Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

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

Tag Archives: colonial ordinance

Can’t Get There From Here?

Posted in Waterfront Property
In the just-decided Maslow v. O’Connor, the Appeals Court addressed rights in a Gloucester subdivision road.  Since Gloucester is a seaside community, naturally the case concerns water access. The defendants own the residential lots abutting the waterfront end of Rackliffe Street, which is an old and private subdivision road that, before 1925, ended at the… Continue Reading

Gray’s Anatomy: Appeals Court Holds That Road Separates Upland From Flats Under Colonial Ordinance

Posted in Easements, Title, Waterfront Property
Along with the Red Sox and Patriots’ Day, one of the unique features of Massachusetts is that modern property rights can be ruled by 370-year-old statutes.  The Colonial Ordinance of 1641-1647 declared that owners of land adjoining the shore also own the tidal flats – the land between the high and low water marks (out… Continue Reading

Appeals Court Wades into Oceanfront Titles, Part I

Posted in Waterfront Property
Beware Spillane v. Adams Real estate lawyers, surveyors, and owners of oceanfront property should be familiar with an Appeals Court decision that got little attention when it came down earlier this year.  Spillane v. Adams (pdf) makes two dramatic changes in longstanding principles of real estate law.  The first concerns how the location of the low water mark, which divides private ownership… Continue Reading