High court hears 2 cases

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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Justices heard arguments this morning on two cases, one asking whether mayors have veto power over certain zoning variances approved by local officials.

First arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court came in Heidbreder, Inc. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of Crown Point, 858 N.E.2d 1999 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006). The Court of Appeals in December reversed the trial court in its decision involving a special-use variance request.

The case stems from a request by Heidbreder to locate a concrete redi-mix plant on the company-owned property and the subsequent variance filed in March 2005. The local BZA approved the plan, as did the city council. However, the Crown Point mayor vetoed the special use, and the city council was not able to get enough votes to override it.

Lake Superior Judge John Pera held that IC 36-7-4-918.6 does not apply to municipalities, that the special use had not been granted, and that the mayor was empowered to veto a special-use resolution. The Court of Appeals found the lower court erred on all three issues and reversed the case.

Justices had not yet decided to take the case at arguments. Attorneys appearing before the Supreme Court were Crown Point attorney Bruce A. Lambka for the appellant Heidbreder, and Patrick A. Schuster for the city's BZA.

The second argument justices heard this morning was Linda Keesling v. Frederick Beegle, 18A04-0501-CV-10, which involves fraud, theft, conversion, racketeering, and securities claims relating to the selling of telephone systems, including payphones.

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