City of South Burlington v. Department of Corrections

In City of South Burlington v. Department of Corrections, 171 Vt. 587, 762 A.2d 1229 (2000) (mem.), the Court ruled that a state agency could not accept permit restrictions without appeal and later claim that the conditions are invalid because of the limitations in 4409(a). The Court reasoned: "The Department responds that it cannot be bound by 4472 the appeal requirement statute because it, as an agency of the sovereign, is immune from municipal zoning regulations of any factor not specifically enumerated in 24 V.S.A. 4409. It further argues that it had no need to appeal the 1992 site-plan approval because it knew the condition limiting the number of inmates was unenforceable due to its sovereign immunity. Essentially, the Department argues that it need not raise its claim to sovereign immunity until it chooses to do so and that no zoning proceeding is really final because it can always reopen a dispute by claiming sovereign immunity. We reject this argument. Section 4472 demonstrates an unmistakable intent to limit zoning disputes to a well-defined procedure and to provide finality at the end of the proceedings. We are not convinced that the State should be exempt from these requirements." (Id. at 590, 762 A.2d at 1231.)