FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Glenn Quintiliano,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-299

Planning and Zoning Commission,

Town of Monroe; and

Burton and Alyce Block,

 
  Respondents  June 8, 2005
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 8, 2004, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts, and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The petition of Burton and Alyce Block to be given party status was granted by the hearing officer on October 27, 2004, pursuant to 1-21j-30(b), Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.

 

            After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

 

            1.  The respondent Planning and Zoning Commission is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  The parties Burton and Alyce Block were applicants before the respondent for a zone change and special exception permit for a proposed subdivision known as Block Farm Estates, which matter was before the respondent at its June 24, 2004 meeting.  The complainant is an adjoining property owner.

 

3.  By letter of complaint filed July 7, 2004, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent Planning and Zoning Commission violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by not providing the minutes and record of vote of its June 24, 2004 meeting on July 2, 2004; and by failing to post notice of the June 24, 2004 meeting prior to that meeting.  The complainant requested that the vote taken at the June 24, 2004 meeting be declared null and void.

 

4.  Section 1-225(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

The votes of each member of any such public agency upon any issue before such public agency shall be reduced to writing and made available for public inspection within forty-eight hours and shall also be recorded in the minutes of the session at which taken, which minutes shall be available for public inspection within seven days of the session to which they refer.

 

5.  Section 1-225(d), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

Notice of each special meeting of every public agency … shall be given not less than twenty-four hours prior to the time of such meeting by filing a notice of the time and place thereof …  in the office of the clerk of such subdivision for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state …. 

 

6.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. 

 

7.  It is found that the respondent Planning and Zoning Commission held a special meeting on June 24, 2004.

 

8.  It is found that the notice and agenda of the June 24, 2004 meeting included, under “Applications Awaiting Decision,” the application for the Block Farm Estates subdivision.

 

9.  It is found that the Town Planner prepared the notice and agenda for the June 24, 2004 meeting on June 18, 2004, and posted it on the town hall bulletin board on the same day.

 

10.  It is concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-225(d), G.S., as it posted notice of its June 24, 2004 special meeting more than twenty-four hours prior to the time of such meeting

 

11.  It is found that, at its June 24, 2004 special meeting, the respondent unanimously approved the Block’s application for zone change and special exception permit for the Block Farm Estates.

 

12.  It is found that the Town Planner prepared the record of vote of the June 24, 2004 meeting on the same evening, and that it was available for public inspection on June 25, 2004.

 

13.  It is concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-225(a), G.S.,  with respect to its record of vote, as the record of vote was available for public inspection within forty-eight hours of the June 24, 2004 meeting.

 

14.  It is found that the Town Planner prepared the minutes of the June 24, 2004 meeting, and that the minutes were available for public inspection on June 29, 2004.

 

15.  It is concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-225(a), G.S., with respect to its minutes, as the minutes of the June 24, 2004 meeting were available for public inspection with seven days of the meeting.

 

16.  It is found that the complainant requested copies of the minutes and record of vote of the respondent’s June 24, 2004 meeting on the afternoon of July 2, 2004.

 

17.  The Commission takes administrative notice of the fact that July 2, 2004 was the Friday before Independence Day weekend, and that Independence Day was celebrated on Monday, July 5, 2004.

 

18.  It is found that the respondent’s secretary was not available to immediately locate the requested records, because she had been away from the office on personal leave.  On the same afternoon of the July 2, 2004 request, the secretary took the complainant’s phone number, called the Town Planner, who was on vacation, in order to locate the records, made copies of the records, and called the complainant to tell him that he could pick up the records from the reception desk.

 

19.  It is found that the complainant actually obtained the requested records from the respondent on Tuesday July 6, 2004.

 

20.  It is concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-210(a), G.S., under the facts and circumstances of this case, as it promptly provided copies of the requested records.

 

21.  Since the respondent did not violate the FOI Act as alleged by the complainant, the complainant’s request to declare the vote taken at the June 24, 2004 meeting is denied.

 

 

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

 

            1.  The complaint is dismissed.

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 8, 2005.

 

________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission


PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

 

Glenn Quintiliano

22 East Village Road

Monroe, CT 06468

 

Planning and Zoning Commission,

Town of Monroe

c/o Frederick J. Martin, Esq.

450 Monroe Turnpike

Monroe, CT 06468

 

Burton and Alyce Block

c/o Edward P. McCreery III, Esq.

Pullman & Comley, LLC

850 Main Street

PO Box 7006

Bridgeport, CT 06601-7006

 

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-299FD/paj/6/9/2005