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Murtha Cullina Wins Zoning Appeal for City of New Haven

The Appellate, Municipal and Land Use Practice Groups recently prevailed before the Connecticut Appellate Court in an appeal that overturned a trial court’s decision that had undermined the City of New Haven’s zoning authority in Parillo Food Group, Inc. v. Board of Zoning Appeals of the City of New Haven.   

The issue on appeal was whether New Haven’s zoning regulations could be applied to limit the hours that a bar or restaurant serving alcohol could stay open. A trial court had ruled that a state law permitting the sale of alcohol until one o’clock a.m. on weekdays and two o’clock a.m. on Saturdays stripped municipal zoning boards of the power to regulate the hours of local bars and restaurants. On appeal, New Haven Assistant Corporation Counsel Roderick Williams and Murtha Cullina with assistance from other members of the firm’s appellate, municipal and land use practice groups, successfully argued that cities and towns have the power and obligation to protect the public welfare by limiting the hours of local businesses when appropriate, including those businesses that serve alcohol. The Appellate Court’s decision is important for municipalities because it preserves their ability to effectively use special permits and special exceptions to harmonize the economic growth of local businesses with the general welfare of the community and the municipality’s overall comprehensive zoning plan.

The decision can be read here:

Murtha Cullina’s Appellate Practice Group carefully studies procedural, philosophical, and policy developments in appellate court decisions to help shape innovative and effective appellate arguments. Our appellate lawyers have litigated numerous appeals in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, the First Circuit, the Second Circuit, and the U. S. Supreme Court. 

Murtha Cullina’s Municipal and Land Use Practice Groups include attorneys with experience that extends to virtually every type of legal service that is required by a municipality. At present, our firm serves as special counsel and/or town attorney to approximately 30 municipalities in Connecticut. For more information about the Municipal and Land Use Practice Groups, please contact Kari L. Olson at 860-240-6085 or

About Murtha Cullina LLP

With more than 105 attorneys in six offices throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, Murtha Cullina LLP offers a full range of legal services to meet the local, regional and national needs of our clients. Our practice encompasses litigation, regulatory and transactional representation of businesses, governmental units, non-profit organizations and individuals. Core practice areas include litigation, insurance recovery, labor and employment, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, construction, energy, health care, trusts and estates, affordable housing, real estate, land use and retail and hospitality.  

Murtha Cullina is the exclusive member firm in Connecticut for Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+ countries worldwide; and the exclusive Connecticut member firm of State Law Resources, an international network of independent law firms. For more information, visit

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