Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

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

Category Archives: Police Power

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When Is It Too Late to Force a Neighbor to Cure a Zoning Violation?

Posted in Nonconforming Use, Police Power, Subdivision Control, Zoning
Section 7 of Chapter 40A contains a statute of limitations for actions by individuals and municipalities to compel the removal, alteration, or relocation of any structure due to a zoning violation.  In Bruno v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Tisbury, the Appeals Court considered when the statute of limitations commences based on a zoning violation… Continue Reading

Regulatory Taking, Anyone?

Posted in Environmental, Police Power, Regulatory Takings, Waterfront Property, Wetlands
  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… Continue Reading

Two Cheers For Nude Dancing

Posted in Police Power, Zoning
In its decision last week in Showtime Entertainment, LLC v. Town of Mendon, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) struck down a Town of Mendon bylaw banning alcohol at “adult entertainment businesses.”  This is the latest case to grapple with the tension that often arises between a municipality’s exercise of its police powers and citizens’ exercise of their First Amendment rights.  While the result of the… Continue Reading