Category Archives: Zoning

Massachusetts Zoning Overhaul Winding Its Way Through Legislature, Its Future Unclear

By David McCay and Brian Casaceli In an earlier post in February, we reported on House Bill 1859, “An Act Promoting the Planning and Development of Sustainable Communities.”  The bill would make dramatic changes to Massachusetts zoning law and significantly alter … Continue reading

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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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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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SJC Again Rebuffs Local Attempts to Control 40B Low-Income Housing Developments

Zoning Board of Appeals of Sunderland v. Sugarbush Meadow, LLC is the Supreme Judicial Court’s (SJC) latest snub to municipal attempts to control the development of low income housing.  Despite testimony from the Town’s Fire Chief that the Town lacks … Continue reading

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Communities Taking Preemptive Strikes Against Marijuana Shops

Local officials across Massachusetts are seeking to restrict or ban marijuana dispensaries from opening in their towns and cities, likely setting up a legal showdown between local zoning provisions and the new state law legalizing medicinal marijuana. Marijuana Dispensaries May … Continue reading

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Appeals Court Ruling Promotes Expedited Resolution of Land Use Disputes

In 2006, then-Governor Mitt Romney signed into law “An Act Relative to Streamlining and Expediting the Permitting Process in the Commonwealth.”  The Act created a designated “permit session” in the Land Court designed to handle all permit-related litigation involving large … Continue reading

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The Massachusetts Green Communities Act: Go Green Or Go Home

According to a recent study, 45% of all construction projects will be green by 2014.  The trend indicates that green projects will soon be the industry standard.  From international bodies to state and local government, lawmakers at all levels are … Continue reading

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Westborough to Regulate Solar Energy Projects

Voters at the Westborough Special Town Meeting this week approved a new zoning bylaw that requires large solar energy projects to undergo site plan review. Westborough is now the latest town to regulate solar installations, which have become increasingly common … Continue reading

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Southborough Releases Comparison Showing Proposed Zoning By-Law Changes

After much delay and not without some controversy, the Town of Southborough has released a comparison of its new proposed Zoning By-Law showing the changes from the existing By-Law.  The 119-page comparison document is available on the Town’s website here.  … Continue reading

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MWDN: Potential Zoning Change for Mixed Use of Old HP Site in Marlborough

The MetroWest Daily News reports that the new owner of the long-vacant Hewlett Packard facility on Forest Street in Marlborough is seeking a re-zoning of the property that would allow a mixed use development.  Atlantic Management purchased the old HP … Continue reading

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UPDATE: Permit Extension Act Extended

As an update to our previous post, the Jobs Bill signed by Governor Patrick this week amended the Permit Extension Act by adding two additional years to both the tolling period and the expiration period for state and local land … Continue reading

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