DEER CHASE LLC AND TOMMY DUDLEY v. THE EAST FELICIANA PARISH POLICE JURY AND THE EAST FELICIANA PARISH PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

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Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit.

DEER CHASE, LLC AND TOMMY D. DUDLEY v. THE EAST FELICIANA PARISH POLICE JURY AND THE EAST FELICIANA PARISH PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

2017 CA 0120

Decided: March 09, 2018

BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McDONALD AND CHUTZ, JJ. Carroll Devillier, Jr.Bator Rouge, Louisiana Counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants Deer Chase. LLC and Tommy D. Dudley Samuel C. D'Aquilla StewartB. Hughes St. Francisville, Louisiana Counsel for Defendants-Appellees The East Feliciana Parish Police Jury and the East Feliciana Parish Planning and Zoning Commission

CHUTZ, J.

Plaintiffs-appellants, Tommy D. Dudley and Deer Chase, LLC, appeal a district court judgment dismissing their petition for judicial review, which challenged certain decisions made by the East Feliciana Parish Police Jury (Police Jury) and Planning and Zoning Commission (Planning Commission) concerning a subdivision map. For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

At the March 24, 2015 1 meeting of the Planning Commission, Mr. Dudley, who is a general contractor, sought approval of a map subdividing three tracts of land he owned in East Feliciana Parish (EFP) into eight lots (Dudley Map). The Planning Commission tabled 2 the Dudley Map subject to the addition of zoning and flood information. Mr. Dudley made the requested corrections and resubmitted the Dudley Map. The corrected Dudley Map was not reconsidered at a Planning Commission meeting. Nevertheless, it was signed by two members of the Planning Commission, Russell Hicks and Bart Blackledge, the parish manager, John Rouchon, and the parish sanitarian, Brian Hurst, respectively, between March 30 and April 2. The signatures appeared in the section of the Dudley Map captioned “Approval.”

In explaining how the Dudley Map came to be signed, Mr. Hicks testified he received a telephone call from Mr. Rouchon requesting he come to the Police Jury office to sign the Dudley Map. Mr. Hicks, who had not attended the Planning Commission's March 24 meeting, stated he signed the Dudley Map because he was told it had been approved at that meeting, subject to the corrections noted. Before signing the Dudley Map, he confirmed the corrections had been made. Mr. Blackledge testified he received a telephone call from either Mr. Hicks or Mr. Rouchon asking him to come to Mr. Rouchon's office to sign the Dudley Map. He admitted signing the Dudley Map without looking at it, since he was told it had been approved.

According to Mr. Rouchon's testimony, the Dudley Map was resubmitted to Mr. Hicks following the March 24 meeting, and Mr. Hicks verified the necessary corrections before calling in the other signatories to sign the Dudley Map. Mr. Rouchon explained he signed the Dudley Map “[b]ecause it came from planning and zoning with the appropriate signatures” and the two items of concern raised at the March 24 meeting had been corrected. It is undisputed that Mr. Rouchon, as parish manager, was authorized to approve property survey maps on behalf of the Police Jury.

On April 2, Mr. Dudley was contacted by someone in the Police Jury Office and advised the Dudley Map had been approved. That same day, he recorded the signed Dudley Map in the public records. On May 11, Mr. Dudley and his wife, Ann Todd Dudley, conveyed ownership of the eight lots created by the Dudley Map to Deer Chase, LLC (Deer Chase), of which they were authorized members. On May 29, Deer Chase sold one of the lots to Joseph and Shanna Pourciau. The Pourciaus hired Mr. Dudley to build a house on the lot. On September 3, Deer Chase, acting through the Dudleys, donated one of the lots to the Dudleys' daughter and son-in-law.

Meanwhile, at some point in August, the owners of the adjacent property, Deborah and Seth Chandler, contacted Richard Howell, the chairman of the Planning Commission, complaining about the approval of the Dudley Map. However, the Chandlers did not file an appeal challenging the Dudley Map's approval. Mr. Howell testified he had been looking into the matter of the Dudley Map for a “long time” before the Chandlers contacted him.

The issue of the Dudley Map was raised at the Planning Commission's August 4 meeting. After discussion, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to send the following recommendation to the Police Jury:

The above mention[ed] map was presented to the [Planning Commission] on March 24, 2015 for approval. The Commission tabled the matter subject to corrections that needed to be made.

The Commission later learned that the map had been signed by J.R. Rouchon, Russ Hicks, and Bart Blackledge and was not presented to the Commission as required.

