House Bill 72, “Developer’s Dream Bill,” mandates a circuit court bond to appeal a zoning case to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. It effectively eliminates a neighborhood’s right to appeal zoning cases.
Rep. Robert Benvenuti, a co-sponsor, and Senate President Robert Stivers say otherwise. However, the bill itself says, “Any party that appeals the Circuit Court’s final decision ... shall be required to file an appeal bond” even if an appeal is not “presumptively frivolous” (undefined).
Effectively, anyone filing a reasonable zoning appeal still would have to bond the appeal. If not so, then the bill should eliminate the provision requiring it and the $100,000 maximum and only apply to “frivolous” appeals.
Benvenuti says the bill is directly related to a case in Louisville involving Walmart. That would make it “special legislation” involving one circumstance, and almost all such legislation is bad.
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Rep. Stan Lee, who provides legal representation to churches, exempts them from the legislation because of the cost and diversion of funds that could fund worthy causes. If the cost is too high for churches, should they apply to everyone else except for governmental entities?
This bill either should die in the Senate or be amended to eliminate any bonding requirement for non-frivolous appeals.
Fayette County Neighborhood Council