Emmett McLoughlin Realty, Inc., et al. v. Pima County – 2/24/2006

February 24, 2006

Arizona Court of Appeals Division Two Affirms Summary Judgment in a Zoning Action Holding that Pima County Complied With the Applicable Notice and Hearing Requirements

Emmett McLoughlin Realty, Inc., and others (“McLoughlin”) sued Pima County and its Board of Supervisors, arguing that the County had violated the due process rights of the owners of three parcels of land due to a lack of notice of a Board meeting that preceded the final zoning decisions at issue. McLoughlin also argued that a Commissioner was biased because the Commissioner was also a County employee. The Court held that Pima County complied with the notice and hearing provisions as well as the jurisdictional requirements set forth in A.R.S. § 11-829 and Pima County Code § 18.91.060. The Board did not rezone McLoughlin’s real property at the meeting about which he failed to receive a personal notice, and McLoughlin did receive a notice of the meeting concerning the zoning decisions. Although the property was discussed at the earlier meeting, the Court explained that under the Legislative Act Doctrine – which exempts legislative functions from the full constitutional due process requirements – McLoughlin was not entitled to personal notice of that meeting. Additionally, the Court found that the Commissioner with the alleged bias did not have a substantial interest in the rezoning of the property, but was rather merely an employee of the County. Consequently, his participation in the Commission hearing did not violate McLoughlin’s right to a fair and impartial hearing. The Court affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Pima County.

Justice Howard authored the decision in which Judges Pelander and Brammer joined.