Author Archives: Brian Falk

About Brian Falk

Brian is an attorney in Mirick O'Connell's Land Use and Environmental Law Group. In his municipal practice, he counsels towns and cities in all areas of municipal law. He also represents private clients in land use permitting matters and real estate transactions. Brian lives in Milford with his wife and three sons.

Remote Public Meetings Authorized Through April of 2022; New Law Extends Additional COVID-19 Emergency Rules

Public bodies may continue to hold remote meetings through April of 2022 under new legislation enacted this week. The statute, Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, authorizes a quorum of a board or committee to meet remotely and require remote … Continue reading

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Municipal Permitting Timelines Resume on December 1

Effective December 1, municipal boards must follow the usual permitting deadlines following a COVID-19 statute enacted last week. Towns and cities had been operating under Section 17 of Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, which tolled the deadlines for commencing … Continue reading

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Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency

Governor Baker signed an Executive Order relieving government boards and committees from compliance with certain Open Meeting Law requirements during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The Order gives public bodies greater leeway to hold closed-door and remote meetings, so that government agencies … Continue reading

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Building the Boroughs: A Year in Review

In 2019, Mirick O’Connell’s permitting attorneys were proud to help our clients, large and small, with local approvals in Marlborough for 6 great projects. Thank you to our clients and the City of Marlborough for a wonderful year! Click here … Continue reading

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Short-Term Rental Law Takes Effect July 1st

Governor Baker recently signed “An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals”, imposing new taxes, registration and inspection requirements, and other rules governing the short-term rental of homes and residential units through Airbnb, VRBO, and similar platforms. Overview: The new law … Continue reading

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ATB: Solar Energy Systems Exempt From Property Taxes

Solar energy systems providing power to off-site locations are exempt from local property taxes, according to a ruling from the Appellate Tax Board. The ATB’s decision in Forrestall Enterprises, Inc. v. Board of Assessors of the Town of Westborough may … Continue reading

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SJC: Private Forest Land Eligible for Tax Exemption

As an update to our previous post, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) today reversed the Appellate Tax Board (ATB) and held that forest land owned by a private conservation organization should be exempt from local property taxes. The decision in … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental, Municipal, Open Space | 1 Comment

MAPC: Region Needs 435,000 New Housing Units by 2040

The greater Boston area – including MetroWest – will need to add 435,000 new housing units by 2040 in order to sustain economic growth, according to a new report issued by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). Without additional housing, … Continue reading

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SJC to Rule on Tax Status of Forest Land

In a case that could have broad – and expensive – implications for conservation organizations statewide, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) must decide whether forest land owned by a nonprofit is entitled to a charitable exemption from property taxes. New … Continue reading

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CPA Grants to Churches Raise Constitutional Questions

A national religious liberty watchdog group is warning towns and cities against spending Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds on church buildings – a practice that has paid for historic preservation work at dozens of religious structures throughout Massachusetts. Municipalities frequently … Continue reading

Posted in Historic Preservation, Municipal, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Towns Can’t Ban Marijuana Shops; Zoning Moratoria OK

Towns and cities may not use zoning to ban marijuana shops, according to a recent ruling by the Attorney General’s Office. Zoning Ban Struck Down As noted in a previous post, municipal officials have been considering zoning provisions aimed at … Continue reading

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Pending Legislation Would Dramatically Reform Massachusetts Land Use Law

The latest effort to overhaul Massachusetts land use law is backed by a coalition of planning, environmental and housing organizations. “An Act Promoting the Planning and Development of Sustainable Communities”, House Bill # 1859, was introduced on Beacon Hill last … Continue reading

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