Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

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

Category Archives: Special Permits

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Appeals Court Panel Refuses To Narrow Declaratory Judgment Remedy For Zoning Disputes

Posted in Special Permits, Zoning
In a recent “unpublished” decision in Cohen v. City of Somerville (pdf), an Appeals Court panel confirmed that M.G.L. c. 240, § 14A – which allows a landowner to obtain a judicial declaration of the extent to which a zoning regulation applies to a proposed use of land – remains available even after the landowner has “engaged the administrative process” by applying for and being denied… Continue Reading

Under The Hood Of The Land Use Reform Bill, Part 1: Special Permits

Posted in Legislation, Special Permits, Zoning
Today we begin our detailed examination of the far-reaching land use reform bill pending before the Legislature.  The title of this bill is “An Act Promoting the Planning and Development of Sustainable Communities”; it’s also known as House Bill H.1859.  I’ll refer to it as the “Act.”  The Act is currently pending before the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.  As… Continue Reading

Co-Drafter Of Colossal Land Use Reform Bill Touts Its Benefits

Posted in Legislation, Policy, Special Permits, Subdivision Control, Zoning
Jeffrey R. Lacy, AICP, is a Regional Planner with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Division of Water Supply Protection.  More importantly for present purposes, Jeff is also a co-drafter of House Bill No. 1859 (pdf), “An Act Promoting the Planning and Development of Sustainable Communities,” which is presently before the Joint Committee on Municipalities and… Continue Reading

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant: Local Zoning Board Causes A Reaction

Posted in Environmental, Renewable Energy, Special Permits, Zoning
Proponents of a smaller federal government probably didn’t have this in mind – a local zoning board deciding the fate of a nuclear power plant.  That’s what just happened in Plymouth, where the Zoning Board of Appeals last week decided, in an appeal filed by 18 residents, to uphold a building inspector’s decision that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power… Continue Reading

Appeals Court Panel Affirms Ruling That City Must Issue Special Permit

Posted in Special Permits
In a recent “unpublished decision” in A.L. Prime Energy Consultant, Inc. v. City Council of Woburn (pdf), a panel of the Appeals Court affirmed a Land Court ruling that the Woburn City Council’s denial of the plaintiff’s application for a special permit to build a gas station and convenience store was “unreasonable, whimsical, capricious or arbitrary.”  In denying the permit, the council had cited potential traffic tie-ups and… Continue Reading