Zoning/Use Permit: Denial Of Mental Health Facility Permit Was Arbitrary And Capricious

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 12:00 am
 
Land Use Law Report, Volume 41, Number 12
 

A clinic that identified its intended property use as "psychiatric partial hospitalization" might have avoided a lot of trouble--and the costs of litigation--if it had matched its use description to the zone’s permitted use: "medical or paramedical clinic." Doing otherwise triggered the scrutiny of city officials who apparently didn’t want a psychiatric facility in a historic district.

Facts: Psycamore, LLC challenged a denial of its application for a certificate of occupancy to operate a mental health treatment facility in the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The City requires any occupant who wants to change the use of an existing structure to obtain either a certificate of occupancy or a special use permit beforehand. If the proposed use is a specifically permitted use within the property’s zoning district, then the City must issue the certificate of occupancy. However, if the proposed use is not a permitted use, then the occupant must obtain a use permit for the non-conforming use[..]

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