I have a 1 acre yard in a residential neighborhood that is just outside the village limits in the county. I want to build a building in my back yard and start a dog grooming/ boarding/ training business. I have always had a good relationship I thought with my neighbors so before I started this project I asked them first if they were OK with this. My closest neighbor was fine with this and gave me his approval. I even asked again and made sure that he was OK with and asked him if any problems come up please come talk to me before I go spend all the money and put effort into getting the zoning permits. I went through the process. I paid for a lawyer and for the hearings. The Zoning office itself recommended that I should be allowed to do it. Once the first hearing started my neighbor showed up and stood up to oppose me.
I was shocked and couldnt understand why he never came to me with any of the long list of issues he had come up with as to why I should not be allowed to do this. He even went around to all the people in the area, even outside our neighborhood and spun the truth to talk these people into signing a petition against me. My question is can I have a case against him for deceiving me and making me think he was fine with me doing, knowing I was working toward this and spending money I cant afford to spend. Shouldn't he have a responsibility to bring these concerns to me like he agreed? Im sure one of the questions that will come up is how do we prove that he agreed to this. I have been through 2 of the 3 meetings that are required to get approval and he is on record saying that he did originally agree. If he would have come to me and had conversation like he agreed we could have either worked the issues out or I could have went a different direction. If I would have known he didnt want to go along with it I would not have spend all that money and time trying to make it happen. thanks for your time. My question is not if he has the right to change his mind but shouldn't he have a responsibility to inform me of his
opposition as he agreed to do. I would not have moved foreword, spent money and waisted everyone's time if he would have done what he told me he would do and talked to me about his concerns. If I didn't care about his concerns I would have never went to talk to him in the first place.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Generally no; politics is politics. And with nothing other than the oral discussions, you have no proof of anything. And even if he had signed a petition supporting your application, he could have shown up, revoked his support and opposed your application, without otherwise informing you. Is it somewhat dishonorable? Yes. Illegal? No.