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Town of Chelmsford, et al. v. Newport Materials, LLC, et al
Practice: Litigation, Real Estate
PDFIn Town of Chelmsford, et al. v. Newport Materials, LLC, et al., C.A. No. 1681CV03455 (Mass. Super. Ct. Sept. 6, 2017), the Town of Chelmsford appealed a Westford Planning Board (“Board”) decision granting Newport Materials, LLC and 540 Groton Road, LLC (collectively, “Newport”) special permits for the construction and operation of an asphalt manufacturing plant on property located in Westford, near the Chelmsford line. 

Trustees of Cambridge Point Condominium Trust v. Cambridge Point, LLC
Practice: Litigation, Real Estate
PDFIn Trustees of Cambridge Point Condominium Trust v. Cambridge Point, LLC, No. MICV-2014-03136, 2016 WL 9753783 (Mass. Super. Nov. 18, 2016), appeal argued, SJC No. 2017-P-0113 (Mass. 2017), the trustees (“Trustees”) of the Cambridge Point Condominium (“Condominium”) Trust filed an action against the developers that built the Condominium, Cambridge Point, LLC and others (collectively, the “Developer”), seeking damages for common area construction defects.  The Superior Court dismissed the action because the Trustees failed to comply with the provision of the Condominium bylaws (“Bylaws”) concerning filing lawsuits on behalf of the Condominium Trust (the “Litigation Provision”), and rejected the Trustees’ assertion that the Litigation Provision was unenforceable.  The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed to hear the Trustees’ appeal of the Superior Court decision on direct review, and held oral arguments on October 5, 2017.  Its decision is currently pending. 

9th Edition Massachusetts State Building Code Approved With Concurrency Period
Practice: Real Estate
The long-awaited 9th Edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code has been approved by the Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations and Standards and filed with the Secretary of State, to become effective on October 20, 2017. The “concurrency period,” during which applications for building permits can be filed under either the 8th or 9th Editions of the Building Code, will commence on October 20, 2017 and expire on January 1, 2018. 

Superior Court Upholds ZBA's Order that the Town of Falmouth Cease and Desist the Operation of Two Wind Turbines
Practice: Litigation
PDFIn Town of Falmouth v. Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals, C.A. No. 2014-00003 (Mass. Super. Ct. June 20, 2017), the Town of Falmouth (“Town”) appealed a Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals (“ZBA”) decision that found that two wind turbines owned and operated by the Town created a nuisance and ordered the Town to eliminate the nuisance.  

Land Court Upholds Board of Zoning Appeal
Practice: Litigation, Real Estate, Real Estate Litigation
PDFIn Monogram Residential 22 Water Street Project Owner, LLC v. City of Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal, C.A. No.16 MISC 000631 (MDV) (Mass. Land Ct. August 14, 2017), Monogram Residential 22 Water Street Project Owner, LLC (“Monogram”), the developer of a multifamily housing project at 22 Water Street in Cambridge (the “Project”), appealed a Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal (“BZA”) decision finding that Monogram installed up lights on the Project that violated the terms of the Special Permit, and therefore the lights must be removed. 

Extended Again: No Policy Changes for EB-5, Yet
Practice: EB-5 Financing
In September, as part of federal spending legislation, the EB-5 Regional Center Program received a short-term extension through December 8, 2017. The Program has been similarly extended, with no change in policy, on multiple occasions since its previously scheduled expiration date of September 30, 2015. 

Musings on the Unified Tax Reform Framework - What It Means for the Real Estate Industry
Practice: Tax
This September, the Trump Administration, the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee released a unified framework for a major tax reform effort.  The framework is not a set of detailed legislative proposals, but rather is to serve as a template for the tax-writing committees in Congress that will develop legislation to implement the goals of the framework.The proposals in the framework are far reaching and would have a significant effect on broad sectors of the economy. 

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 8/31/17
Practice: Probate & Fiduciary Litigation

Appeals Court Confirms That a Government Building Has the Status of a Pre-Existing Nonconforming Structure When Transferred to a Private Party
Practice: Litigation, Real Estate, Real Estate Litigation
PDFIn Gund, et al. v. Planning Board of Cambridge, et al., No. 15-P-1339 (Mass. App. Ct. July 19, 2017), neighbors of the former Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge challenged special permits granted by the Cambridge Planning Board to a developer to convert the Courthouse into a 20-story mixed-use building.[1]  As a governmental building, the Courthouse was not subject to zoning laws when built due to the principle of sovereign immunity.  The Planning Board authorized the conversion of the Courthouse by the private developer based upon the view that the Courthouse would be entitled to statutory protections as a pre-existing nonconforming structure after being sold by the government to the private developer.  The Land Court upheld the Planning Board’s decision on summary judgment, holding that the Courthouse is entitled to the protections of a pre-existing nonconforming structure under M.G.L. c. 40A, Section 6 after sovereign immunity ends.
[1] The developer was represented by Kevin O’Flaherty and Mariana Korsunsky of Goulston & Storrs PC.

Massachusetts Courts Issue Key Decisions Concerning Zoning and Anti-SLAPP Law
Practice: Litigation, Real Estate, Real Estate Litigation
In Blanchard v. Steward Carney Hospital, SJC-12141 (May 23, 2017) (Slip Op.) the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court changed the framework used to determine whether a case should be dismissed under G.L. c. 231, § 59H, the anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“anti-SLAPP”) statute. In Franson v. City of Woburn, 2016 WL 4778392 (Mass. Land Ct. Sept. 14, 2016), residents in the neighborhoods surrounding a parcel that was rezoned to allow for the construction of townhouses challenged the rezoning as illegal spot and contract zoning and as arbitrary and capricious. 
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