Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Real-Time News & Commentary on Massachusetts Land Use & Real Estate Law

Tag Archives: grandfathering

Appeals Court Ruling Confirms Grandfathering Protection for Former Cambridge Courthouse

Posted in Nonconforming Use, Zoning
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… Continue Reading

Time Not A Vaccine Against Infectious Invalidity

Posted in Nonconforming Use, Zoning
In an “unpublished decision” in Patenaude v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Dracut (pdf), an Appeals Court panel recently held that a lot rendered unbuildable by infectious invalidity was not “cured” by the passage of time – specifically, the running of the 10-year statute of repose under M.G.L. c. 40A, § 7. In 1974 the plaintiff, Patenaude, acquired a… Continue Reading

Grandfathering Gets A Haircut

Posted in Nonconforming Use, Zoning
In 2007, when the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decided Rourke v. Rothman (pdf), it seemed clear that the court was endorsing the principle that a local bylaw exemption from the effects of the common law zoning merger doctrine could itself give rise to grandfathering protection under M.G.L. c. 40A, sec. 6 (pdf) (Section 6).  A recent Appeals Court decision, Kimmett v. Town of Tolland, attempts to distinguish… Continue Reading

“Dude, Where’s My Grandfathering?” Partial Taking Destroys Protected Status

Posted in Eminent Domain, Nonconforming Use, Zoning
In its recent decision in Johnson v. Board of Appeals of Andover (pdf), the Appeals Court affirmed a Land Court ruling that a 1971 eminent domain taking of part of a lot destroyed the lot’s grandfather protection under M.G.L. c. 40A, § 6 (pdf) (Section 6).  The court noted that, when this occurs, the owner is entitled to seek compensation for any diminution in value attributable to the… Continue Reading