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Giltner Dairy, LLC v. Jerome County

March 17, 2011

GILTNER DAIRY, LLC, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
JEROME COUNTY,
RESPONDENT,
AND
93 GOLF RANCH, LLC,
INTERVENOR-RESPONDENT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Jerome County. Hon. John K. Butler, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Horton, Justice

2011 Opinion No. 33

Stephen Kenyon, Clerk

The district court order dismissing the petition for review is affirmed.

Giltner Dairy operates a dairy adjacent to property owned by 93 Golf Ranch (Golf Ranch). In July 2008, Golf Ranch requested a rezone of its property. The Jerome County commissioners approved the rezone and Giltner Dairy sought judicial review of that decision. The district court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, finding that this Court's decision in Highlands Development Corp. v. City of Boise, 145 Idaho 958, 188 P.3d 900 (2008), precluded the use of I.C. § 67-6521 to allow judicial review of the case, and that the more specific judicial review provisions of the Local Land Use Planning Act (LLUPA, I.C. §§ 67-6501 et seq.) controlled over the more general provisions of I.C. § 31-1506. Giltner Dairy now appeals. We affirm.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Giltner Dairy and Golf Ranch own adjacent parcels of property in Jerome County, Idaho. Prior to the actions leading to this case, both parcels were zoned Agricultural Zone A-1.

On November 4, 2005, Golf Ranch asked the Jerome County Planning and Zoning Commission to amend the comprehensive plan map to indicate that the suitable projected uses for Golf Ranch's land would be consistent with the A-2 Agricultural zoning designation. That designation is for land that is changing from primarily agricultural activities to more urban activities.

Giltner Dairy, LLC v. Jerome Cnty. (Giltner Dairy I), 145 Idaho 630, 631, 181 P.3d 1238, 1239 (2008). Giltner Dairy challenged that decision and, after the district court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, this Court affirmed. Id. at 633, 181 P.3d at 1241.

In 2008, Golf Ranch filed an application to rezone its property from Agricultural Zone A- 1 to Agricultural Zone A-2 and the county approved the application. On January 15, 2009, Giltner Dairy filed a timely petition for judicial review. Golf Ranch moved to dismiss, arguing that the district court did not have jurisdiction. Giltner Dairy argued that the district court had jurisdiction based on I.C. § 67-6521 or, in the alternative, based on I.C. § 31-1506. Following oral argument, the district court found that this Court's holding in Highlands Development Corp. v. City of Boise, 145 Idaho 958, 188 P.3d 900 (2008), precluded application of I.C. § 67-6521 and that the specific judicial review provisions for zoning decisions in LLUPA displaced the broad jurisdictional grant in I.C. § 31-1506. Consequently, the district court dismissed Giltner Dairy's petition for judicial review. Giltner Dairy timely appealed.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

"The issue of whether the district court had jurisdiction over this action is one of law, over which this Court exercises free review." Troupis v. Summer, 148 Idaho 77, 79, 218 P.3d 1138, 1140 (2009) (citing Taylor v. Maile, 146 Idaho 705, 709, 201 P.3d 1282, 1286 (2009)). "A party's right to 'appeal' an administrative decision, i.e., to obtain judicial review, is governed by statute." Burns Holdings, LLC v. Madison Cnty. Bd. of Cnty. Comm'rs, 147 Idaho 660, 662, 214 P.3d 646, 648 (2009) (citing Cobbley v. City of Challis, 143 Idaho 130, 133, 139 P.3d 732, 735 (2006)). Likewise, "[t]he interpretation of a statute is a question of law over which this Court exercises free review." Neighbors for Responsible Growth v. Kootenai Cnty., 147 Idaho 173, 176, 207 P.3d 149, 152 (2009) (citing State v. Hart, 135 Idaho 827, 829, 25 P.3d 850, 852 (2001)).

III. ANALYSIS

A. Idaho Code ยง 31-1506 is supplanted by the judicial review ...


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