Recommendations by Planning and Zoning

1. The signing of this map by the aforementioned persons is improper and has no effect. The commission was required to review and either approve, deny, or table. The commission needed to review it a second time and again either approve, deny, or table. The Commission is the only one who can do this.

2. The above mentioned map has more than four lots on a private servitude and more than four lots in this instance is not allowed. If more lots on a private servitude [were] needed, and could be done, only the Commission would be able to grant such a thing. The approval of this map by the above mentioned persons is improper.

3. The map was also presented under the auspices of exception #8 of the [subdivision] ordinance: “A transfer of land title by inheritance.” This was not so. If it were so[,] only the Commission had the authorization to do this.

The Police Jury should rescind approval of this map for all the reasons presented.

At its August 18 meeting, the Police Jury voted unanimously to adopt the Planning Commission's recommendation and to “rescind the signatures of approval” on the Dudley Map. On September 9, the District Attorney, acting on behalf of the Police Jury, filed a document entitled “Notarial Act of Deposit” into the public records in order to provide notice of the Police Jury's decision rescinding the signatures of approval on the Dudley Map. On September 30, Mr. Dudley filed an appeal challenging the filing of the “Notarial Act of Deposit,” as well as the decision to rescind the signatures approving the Dudley Map. After various proceedings, the Police Jury adopted the recommendation of the Planning Commission and denied Mr. Dudley's appeal.

Mr. Dudley and Deer Chase then filed a petition for judicial review of the decision denying the administrative appeal, naming the Police Jury and the Planning Commission as defendants. Following a hearing, the district court dismissed the petition for judicial review. This appeal followed.

ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR

1. The [district] court erred as a matter of law in rendering a Judgment dismissing the Petition filed by Deer Chase and Dudley where the procedures used by the Police Jury and Planning Commission to rescind the signatures and approval of the Dudley Map violated the applicable zoning ordinances.

2. The [district] court erred as a matter of law in rendering a Judgment dismissing the Petition filed by Deer Chase and Dudley where the procedures used by the Police Jury and Planning Commission to rescind the signatures and approval of the Dudley Map were an arbitrary and capricious abuse of discretion that was unreasonable under the circumstances.

3. The [district] court erred as a matter of law in rendering a Judgment dismissing the Petition filed by Deer Chase and Dudley where the Police Jury and Planning Commission violated due process to rescind the signatures and approval of the Dudley Map.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NUMBER ONE

In this assignment, appellants attack the procedures followed by the Planning Commission and Police Jury in reaching their respective decisions concerning the rescission of the signatures approving the Dudley Map and the filing of the “Notarial Act of Deposit” into the public records. Appellants argue the only method for either the Chandlers or the Planning Commission to challenge or rescind the signatures on the Dudley Map was to follow the appeal procedures provided in the EFP Planning and Zoning Ordinance (Zoning Ordinance). They point out the Zoning Ordinance requires an appeal to be filed in writing within thirty days of the challenged decision. Thereafter, the Planning Commission must fix a reasonable time for a hearing on the appeal and shall have a sign erected in a conspicuous place on the affected property giving public notice of the appeal no less than fifteen days prior to the scheduled hearing. See EFP Zoning Ord. § 12-162(b) & (d)(2). After the Planning Commission has rendered a decision on an appeal, that decision can then be appealed to the Police Jury. EFP Zoning Ord. § 12-162(e).

Appellants contend that because no written appeal was ever filed challenging the signatures approving the Dudley Map, which were dated from March 30 to April 2, the Dudley Map became final and unappealable as of May 3, following the lapse of the thirty-day appeal period provided in EFP Zoning Ord. § 12-162(d)(2). They point out the verbal complaint made by the Chandlers was neither made in writing nor within thirty days of the signing of the Dudley Map. Additionally, they note the Planning Commission never held an appeal hearing prior to recommending rescission of the signatures and failed to post a sign on the affected property giving notice of a hearing as required by EFP Zoning Ord. § 12-162(b). Because these procedural requirements were not followed, appellants argue the Planning Commission's August 4 recommendation to rescind the signatures on the Dudley Map, the Police Jury's August 18 adoption of the recommendation, and the filing of the “Notarial Act of Deposit,” each violated the Zoning Ordinance. Appellants contend the Planning Commission and Police Jury lacked authority to violate the Zoning Ordinance in this manner.

