1/4/2022 Our paperwork arguments are done.  The case is now in the hands of the judge - and we wait.

We presented a 24 page argument to the 13th District Court on November 29th.  The village had 30 days to respond to us and sent us yet another fantastic, false and offensive response to our issues on December 29th.  Then we responded to their response on December 31st.  We post these to perhaps help anyone else in our same circumstance.  They are not an easy read!  This is the last bit of back and forth allowed by procedure.  Now the judge has to review all the documentation and render a decision.  We have no idea how long this will take or in what form the results will come.  We're still learning.

Here are links to the documents

11/29 District Court Appeal Statement of Appellant Issues

12/29 appellee response

12/31 Our Objections to Corrales' Response

10/9 The village has published their findings.  All I can say is wow!  Talk about handing me the case with their inept, false comments and illogical reasoning.  I'll be going to the council to give them a last chance by correcting Laurie and Randy (the lawyer's) false testimony.  The rest I won't bother with until it goes to district court.

Village of Corrales Governing Body Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and

Final Decision on Appeal of Denied Building Permit at 66 Bad Coyote Place

 

Findings

  1. On July 21, 2021 the Village of Corrales Planning and Zoning Department approved a Building Permit for a Dwelling Unit at 66 Bad Coyote Place in the Village of Corrales submitted by Applicant/Appellant Kenneth Dehoff. (Appellant)
  2. Appellant submitted a Building Plan for the dwelling unit on July 19, 2021that contained a primary dwelling unit with a “Casita” attached to the Garage of the Dwelling Unit. The Casita contained no interior connections to the rest of the Dwelling Unit or the Garage.  
  3. The first plan with the attached Casita was rejected because it created two separate dwelling units in violation of the Zoning Code, Ordinance 21-04
  4. Appellant submitted a second building plan that was not in compliance with the Zoning Code because it still created a second dwelling unit attached to the Garage with no interior connectivity to the primary dwelling unit.
  5. The Appellant submitted a third building plan that was approved after he added a heated hallway from the former Casita adjacent to the Garage to the primary dwelling unit, creating an interior heated connection, and thereby eliminating the second dwelling unit.
  6. The Appellant’s Building Permit was issued on July 21, 2021and he paid the building permit and review fees on August 5, 2021.
  7. This appeal to the Village of Corrales Governing Body was filed on _____, and purports to appeal the denial of a building permit because Appellant’s first two building plans with a second dwelling unit were rejected.
  8. The Zoning Code at Section 21-04 and Section 18-33 specifically requires only one dwelling unit be allowed per residential lot. 7.  Evidence was presented at the hearing that the basis of the rejection f the first two building plans was solely based upon the addition of a second dwelling unit to the residential lot at 66 Bad Coyote Place through the placement of a Casita abutting the wall of the garage of the dwelling unit with no internal connection between the two living areas of the home.
  9. The Planning Director, Ms. Laurie Stout, established a policy to implement the intent of Ordinance 21-04 to approve portions of a dwelling unit physically separated from the primary area of the dwelling as long as there is only one primary entrance to the dwelling unit and the two parts of the building are part of the same contiguous heated square footage
  10. One dwelling unit was approved by the Planning Department that had a separation of rooms and Ms. Stout presented unrefuted evidence that it was approved shortly after Ordinance 21-04 was passed and it was an inadvertent error. Finally, separated area did not contain a kitchen; while the Dehoff’s submittals did.
  11. Ms. Stout has consistently applied her interpretation of the requirements of 21-04 in all other cases in the same manner she did in Appellant’s case.

11  The Zoning Code has consistently not allowed two dwelling units per lot in Corrales since at least 1987 and Ordinance 21-04 was simply a re-compilation of the requirement to make it more clear and enforceable.

