In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


David H. Richter and Kathryn A.Richter,




against Docket #FIC 87-78


Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Monroe,


Respondent September 23, 1987


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 28 and May 26, 1987, at which times the complainants and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.


After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found:


1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


2. By letter dated March 9, 1987, the complainants requested the respondent provide them with a complete copy of the Baker Firestone application to the Town of Monroe for a proposed condominium project and related zone change, including all text, maps, exhibits, engineering documents, and any other related material relevant to the application that was on file as of that date.


3. By letter dated March 20, 1987, and filed with the Commission on March 23, 1987, the complainants appealed to the Commission, alleging a denial of their request and requesting, among other relief, the imposition of a monetary fine.


4. The respondent claims it provided timely copies of all the requested records.


5. It is found that the respondent has a file for the current Baker Firestone application that is separate from its file containing records of a similar application Baker Firestone submitted in 1985.


Docket #FIC 87-78 Page Two


6. It is found that on March 20, 1987, the respondent provided the complainants with copies of everything that was in the current application's file as of March 9, 1987.


7. It is found that the respondent had to contact the original suppliers of certain documents to have copies made and that the time taken to provide copies was reasonable under the circumstances.


8. It is found that most of the documents which the complainants listed during the hearing as not provided were submitted to the current application's file after March 9, 1987.


9. It is found, however, that some of the records not provided were in the 1985 application's file on March 9, 1987.


10. It is found that records in the 1985 application's file comprise other related material relevant to the current application, material included in the complainants' request.


11. It is found that the respondent was aware that it had such other related material on file, but failed to provide the same so as to clarify the response to the complainant's request.


12. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S., by not providing the complainants with copies of the records in the 1985 application's file.


The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:


1. The respondent forthwith shall provide the complainants with complete copies of all the records relevant to Baker Firestone's current application to the Town of Monroe that were in its office as of March 9, 1987, and not yet provided to the complainants, including the records from the 1985 application.


2. The respondent henceforth shall act in strict compliance with 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.


3. The Commission declines to impose a monetary civil penalty.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting on September 23, 1987.



Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission