Lewis v. Planning & Zoning Commission

In Lewis v. Planning & Zoning Commission, 62 Conn. App. 284, 771 A.2d 167 (2001), the plaintiffs appealed from the judgment of the trial court dismissing their administrative appeal because they lacked standing. Id., at 285. Though Lewis involved an administrative appeal from the decision of a planning and zoning commission to amend its regulations, our discussion in that appeal about the well established principles of standing is equally applicable to the present case involving the department. In Lewis, we stated that "as a jurisdictional matter, an appellant must demonstrate aggrievement to maintain an administrative appeal. Aggrievement is essentially a question of standing; without it, a court must dismiss an action for want of jurisdiction. . . . Two broad yet distinct categories of aggrievement exist, classical and statutory. . . . "Classical aggrievement requires a two part showing. First, a party must demonstrate a specific, personal and legal interest in the subject matter of the decision, as opposed to a general interest that all members of the community share. . . . Second, the party must also show that the agency's decision has specially and injuriously affected that specific personal or legal interest. . . . Aggrievement does not demand certainty, only the possibility of an adverse effect on a legally protected interest. . . . "Statutory aggrievement exists by legislative fiat, not by judicial analysis of the particular facts of the case. In other words, in cases of statutory aggrievement, particular legislation grants standing to those who claim injury to an interest protected by that legislation." Id., at 288.