  1. The Comprehensive plan set out goals to evaluate and potentially change the one dwelling unit per lot requirement but neither the Ordinances nor the Comprehensive Plan were ever altered again. The intent has always been expressed in the Comprehensive Plan to retain the rural character of Corrales through continuing low density development. 
  2. All witnesses were sworn in and cross examination was allowed.
  3. A the conclusion of the presentation of evidence and argument neither party requested more time to present further argument or testimony.

 

Conclusions of Law

  1. Substantial evidence in the record supports that the Zoning Code interpretation of Ms. Laurie Stout was reasonable, complied with the intent of the Code and as adopted by the Governing Body.
  2. Insufficient evidence was presented by Appellant as to why the proposed building of two dwelling units would have been legal under the Zoning Code.
  3. The Governing Body adopts Ms. Stout’s method of applying the one dwelling unit requirements of the Zoning Code by requiring connected heated space between two parts of a dwelling unit to prevent the building of two or more dwelling units per lot.
  4. Appellant received an approved building permit and paid his fees to build a home on 66 Bad Coyote Lane and the rejection of two building plans before the third was approved did not constitute a denial of a building permit.
  5. The two proposed building plans that were rejected as creating two dwelling units constituted separate dwelling units prohibited by the Zoning Code even though they were connected by an adjoining wall with a Garage of the dwelling unit.  No legal difference existed between the proposals and adjoined townhomes which would be prohibited under the Zoning Code.

Decision

The Governing Body of the Village of Corrales hereby denies the Appeal of by Kenneth Dehoff of his request to build two dwelling units on his single lot at 66 Bad Coyote Place and affirms the grant of the building permit for one dwelling unit.

           

Appellant may appeal this Decision of the Governing Body within 30 days of the entry of this Decision.

 

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED by the Governing Body of the Village of Corrales, New Mexico, this 12th day of October, 2021.

 

APPROVED:

 

 

__________________________________

JoAnne D. Roake, Mayor

ATTEST:

 

 

_________________________________

Aaron Gjullin, Village Clerk

 

September 16 - see our september village appeal page for the details of our appeal.  It was (expectedly) denied 5-0.  Local zoning appeals have a low success rate due so this wasn't really a suprise.  The good news is that we now have the village on the public record with some outlandish and indefensable comments.  The next step is for the village to document their legal opinion and file it as a public document.  Once that's done we'll take it to district court as a complaint, which will be the first time a truly independent review will occur.  Once they file and we get access to the recording, I'll post an update.

 

The appeal process primer:

Appeals are not like most court cases.  The appeal we will be filing will only ask a district court judge to review the existing record and make a determination of whether the village came to their conclusion within the confines of the law.  I have the burden of proof to demonstrate they didn't.  While I think my testimony does a good job of this, it will have to be enhanced with specific references to the record to make it easy for judges to slog through (ie quotes of individuals I have to provide the timestamp on the youtube video of where the quote occurs).

I've found this reference to the court's procedural rules for how this will happen.  For anyone else contemplating a defense of a failed appeal, this goes through the step-by-step requirements of the process

NMRA 1-074 Administrative appeals; statutory review by district court of administrative decisions or orders

One item I am unclear of is what relief I can seek.  I would think we could get at least compensated for having to build Laurie's hallway and then compensated for taking it out because we won.  Punitive damages are an unknown.

The calendar as I think it will happen:

Oct 12 - Corrales' lawyer should present the details of their findings for approval at the council
Oct 12-20 - I should receive a copy of their findings in the mail
Oct 12-20 +1 day - I file my intent to appeal to the district court
Oct 20+1-Nov 20 - The village has 30 days to produce their version of 'the record' - everything reviewed, submitted, etc.  That'll include all the youtube videos I referenced in my testimony
Nov 20-Dec 20 - I have 30 days to update my testimony with the specific references the court requires and also freshen my existing arguments based on some of the outlandish things said at the appeal hearing
Dec 20-Jan 20 - Corrales has 30 days to file a response to my arguments
Jan 20-Feb 4 - I have 15 days to respond to their response
Feb 5- ???  Showtime