Historic preservation laws, as well as HDC and HPC decisions, are subject to judicial appeal and review by the courts. The decisions resulting from review become law in that specific case until vacated or reversed by a higher court.
Bear in mind that decisions in court cases do not change the language or requirements of the state enabling statute. While court decisions may provide guidance for future considerations, only the state legislature can alter or amend the enabling statute.
To ensure the appropriate use of regulatory authority, members of HDCs or HPCsshould be familiar with the most important court cases dealing with LHDs and LHPs and have a general knowledge of cases affecting design review and private property. HDC or HPC members are not expected to be legal experts. The municipal attorney or corporation counsel should be called in for consultation whenever necessary.
Below is a list of the most important court cases relating to the administration of LHDs and LHPs in Connecticut, as well as certain cases of national significance that have a bearing on these bodies’ activities. Accompanying each case is a brief summary of the case, as well a consideration of its impact on the jurisdiction and administration of HDCs and HPCs inConnecticut.