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George Martin and Martin v. Ed Smith and Camas County

February 1, 2013

GEORGE MARTIN AND MARTIN CUSTOM HOMES, LLC, PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS,
v.
ED SMITH AND CAMAS COUNTY, IDAHO, BY AND THROUGH THE DULY ELECTED BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITY, KEN BACKSTROM, BILL DAVIS, AND RON CHAPMAN, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS,



Appeal from the district court of the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Camas County. Hon. Robert Elgee, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: W. Jones, Justice

2013 Opinion No. 18

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

The district court's orders granting an injunction and awarding attorney's fees to Respondent are reversed. Costs on appeal are awarded to Appellant

I. NATURE OF THE CASE

Appellant, Camas County, appeals an injunction granted by the district court against the enforcement of Camas County Ordinances 150 and 153, and Resolutions 96 and 103 ("2007 zoning amendments"). Camas County challenges the standing of Plaintiff-Respondent, George Martin ("Martin"), in light of this Court's recent decision in Martin v. Camas County, 150 Idaho 508, 509-11, 248 P.3d 1243, 1244-46 (2011) (hereinafter "Martin I").

II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The factual and procedural background of this case is the same as described in Martin

I:

In late 2005 the Camas County Board of Commissioners . . . instructed the Camas County Planning and Zoning Commission . . . to amend the Camas County Zoning Ordinance and rezone certain areas of the county. The Commission submitted [the 2007 zoning amendments] to the Board, which subsequently adopted them. On May 4, 2007, Martin filed a declaratory judgment action against Camas County, seeking a permanent injunction of the 2007 zoning amendments.

On December 28, 2007, the district court granted preliminary injunctive relief to Martin. The district court found, inter alia, that: (1) the Idaho Administrative Procedures Act (IDAPA) applies to Camas County's zoning decisions; (2) the action of the County--in enacting the 2007 zoning amendments--constituted a quasi-judicial, rather than quasi-legislative, activity and was not immune from judicial review; and (3) the County failed to maintain a transcribable verbatim record, as required by I.C. § 67-6536. On April 2, 2008, the court entered a separate order of preliminary injunction on the basis that conflicts of interest existed at both the planning and zoning and county commissioner levels, in violation of I.C. § 67-6506.

On May 12, 2008, the Board adopted a new Amended Comprehensive Plan (Resolution 114) and Land Use Map (Resolution 115) as well as a new Zoning Ordinance (Ordinance 157) and a Zoning Designation Map (Ordinance 158) ( . . . "2008 zoning amendments"). On August, 8, 2008, Martin requested to amend his complaint to include claims for damages under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act and an additional declaratory relief action for the 2008 zoning amendments. On October 8, 2008, the district court granted Martin's request to amend his complaint to include Section 1983 claims, but denied the motion as to the 2008 zoning amendments.

On October 15, 2008, as this case was still being adjudicated, Martin filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment against the 2008 zoning amendments--later disposed of by this Court in Martin I .*fn1

On November 5, 2008, Camas county removed [this case] to the United States District Court for the District of Idaho . . . , pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยงยง 1441(b), 1446(b), divesting the district court of jurisdiction. On December 3, 2008, the district court entered its Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order Following Trial granting Martin's requested relief as to the 2007 zoning amendments. On May 17, 2009, the [U.S. District Court] remanded [this case] back to the district court. On May 27, 2009, the district court recognized that it had been divested of jurisdiction prior to entering its order on December 3, ...


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