In reviewing the denial of appellants' administrative appeal to the Police Jury, the district court concluded the Planning Commission did not violate the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance, stating:

At trial, there was testimony as to whether the provisions of the Planning and Zoning Ordinance relative to appeal were followed when the Commission initially recommended that the Police Jury rescind the approval by Mr. Rouchon. That action, however, was not the result of or part of an appellate process. The action of the Commission on August 4, 2015, recommending rescission of approval of the map, did not involve an appeal of an action by the Commission in approving or disapproving a map properly submitted. Rather, it was an effort by the Commission to correct the unauthorized action of two Commission members in signing a map that had not been approved by the Commission and was not in compliance with the Subdivision Ordinance. The only appeal in this case was that by Mr. Dudley filed on September 30, 2015, and that appeal was in compliance with the Planning and Zoning Ordinance. ․ At trial, there was evidence that there was no sign giving public notice of the appeal erected on the site of the proposed subdivision. That requirement appears in Section 12-162 (b) of the Planning and Zoning Ordinance covering appeals to the Commission from any decision of “the building official,” not a decision of the Commission and is not applicable.

We agree with the district court that the appellate procedures provided in EFP Zoning Ord. § 12-162 were not applicable. Those procedures apply only to appeals “taken to the Planning and Zoning Commission” by “aggrieved” persons or entities. See EFP Zoning Ord. §§ 12-162(b) & 12-162(d)(1) (emphasis added). The provisions clearly do not contemplate the necessity of the Planning Commission taking an appeal to itself in order to reconsider its actions or those of its own members. The Planning Commission's August 4 decision to recommend rescission of the signatures on the Dudley Map was not made pursuant to an appeal.

On that date, the Planning Commission considered the actions of two of its members who signed the Dudley Map erroneously believing it had been approved by the Planning Commission. We find no merit in appellants' contention that the only method by which the Planning Commission could consider this issue was to take an appeal to itself from the actions of its own members. The appellate procedures provided in EFP Zoning Ord. § 12-162 were not applicable in this situation. Zoning is a legislative function, the authority for which flows from the police power of governmental bodies. King v. Caddo Parish Commission, 97-1873 (La. 10/20/98), 719 So.2d 410, 418; see also La. R.S. 33:101.1. In reaching their respective decisions to rescind the signatures of approval on the Dudley Map, the Planning Commission and Police Jury were performing a legislative function.

A planning commission has the right to revoke an erroneously approved subdivision map in the exercise of its legislative authority. In Investment Management Services, Inc. v. Village of Folsom, 00-0832 (La. App. 1st Cir. 5/11/01), 808 So.2d 597, two maps for the same subdivision were signed by Village of Folsom officials. The first map (Map 697-B) was approved at a town meeting in 1980. Like the Dudley Map, the second map (Map 850-A) was signed by Village of Folsom officials in 1983, although it was never approved at a town meeting. Both maps were recorded in the public records. Investment Management Services, Inc., 808 So.2d at 600. Subsequently, the Village of Folsom passed a resolution in 1987, declaring the second map (Map 850-A) to be invalid and recorded the resolution in the public records. The owner of several lots in the subdivision filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment declaring Map 850-A to be the controlling map and cancelling the resolution declaring Map 850-A to be invalid. Investment Management Services, Inc., 808 So.2d at 601. The trial court denied relief and declared Map 697-B to be the official plat controlling the subdivision. Investment Management Services, Inc., 808 So.2d at 602.

This court affirmed, agreeing that Map 850-A was invalid, despite being signed by village officials, because it was not submitted to the planning commission for approval before its recordation as required by the applicable ordinance. Investment Management Services, Inc., 808 So.2d at 606. Thus, this court found no error in the trial court's refusal to cancel the resolution, which was a reflection of the planning commission's policy decision and put the public on notice that the Village of Folsom did not recognize Map 850-A. Investment Management Services, Inc., 808 So.2d at 603 & 607.

