By Nicole Killoran
In re Toor, 2012 VT 63.
As members of the bar who dabble in municipal law well know, a zoning case often boils down to BANANA-NIMBY: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything, and most certainly Not In My Back Yard. These cases usually boil down to a question of how to interpret a town’s zoning bylaws. But underlying the textual analysis of every zoning appeal is a pissed off neighbor (or several), usually someone rich enough to hire an attorney to challenge his neighbor’s activities. Today’s case is no exception.
The setting for today’s case is Grand Isle. The subject property is a vacation home with sleeping accommodations for 15 located at the north end of Ladd Point— the “gateway” to Lake Champlain. Defendants are Californians who have in the past used their enormous seasonal playhouse as an entertainment and gathering hub. Defendants also allowed friends and family borrow the use of the property on occasion.