Patterson v. American Fork

Utah Supreme Court

2003 UT 7, 67 P.3d 466

           The Vested Rights Rule is not based on constitutional or property rights, but estoppel–that is, detrimental reliance on a local zoning ordinance.  Mere adherence to formal rules does not entitle a property owner to approval of a development application.

         Absent invidious discrimination, a conventional planning dispute is a matter primarily of concern to the state and does not implicate the US Constitution.   In order to state a due process claim, a party must show a property or liberty interest which warrants due process protection.  A party must have more than a unilateral expectation of a right, instead, the party must have a legitimate claim of entitlement.

         A showing of “uneven” enforcement of a law is not sufficient to justify an equal protection claim.  What is required is a showing of totally illegitimate animus toward the plaintiff by the defendant.

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