Rivera v. City of Phoenix

In Rivera v. City of Phoenix, 186 Ariz. 600, 602, 925 P.2d 741, 743 (App. 1996), a homeowner lived in an area where the zoning code limited the square footage of improvements to 25% of the total area of the lot. 186 Ariz. at 601, 925 P.2d at 742. The homeowner applied for a building permit to construct an addition to his residence, and according to the permit application, the addition and the existing structure would still cover less than 25% of the lot. Id. at 601-02, 925 P.2d at 742-43. Based on the application, the city issued the permit. Id. at 602, 925 P.2d at 743. Upon later inspection, however, the city discovered the expanded residence violated the zoning code because it actually covered 40% of the total area of the lot. Id. The violation occurred because the plans the homeowner submitted failed to accurately reflect a previous addition to the residence. Id. The Court rejected the homeowner's argument that because he had proceeded with construction in reliance on the building permit he had a vested property right to continue construction. Id. The Court stated: "When a building permit application contains incorrect information which results in the issuance of a building permit allowing construction of a structure in violation of the zoning code, a subsequent revocation of the permit due to the zoning violation is with good cause . . . so that the revocation does not violate Due Process." Id.