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The Boston Planning and Development Agency recently released the Downtown Waterfront District Municipal Waterfront Plan (the “Waterfront Plan”). While virtually the entire Boston Harbor Waterfront is subject to Chapter 91 jurisdiction, municipalities are allowed to modify Chapter 91 regulations, as recently amended and promulgated by MassDEP, by enacting municipal harbor plans.
Massachusetts’ fledgling marijuana industry has been thrust into a state of uncertainty. On January 4th, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama guidelines that excluded marijuana from federal drug enforcement priorities (possession and distribution of pot is a federal offense). Obama’s guidelines paved the way for the legalization of marijuana in eight states, in ...
According to the Wetlands Protection Act, when an applicant files a notice of intent with a local conservation commission to perform work that may impact wetlands, the commission has 21 days to open a public hearing to consider the impact of the proposed work on the wetlands. If a commission fails to open a public hearing within 21 days, an applicant may bypass the commission ...
My colleague at Rackemann, Jonathan Hayden, has been watching this pending SJC decision and the following is his take on the case: The Supreme Judicial Court’s upcoming decision in Trustees of Cambridge Point Condominium Trust v. Cambridge Point, LLC has the potential to change significantly the landscape for condominium litigation in Massachusetts.
With a shortage of vacant land available for construction of new school buildings, municipalities are frequently pressured to convert parkland to school uses. More often than not, such conversions implicate Article 97. Article 97 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution “provides that land and easements taken or acquired for conservation purposes shall not be used f ...
Today the Appeals Court decided Gund v. Planning Board of Cambridge. That case concerns the former location of the Middlesex Superior Court, an asbestos-filled, anomalous sky-scraper near Lechmere in Cambridge. The building, which does not comply with zoning, has been sold to a developer. At issue was whether the court house is a preexisting, nonconforming structure under G.L. c.
On June 29, 2017, the First Circuit Court of Appeals decided Steinmetz v. Coyle Caron, Inc. That case, which has its roots in the mundane desire of a couple to build a new home on their land in Cohasset, gave rise to some interesting and complicated constitutional questions. The Steinmetzes needed approval from the local Conservation Commission for their project.
The Trump administration’s plan to lower corporate tax rates has created uncertainty in the affordable housing market by devaluing low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC). LIHTC devaluation is casting a chilling effect on the construction of affordable housing units nationally, including a Jamaica Plain project currently under construction.
Home > Zoning > Sign Envy in Boston The recent saving of the iconic Citgo sign in Kenmore Square is being universally hailed as the saving of a true Boston landmark. Had it been taken down, thousands of people would be aimlessly wandering the city trying to find Fenway Park on game days. The publicity surrounding the saving of the Citgo sign has brought the issue of how ...
Earlier this week the Appeals Court decided that a tenant has the burden of proving that it properly exercised its option to terminate a written lease. The commercial lease in Patriot Power, LLC v. New Rounder, LLC, provided that it would renew automatically each year unless one of the parties timely notified the other that it wished to exercise a termination option in the lease.
A Cape Cod jury, after a scant one-hour deliberation, decided in favor of a Falmouth landowner who claimed that the Falmouth Conservation Commission’s refusal to grant variances from the Town’s Wetlands Protection Bylaw deprived her of all beneficial use of her property. The jury in Smyth v. Falmouth Conservation Commission and the Town of Falmouth awarded Ms.
Yesterday the Appeals Court upheld a variance decision by our former colleague, Land Court Justice Robert Foster. In that case, Furlong v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Salem, Furlong challenged a variance granted to the abutting Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem. The variance permitted the Marina to construct a new building outside of the setback requirements of the local z ...
A Massachusetts appellate court has ruled for the first time that new land which accretes to registered waterfront land is treated as registered land automatically, without the registered landowner filing additional proceedings. In Brown v. Kalicki, decided earlier this week, neighbors sought to establish an easement by prescription to use for recreational purposes a beach ar ...
In Taylor v. Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission, the SJC considered the scope of the rights that the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank had under an easement that it held over the Outermost Inn property in Aquinnah owned by Hugh and Jeanne Taylor. The Taylors were represented by my colleague here at Rackemann, and fellow blogger, Gordon Orloff.
Home > Boston Development > Boston Redevelopment Authority 1957-2016 – RIP? Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced this week that the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) is not only changing its name, but changing its business practices and approach with communities affected by the unprecedented real estate development boom Boston is currently experiencing.
In a decision that brought cheers from thirsty beachgoers, the Appeals Court in Almeida v. Arruda, 89 Mass. App. Ct. 241 (2016) affirmed a lower court finding that the sale of beer and wine at a pre-existing, nonconforming convenience store was neither a substantial change in use nor a detriment to the neighborhood. Pursuant to G.L.c.
On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (“FRL-21”). Heralded as much needed reform to the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”, pronounced “tos- kah”), FRL-21 has sparked spirited debate over acceptable limits of federal preemption of state law in the environmental regulatory context.
On June 17, 2016, the Supreme Judicial Court decided an interesting zoning case concerning whether the holder of a beach access easement has standing to challenge a zoning determination affecting the beach parcel. The case is Picard v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Westminster. As all followers of Massachusetts zoning know, the standing of a plaintiff to challenge a zoning decis ...
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