Additionally, extensive jurisprudence dealing with building permits provides analogous support regarding the right of a zoning commission to revoke actions taken in error or based upon a misrepresentation. In Nassau Realty Co. v. City of New Orleans, 221 So.2d 327, 330 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1969), the Fourth Circuit, quoting from the trial court's reasons for judgment, stated “[t]he mere fact that a building permit was issued in error and contrary to the laws of the City does not vest an irrevocable right to proceed under that permit contrary to subsequent action cancelling the permission previous[ly] granted.” Accord Parish of Jefferson v. Davis, 97-1200 (La. App. 5th Cir. 6/30/98), 716 So.2d 428, 433, writ denied, 98-2634 (La. 12/11/98), 730 So.2d 460. An erroneously issued permit does not gain legal status simply by virtue of its issuance. 7004 St. Charles Ave. Corporation v. City of New Orleans, 97-0299 (La. App. 4th Cir. 12/10/97), 704 So.2d 909, 911, writ denied, 98-0036 (La. 3/13/98), 712 So.2d 881. A zoning authority has the right to cancel or revoke a building permit erroneously issued as a result of a mistake of fact or law, either because the permit did not comply with zoning regulations or because the permit was approved based on a misrepresentation made by the property owner. See Ellsworth v. City of New Orleans, 13-0084 (La. App. 4th Cir. 7/31/13), 120 So.3d 897, 907; Cross v. City of New Orleans, 446 So.2d 1253, 1254 (La. App. 4th Cir.), writ denied, 449 So.2d 1359 (La. 1984); Summerchase Ltd. Partnership I v. City of Gonzales, 970 F. Supp. 522, 534 (M.D.La. 1997).

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NUMBER TWO

In their second assignment of error, appellants argue the actions of the Police Jury and Planning Commission were inherently arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable because they failed to follow the appellate procedures set forth in the Zoning Ordinance. We reject this argument, since we have already concluded these appellate procedures were inapplicable under the facts present.

Appellants further contend the Police Jury and Planning Commission acted unreasonably since Mr. Dudley no longer owned the property at the time of the actions disavowing the signatures of approval. They note the property had been transferred to Deer Chase several months earlier, which had sold one of the lots to the Pourciaus. They assert the Pourciaus were entitled under the public records doctrine to rely on the Dudley Map filed in the public records.

Initially, we observe the Pourciaus are not parties to this litigation. We express no opinion on any possible rights they may have, which are personal to them and not properly before us in this appeal. Incidentally, we note the public records doctrine is a negative doctrine that does not create rights, but denies the effect of certain rights if they are not recorded. The Louisiana Supreme Court has explained that “third persons are not allowed to rely on what is contained in the public records, but can rely on the absence from the public records of those interests that are required to be recorded.” Cimarex Energy Co. v. Mauboules, 09-1170 (La. 4/9/10), 40 So.3d 931, 944; see also La. C.C. art. 3338.

Turning to consideration of whether the actions of the Police Jury and Planning Commission were arbitrary or unreasonable, we note a prima facie presumption of validity attaches to a zoning board's actions. Freeman v. Kenner Board of Zoning Adjustments, 09-1060 (La. App. 5th Cir. 4/27/10), 40 So.3d 207, 212; Papa v. City of Shreveport, 27,045 (La. App. 2d Cir. 9/29/95), 661 So.2d 1100, 1103, writ denied, 95-2544 (La. 1/5/96), 666 So.2d 295. Because zoning falls under the jurisdiction of the legislature, courts will not interfere with a zoning board's prerogative unless the action is palpably erroneous and without any substantial relation to the public health, safety, or general welfare. Toups v. City of Shreveport, 10-1559 (La. 3/15/11), 60 So.3d 1215, 1217; King, 719 So.2d at 418. A reviewing court cannot substitute its own judgment nor interfere with a zoning decision absent a showing that the board was arbitrary and capricious or abused its discretion. Freeman, 40 So.3d at 212; Papa, 661 So.2d at 1103.

An action is “arbitrary and capricious” when it is a willful and unreasoning action, absent consideration and in disregard of the facts and circumstances of the case. Toups, 60 So.3d at 1217. The test of whether an action is arbitrary or capricious is whether the action is reasonable under the circumstances. King, 719 So.2d at 418; Clark v. City of Shreveport, 26,638 (La. App. 2d Cir. 5/10/95), 655 So.2d 617, 621-22. A challenge to a zoning decision is a de novo proceeding on the issue of whether the result of the decision is arbitrary and capricious. Toups, 60 So.3d at 1218. On appeal, a person who opposes a zoning board's decision bears the burden of proving that the decision was arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable. Parish of Jefferson, 716 So.2d at 433.

Our review of the record does not support appellants' contention that the actions of the Police Jury and Planning Commission were arbitrary, capricious, and/or unreasonable. The Planning Commission never voted on whether to recommend approval of the Dudley Map to the Police Jury in accordance with EFP Zoning Ord. § 12-82(2). On March 24, the Planning Commission “tabled” consideration of the Dudley Map, meaning the matter was set aside until the Planning Commission voted to resume its consideration. See Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014). The Planning Commission never resumed consideration of the Dudley Map nor made a recommendation to the Police Jury regarding the Dudley Map prior to its signing.

