Alabama Supreme Court
NAHB member Bay John Developers challenged a municipality's enactment of subdivision regulations as an unlawful attempt to zone its property. Under Alabama law, a municipality cannot regulate land use through zoning beyond the limits of the state's enabling act. Because the municipality had not been granted zoning authority under the applicable enabling act, Bay John argued that it was prohibited from regulating land use through its subdivision regulations.
The Alabama Supreme Court accepted cert. NAHB, the HBA of Alabama, and the Baldwin County Home Builders Association filed an amicus brief on Aug. 14, 2008, focusing on the merits of the case. The brief argued that this unlawful regulation resulted in adverse economic consequences for property owners and a lack of predictability in the land use approval process. On Jan. 16, 2009, the court approved builders' motion to file an amicus, quashed the previously approved writ of cert, and then denied certiorari (but noted that this did not mean that it affirmed the lower court decision). It is believed that this case was subject to the closing of the docket by a retiring justice. Unfortunately, the case is procedurally no longer viable and the builders' interests will not be heard.