BROWN, C. J.
The defendant board of zoning appeals of the town of Stratford denied an appeal from the action of the town planning board whereby, pursuant to a petition of the defendant Estelle F. Garfield, hereinafter called the defendant, it granted, on December 17, 1951, a waiver of the 1000-foot distance requirement of § 7 (B) of the Stratford zoning ordinance and approved the defendant's premises at 895 Barnum Avenue Cutoff as a location for a package store. The plaintiffs appealed to the Court of Common Pleas, which affirmed the action of the board of zoning appeals and dismissed their appeal. The named plaintiff, hereinafter called the plaintiff, has appealed to this court. The appeal presents two questions for determination: first, whether the action of the board of zoning appeals in approving the waiver of the 1000-foot restriction was illegal, arbitrary or in abuse of its discretion; and, second, whether the plaintiff was entitled, as a person aggrieved, to appeal from the decision of the board of zoning appeals to the Court of Common Pleas.
The salient facts are undisputed and may be thus summarized: The plaintiff is a resident and taxpayer of Stratford, where he is actively engaged in business. He owns a home located on a different street and approximately one-half mile from the defendant's
The principles determinative of the validity of the defendant board's action in approving the waiver are clearly established by the repeated decisions of this court. The 1000-foot restriction prescribed by the ordinance constitutes a definite declaration of policy by the town council of Stratford as the duly authorized legislative body of the town. Power to modify or amend it rests in the town council, which had the power to adopt the ordinance, and not in the defendant board. Greenwich Gas Co. v. Tuthill, 113 Conn. 684, 694, 155 A. 850. The defendant board's approval of the waiver notwithstanding that three
The application of these principles might well suffice to indicate that the defendant board would have been unwarranted in approving the waiver even if it were assumed that upon the facts it had authority to exercise that power. The record leaves no doubt, however, that the defendant board had no such right or power in this case. The sole authority for the action of the planning board was § 20 (B) of the ordinance, quoted above. This makes clear that in no event can a waiver be granted unless "practical difficulties, or unnecessary hardships" are first established. It is likewise manifest, under. the language of the ordinance, that the only "hardships" referred to are those due to the zoning law restriction upon the petitioner's use of the property in question. This is well exemplified in a number of cases which have been decided by this court. Devaney v. Board of Zoning Appeals, supra, 540; Delaney v. Zoning Board of Appeals, supra, 244; Stavola v. Bulkeley, 134 Conn. 186, 191, 56 A.2d 645; Benson v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 129 Conn. 280, 282, 27 A.2d 389; Grady v. Katz, 124 Conn. 525, 529, 1 A.2d 137; Thayer
The plaintiff's appeal to the Court of Common Pleas was taken pursuant to § 160b of the 1951 Cumulative Supplement to the General Statutes. With reference to the zoning board of appeals, the pertinent portions thereof provide: "Any person ... aggrieved by any decision of said board ... may ... take an appeal to the court of common pleas... The court, upon such appeal ... may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify or revise the decision appealed from." As already suggested, the inclusion of the 1000-foot restriction in the ordinance amounts to a definite declaration of policy by the legislative authority of the town. The liquor traffic is a business which "admittedly may be dangerous to public health, safety and morals." Francis v. Fitzpatrick, 129 Conn. 619, 622, 30 A.2d 552. It is evident that in its declaration of policy, noted above, the town council took cognizance of the potential
In Beard's Appeal, 64 Conn. 526, 534, 30 A. 775, Justice Simeon E. Baldwin used this language: "[E]very owner of property, assessed in the grand list of the town in which he resides, has a substantial interest in the prosperity and good order of that town. The expense of the local police of any town, as well as of criminal proceedings before its local tribunals, is largely dependent on the number of the liquor saloons and bar rooms within its limits, and the character of those who keep them. If licenses are granted with too free a hand, or without proper discrimination, the burdens of taxation are likely to be increased. Every taxpayer therefore has a certain, though it may be a small, pecuniary interest in having the license law well administered; and if he is also a resident in the town where he pays his
What Justice Baldwin stated as to the meaning of "aggrieved" as used in the 1893 statute applies with like force and reason to the same word as used in § 160b. We accordingly recently held, referring to a similar zoning appeal provision, where there was an appeal from the denial of a waiver of a 1500-foot restriction: "The words `any person or persons ... aggrieved' include at least any landowner or resident within the city whose situation is such that the decision of the board may adversely affect him in the use of property owned or occupied by him in some manner within the scope of the purposes of the zoning ordinance. The precise character of the interest of persons in this class is pointed out in Beard's Appeal [supra] ...." Kamerman v. LeRoy, 133 Conn. 232, 237, 50 A.2d 175. The plaintiff is an aggrieved party and the court erred in concluding to the contrary.
There is error, the judgment is set aside and the case is remanded with direction to enter judgment sustaining the plaintiff's appeal and revoking the waiver.
In this opinion the other judges concurred.