. The Plaintiff has a specific personal and legal property interest which was specifically and injuriously affected by the action of the Defendant ZBA.
"c. The Plaintiffs property has been adversely effected [sic] and has been depreciated in value by virtue of the action of the Defendant ZBA."
Our examination of paragraph six of the plaintiffs complaint discloses that the plaintiff failed to allege facts that, if proven, would satisfy the second prong of the aggrievement test. Specifically, the plaintiff failed to allege an injury that falls within the zone of interests protected by the statutory provisions that comprise the legal basis for the complaint.
Our examination of the factual allegations contained in paragraph six of the plaintiffs complaint discloses
Finally, the conclusory statements contained in paragraph six of the plaintiffs complaint, i.e., the "[p]laintiff is aggrieved by the decision of the [d]efendant," and "[t]he [p]laintiff has a specific personal and legal property interest which was specifically and injuriously affected by the action of the [d]efendant," are of little import to our analysis. Those conclusory statements, which purport to allege aggrievement, are insufficient because adequate factual allegations do not accompany them. See Beckish v. Manafort, supra, 175 Conn. 419. Accordingly, we conclude that the plaintiff failed to
The judgment is affirmed.
In this opinion the other judges concurred.