from Madison Circuit Court (CV-14-902150)
Properties, Inc., d/b/a Plush Horse ("Brazelton"),
appeals a summary judgment entered by the Madison Circuit
Court in favor of the City of Huntsville ("the
city"). We dismiss the appeal.
owns certain real property located within the geographical
limits of the city ("the property") on which
businesses such as dinner theaters, entertainment venues, and
nightclubs have operated for a number of years. In August
2014, Brazelton submitted an application to the city seeking
its approval for a lounge retail liquor license regarding the
property ("the 2014 application"). The next month,
the city's Liquor License Review Committee ("the
committee") denied approval of the 2014 application
after concluding that the property did not contain a
sufficient number of parking spaces as required by the
relevant city ordinances. The city council thereafter upheld
the committee's decision.
October 2014, Brazelton initiated an action against the city
in the circuit court. Brazelton's complaint, as amended,
stated, in relevant part:
"15. While a municipality has broad discretion to
approve or disapprove the issuance of liquor licenses, such a
decision granting or denying a liquor license must be set
aside on judicial review if the municipality acted
arbitrarily or capriciously.
"16. The [c]ity's standards as [they] relate to
the number of parking spaces necessary in order to obtain a
liquor license are not enforced equally. Indeed, on this very
[p]roperty the [c]ity has taken inconsistent positions. While
the [property] has always been designated as a place of
assembly, its approved occupancy has been as high as 750, and
with the current parking, was able to obtain a liquor
license. Presently, its occupancy has been reduced
to 585[, ] and the [c]ity has refused to issue a liquor
license stating that the current parking (the count of which
varied between 205 and 245) is still short of the required
255. Yet the [c]ity refused Brazelton['s] request to
reduce the occupancy rating down from 585 to 425 so as to
meet the 'required' parking spaces. Clearly, the
[c]ity keeps moving the goal post for Brazelton ....
"17. Upon information and belief, Brazelton ... is
situated no differently than other establishments who have
been granted liquor licenses. Such disparate and unequal
treatment in the application of the rules concerning the
issuance of the liquor license is arbitrary and capricious.
"18. Moreover, the unequal application by the city of
the parking space requirement for the issuance of a liquor
license shows that this regulation bears no substantial
relationship to the health, safety, morals and general
welfare and is therefore invalid.
"19. Accordingly, the [c]ity's decision to deny the
liquor license to Brazelton ... is due to be set aside as
arbitrary and capricious.
II -- Denial of Equal Protection
"20. Brazelton ... adopts and incorporates by reference
the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 19 as if
fully set forth herein.
"21. The [c]ity's application of its regulations and
ordinances in denying the liquor license to Brazelton
violated Brazelton's right to equal protection guaranteed
it by Sections 1, 6[, ] and 13 of the Alabama Constitution.
Specifically, the [c]ity selectively applied its licensing
requirements to [Brazelton] in violation of Alabama's
constitution. Therefore, the [c]ity's actions should be
found to be void as a matter of law.
"22. ... Brazelton ... has suffered substantial
financial harm as a result of the selective and arbitrary
enforcement by the [c]ity of its regulations.
III -- Inverse Condemnation
"23. [Brazelton] adopts and incorporates by reference
the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 22 as if