The district court explained the procedures for approval of a subdivision of land under the EFP Subdivision Ordinance, as follows:

The final authority for approval of subdivision plats rests solely with the Police Jury after receiving recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Commission. In very general terms, the Subdivision Ordinance requires submission of a preliminary plat of survey prepared according to strict requirements along with an application form to the Commission. If, after review, the Commission deems the application complete, a public hearing is scheduled and conducted by the Commission after which the Commission makes its recommendation to the Police Jury. The Police Jury has the final authority to act on the request. If the preliminary plat is approved by the Police Jury, the subdivision developer may proceed with preparation of construction plans which are submitted to the Commission then to the Police Jury. If the construction plans are approved by the Police Jury, the subdivision developer may begin construction. After construction and submission of a construction bond, the developer must prepare a final plat of survey to be submitted to the Police Jury for approval, but only after approval by the Commission, the parish engineer, and the parish sanitarian.

See generally EFP Subd. Ord. § IV(A), (C) & (D); § VI(A); and § VII(A). The district court correctly noted “[t]he strict requirements for approval of subdivision maps were not followed in this case” because “[o]nly one map was presented, no hearing was held, [and] no recommendation was made to the Police Jury by the Planning and Zoning Commission.”

Section II of the Subdivision Ordinance provides several exceptions to these requirements. Despite the fact that none of the exceptions apply to the Dudley Map, it contains a notation claiming “THIS MAP IS A SUBDIVISION OF A FAMILY PARTITION AND IS SUBJECT TO EXCEPTION 8 OF THE EAST FELICIANA PARISH SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE.” This claim was incorrect. Subdivision Ordinance Section 11(A)(8) does not provide an exception for family partitions. It provides an exception for a “transfer of land title by inheritance,” which was not applicable under the facts. Mr. Dudley testified his purpose in subdividing the land was to manage it while he was still alive in order to enhance its value for the benefit of his children.

Subdivision Ordinance Section 11(A)(9) also provides an exception allowing the Planning Commission to authorize the subdivision of a contiguous tract of land into no more than four lots, which may be served by a private servitude of passage. However, since the Dudley Map created a total of eight lots served by a private servitude, this exception is inapplicable.3

In this case, the Planning Commission members who signed the Dudley Map did so in the mistaken belief the Dudley Map had been approved by the Planning Commission. As noted in the district court's reasons for judgment, the Dudley Map did not meet the requirements for obtaining approval under the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances. Nor did the Dudley Map fall under any of the exceptions to the Subdivision Ordinance since its eight lots exceeded the limit of four lots served by a private servitude of passage. Of equal significance is the fact that the map Mr. Dudley submitted to the Planning Commission incorrectly represented it was exempt from the requirements of the Subdivision Ordinance.

The fact that the Dudleys transferred ownership of the property at issue to a limited liability company of which they were authorized members, which then sold one of the lots and donated another, did not alter the fact that the Dudley Map was never validly approved through the procedures outlined in the Subdivision Ordinance. Appellants had no right to approval of a map that had not complied with the requirements of the Subdivision Ordinance and did not fall under any of its exceptions. Accordingly, because the Dudley Map did not meet the requirements of the Subdivision Ordinance and the error in signing the Dudley Map was induced, at least in part, by incorrect information provided by Mr. Dudley, the Planning Commission and Police Jury acted reasonably and in the interest of the public in rescinding the signatures approving the Dudley Map in order to enforce EFP's zoning ordinances.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NUMBER THREE

In their final assignment of error, appellants contend their right to procedural due process was violated by the failure of the Planning Commission and Police Jury to provide them with notice “before starting their procedures to retroactively alter their constitutionally protected property rights.”4

In order to establish a due process violation, appellants must show the actions rescinding approval of the Dudley Map deprived them of a vested property right without due process. See Nichols v. Bowles, 993 F.2d 1544 (5th Cir. 1993); Summerchase Ltd. Partnership I, 970 F.Supp. at 534. We conclude appellants have not met this burden since the purported approval of the Dudley Map did not confer a vested right upon them. In reaching this conclusion, we again look to the jurisprudence dealing with building permits. In situations where a building permit has been issued in error, particularly when based upon incorrect information provided by the applicant, it has been held the applicant acquires no vested right in the permi t. See Pallet v. City of New Orleans, Department of Safety & Permits, 433 So 2d 1091, 1095-96 (La. App. 4th Cir.), writ denied, 440 So.2d 757 (La. 1983); Brennan v. Board of Zoning Adjustments of City of New Orleans, 371 So.2d 324, 326 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1979); Summerchase Ltd. Partnership I, 970 F Supp. at 534. The rationale for these holdings is the conclusion that a party can acquire vested rights only in a validly issued, building permit. See Pailet, 433 So.2d at 1095; Ellsworth, 120 So.3d at 907 (the vested rights doctrine applies only to the arbitrary revocation of a valid building permit).

