Couple can build house, says SD Supreme Court

PIERRE, S.D. (KELOLAND) — The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a couple who had been blocked from building a house in Day County.

In an opinion publicly released Thursday, the state’s highest court said that the 30-day period for an appeal ran out before the Day County Board of Adjustment reconsidered a variance sought by Les and Julie Gonsor.

The Gonsors were told in 2015 that their property violated Day County’s planning and zoning ordinance after they altered the grading and added rocks to the property. They sought a variance that the Day County Board of Adjustment granted effective December 15, 2015.

In June 2020, the Gonsors applied to the county for a permit to build a house on the property. The county board denied the request, because the Gonsors hadn’t complied with the revised conditions.

After a trial, Circuit Judge Jon Flemmer ruled in favor of the county. The Gonsors appealed his decision to the Supreme Court.

The justices unanimously overruled Judge Flemmer. Justice Scott Myren wrote the high court’s opinion.

He cited a state law that specifically said, regarding an appeal of a zoning board’s decision, “The petition shall be a petition for writ of certiorari presented to the court within thirty days after the filing of the decision in the office of the board of adjustment.”

The people who asked the board to reconsider the decision didn’t follow the correct process.