Who May Appeal Zoning Decisions In Texas ?

In Hunt v. Bass, a case involving standing to assert a claim in a district court, 11 plaintiffs in separate suits in Harris County filed a petition for writ of mandamus alleging that the delay in bringing their suits to trial denied them valuable property rights. 664 S.W.2d 323, 324 (Tex. 1984). The district court dismissed their petition on the basis that they had no standing. The supreme court said, "Once the plaintiffs alleged an interest peculiar to themselves and distinguishable from the public generally, they were entitled to a factual hearing." Id. Courts in at least two other jurisdictions have determined that persons residing or owning property within a zoned area have standing to challenge zoning decisions affecting that area. In Byers v. Board of Clallam County Commissioners, residents and taxpayers challenged an interim zoning ordinance that was passed for a portion of the county. 84 Wn.2d 796, 529 P.2d 823, 826 (Wash. 1974). The Board of Commissioners argued that the residents and taxpayers did not have standing to attack the ordinance. The supreme court, recognizing its previous holding that residents of an area encompassed by a zoning plan have a sufficient protected interest to have standing to challenge the reasonableness and validity of a zoning ordinance, affirmed the trial court's determination that the residents and taxpayers had standing. Id.