Similarly, we believe no vested right can be acquired from the erroneous approval of a subdivision map, at least in situations where the map contains incorrect information provided by the property owner. To the extent the vested rights doctrine is applicable, we hold it applies only to the rescission of a validly approved subdivision map.

In the instant case, the map Mr. Dudley submitted to the Planning Commission contained incorrect information representing it was exempt from the requirements of the Subdivision Ordinance. Appellants have provided no explanation for this inaccuracy. Considering the incorrect information Mr. Dudley provided to the Planning Commission, appellants had no right to rely on the signatures on the Dudley Map. The signing of the Dudley Map was at least partially induced by Mr. Dudley's own actions in providing the Planning Commission with incorrect information. Moreover, the members of the Planning Commission who signed the Dudley Map did so mistakenly believing it had been approved by the Planning Commission. Since the Dudley Map had, in fact, never been approved by the Planning Commission, those members lacked authority to approve the map on behalf of the Planning Commission. The Dudley Map was never validly approved. See Investment Management Services, Inc., 808 So.2d at 606. Accordingly, appellants acquired no vested rights from the signing of the Dudley Map.

CONCLUSION

For the above reasons, the judgment of the district court dismissing the petition for judicial review filed by appellants, Deer Chase, LLC and Tommy D. Dudley, is hereby affirmed. Appellants are to pay all costs of this appeal.

AFFIRMED.

I respectfully concur with the majority opinion herein. Specifically, I too am troubled as to the fast Feliciana Police Jury's (“EFPJ”) failure to provide written notice to Mr. Dudley prior to rescinding its approval of the Dudley Map. However, as set forth in the majority opinion, where appellants have failed to establish that the EFPJ's actions of rescinding approval of the Dudley Map deprived them of a vested property right, because no vested property right can be acquired from the erroneous approval of a subdivision map, I am constrained to agree with the ultimate result reached in the majority opinion herein. See Brennan v. Board of Zoning Adjustments of City of New Orleans, 371 So. 2d 324, 326 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1979) (“when a building permit is issued in error, the licensee does not acquire a vested property right in such permit”).

For these reasons, I concur in the result which I am constrained to find is legally correct.

I disagree with the majority's affirmance of the judgment dismissing the plaintiffs' petition for judicial review. I think the EFP Planning Commission and Police Jury abused their discretion by failing to give Mr. Dudley notice and/or an opportunity to be heard before recommending and rescinding approval of the Dudley Map, which had been signed by their representatives and then recorded in the public records.

FOOTNOTES

1.   All dates referenced in this opinion occurred in 2015.

2.   Under parliamentary law, to “ ‘table” a matter means “to set aside the pending business until the assembly votes to resume its consideration.” Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014).

3.   We note at the Planning Commission meeting on November 24, a motion was passed to “revisit” the issue if Mr. Dudley submitted a map with no more than four lots (three for the Dudleys, one for the Chandlers). The record contains no indication of whether such a map was ever submitted to the Planning Commission.

4.   Appellants have raised no issue regarding the public notice given of the applicable Police Jury and Planning Commission meetings where the Dudley Map was considered. Rather, they complain that they were not given written notice of the meetings, which is undisputed. With respect to actual notice, there was conflicting evidence. Mr. Dudley indicated he received no notice of any kind from the Planning Commission or Police Jury that the Dudley Map was being discussed until he received notice of the filing of the notarial act of deposit. However, he admitted hearing talk at social gatherings indicating the Police Jury and Planning Commission were considering the validity of the Dudley Map, but he decided it was not something he needed to become involved with. Mr. Howell, the Planning Commission chairman, testified that although he never directed that any written notice be sent: to Mr. Dudley, he was aware from the minutes of the Police Jury's September 1 meeting that several people had called Mr. Dudley about the meeting where the Dudley Map was to be discussed.

McDonald, J. dissents and assigns reasons Whipple, C.J. concurs for the reasons assigned.