Category Archives: Open Space

A Modern Take on the Antiquities Act of 1906

During the waning days of his administration, President Obama used the Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 USC 431-433) (“Act”) to create expansive national monuments on land and at sea.  According to the National Park Service, he established 34 national monuments … Continue reading

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Appeals Court Revisits Adverse Possession of Undeveloped Land

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently reviewed adverse possession of wild and wooded areas. In Paine v. Sexton, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 389 (2015), the Plaintiff campground operators asserted rights to property based on record title and adverse possession.  While it … Continue reading

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Courts Refine Immunity Under the Massachusetts Recreational Use Statute

Private landowners allowing public access to land should take note of recent court decisions which have refined the scope of the Recreational Use Statute, G.L. c. 21, § 17C (“Statute”).  The Massachusetts Legislature enacted the Statute in 1972 in response … 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

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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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Supreme Court Ruling a Victory for Developers’ Fifth Amendment Property Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling today in the closely-watched Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District case.  The decision is a major victory for private property rights, particularly in the land use permitting context. In a 5-4 … Continue reading

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Southborough Grappling with Open Space Concerns in Proposed Zoning Bylaw

We have been tracking Southborough’s ongoing efforts to update and modernize its Zoning Bylaw for many months here at the Mirick Real Estate Law Blog.  See previous posts here, here, here and here.  As reported recently in the MetroWest Daily … Continue reading

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UPDATE: Vote on Southborough Zoning Overhaul Delayed to January Special Town Meeting

As an update to our previous posts here and here, the MetroWest Daily News is reporting that the Town of Southborough has pushed out a vote on the pending zoning overhaul from October to a special Town Meeting in January.  … Continue reading

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Commonwealth Releases Blueprint for Development of 495 Region

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The Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development (EOHED) has released its long-anticipated 495/MetroWest Development Compact Plan.  More than a year in the making, the Plan provides a blueprint for the sustainable growth and economic development of the Interstate … Continue reading

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Northborough Open Space Acquisition and the Community Preservation Act

As my inaugural blog post, I would like to write about a project of which I am particularly proud.  On February 17, 2012, the Town of Northborough acquired a parcel of open space containing approximately 55 acres.  This project was years … Continue reading

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