2005 BYU L. Rev. 1625 (2005)
Architecture as Art - Not in My Neocolonial Neighborhood: A Case for Providing First Amendment Protection to Expressive Residential Architecture

handle is hein.journals/byulr2005 and id is 1641 raw text is: Architecture as Art?
Not in My Neocolonial Neighborhood:
A Case for Providing First Amendment Protection to
Expressive Residential Architecture
In the late 1960s in Landue, Missouri, Demiter and Joan
Stoyanoff wanted to build a pyramid-shaped home with a flat roof,
triangular windows, and doors positioned on the corners of the
home.1 Although the Stoyanoffs' futuristic home conformed to all of
the city's building and zoning requirements,2 the architectural review
board denied the couple's request for a building permit because the
home failed to conform to certain minimum architectural standards
of appearance and conformity with surrounding structures.3 The
board stated that its purpose was to prohibit unsightly, grotesque
and unsuitable structures like the Stoyanoffs' proposed home.4
Landue's mayor defended the board's decision and added that the
Stoyanoffs' design was in fact a monstrosity of grotesque design,'
damaging to adjoining property values, and inapposite with the
French Provincial, English Tudor, and Colonial architecture of the
community.6 The couple subsequently appealed the board's decision
and won at the state circuit court.7 Applying rational basis review,
1. Missouri ex rel. Stoyanoffv. Berkeley, 458 S.W.2d 305, 308 (Mo. 1970).
2. Id. at 306.
3. Id.
4. Id.
5. Id. at 307.
6. Id.
7. Id. at 308. The trial court initially found that the denial of the building permit was
in violation of Missouri's takings clause. Id. at 306. The Building Commissioner, the individual
ultimately responsible for issuing building permits, appealed the decision. Id. The case
eventually reached the Missouri Supreme Court, at which point the Stoyanoffs argued that the
architectural review board was not authorized by Landue's enabling statute. The relevant
sections of the enabling statute authorized the community to promote the health, safety,
morals and ... general welfare of the community through the enactment of certain zoning
ordinances. Id. at 308 (quoting Mo. REV. STAT.  89.020 (1959)). The statute required that
zoning ordinances be consistent with the community's comprehensive plan and give
reasonable consideration, among other things, to the character of the district. Id. (quoting


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