In re Patch

In In re Patch, 140 Vt. 158, 437 A.2d 121 (1981), a local zoning ordinance required a preliminary finding by the planning commission that a proposed conditional use conformed with the same general character as those permitted in the district, and would not be detrimental to other uses in the district. 175, 437 A.2d at 129. Rejecting a claim of "unauthorized delegation" to the planning commission, we explained that "the ordinance very carefully retains in the board of adjustment the only authority to grant approval for the issuance of conditional use permits. It is required to hold hearings and make findings, as required by 24 V.S.A. 4407(2)." Id. Distinguishing Town of Westford v. Kilburn, 131 Vt. 120, 126, 300 A.2d 523, 527 (1973), which had invalidated an ordinance requiring the preliminary approval of private landowners within 1000 feet of the applicant's property, the Court noted that the planning commission was the "municipal body responsible for the preparation of this very [zoning] ordinance, and a body with statutorily recognized functions in connection with these very permits." Patch, 140 Vt. at 175, 437 A.2d at 129. Accordingly, the Court concluded that the ordinance did not represent an invalid delegation of power. See id.