The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has granted further appellate review and is requesting amicus briefs in the case of Shirley Wayside, L.P. v. Board of Appeals of Shirley. In this case, the Appeals Court upheld the defendant zoning board’s denial of a permit that would allow the plaintiff to expand a lawfully nonconforming mobile home park. Our prior commentary on the case, which includes the Appeals Court’s decision now under review, is here.
The SJC is also seeking amicus briefs in the interesting case of Regis College v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Weston, in which the court has granted direct appellate review of an underlying Land Court decision, a copy of which is here. This case presents the question of whether the plaintiff college’s proposed residential development is sufficiently “educational” to be exempt from zoning under M.G.L. c. 40A, § 3, the so-called “Dover Amendment.” In the Land Court’s view, the answer to that question is “no.” However, in Massachusetts, the SJC gets to give the “final answer” (speaking of Regis), probably early next year.