Stone v. City of Wilton

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Stone v. City of Wilton
Court Iowa Supreme Court
Date decided March 16, 1983


A couple with last name Stone bought an un-developed 6-acre property in Wilton, Iowa. This property was zoned for multi-family residential use.

Stones filed a plat for a housing complex with mutli-family units & applied for a building permit.

In the midst of the Stone building plans, the local zoning commission recommended downsizing multi-family use to single-family use in the Stone area.

The city of Wilton denied the Stone application for a building permit for a multi-family use housing complex.

Procedural History

Stone sued Wilton seeking an invalidation of the re-zoning to single-family use in their area. Stone, moreover, sought an injunction and remedy in the form of money damages due to opportunity cost while litigating the matter.

Stone loses in the state trial court in Iowa.


Should a court defer to the municipal legislative body's zoning decision if a discriminatory motivation is raised by the plaintiff?

Does an owner who hired building designers and expends substantial sums have a vested right in project completion?


The court won't defer to a legislative body's zoning decision.

Initial construction plans don't confer vested rights to complete a building project.


The Stone plans to hire an architect and submit building plans weren't substantial enough to confer a vested right on Stone to the prior zoning regulation.