Zoning Ordinances Interpretation Rules

Zoning ordinances are interpreted according to the rules of statutory construction and any rules of construction included in the ordinances themselves. The interpretation of an ordinance presents a question of law which we review de novo. When interpreting an ordinance, we must assume that the legislative body meant what the ordinance says and give its words and phrases plain meaning and effect. Because this matter was presented to the trial court on certiorari, our scope of review is limited to the questions of whether the inferior courts, officers, boards, and tribunals had jurisdiction and whether they have regularly pursued the authority conferred upon them. 'When such courts, officers, boards, or tribunals have jurisdiction over the subject matter and of the party, their action will be sustained unless in their proceedings they did some act forbidden by law or neglected to do some act required by law.'