Zoning Litigation: Special Permits

Eastern Massachusetts Special Permit Appeal Attorney

For skilled legal assistance with your special permit appeal and related litigation goals in Massachusetts, the zoning lawyers who can handle your legal matter can be found at Phillips & Angley, located in Boston.

How to Obtain Special Permits

Under local zoning bylaws and ordinances, many uses of land require a special permit to authorize that use. Special permits must be obtained from the special permit granting authority (SPGA) for the municipality, typically the zoning board of appeals, or, for some uses, the planning board. To request a special permit, landowners must file a petition with the appropriate SPGA. After a public hearing process, the special permit will either be granted or denied by the SPGA.

Whether someone has appealed a special permit that was granted to you by the zoning board, or whether your special permit petition was denied or improperly conditioned by the SPGA in the first instance, we safeguard your interests and protect your rights in special permit litigation. Our founding attorney, his associates and staff provide a team effort on your behalf, offering focused, formidable counsel and thoughtful, efficient solutions throughout the legal process.

What If Your Special Permit is Challenged?

If your approved special permit is challenged by an appeal of a neighbor or other third party, we promptly review the decision of the board, the materials filed in support of your permit application, any reports or opposition material considered by the board, and relevant provisions of the bylaw of the municipality. After analyzing the findings and rulings of the permit granting authority, we work to prepare a powerful case to defend the challenge.

We also analyze the interests and alleged injuries of the appealing party to determine whether that party has the required legal injury or "standing" to pursue the appeal. The test for standing is increasingly difficult under Massachusetts law, and our office has a proven track record of defeating plaintiffs' claims simply on the basis of standing. Where a challenge to standing is available, we are well versed in the law and procedure necessary to seek an immediate dismissal of the appeal, often without adjudication of the legal merits of the plaintiff's case.

Was Your Permit Improperly Denied?

In those instances where a permit granting authority has improperly denied or conditioned a special permit, we analyze the administrative record for procedural or substantive errors in the board's decision to determine the best course for litigation. In many instances, it is appropriate to request that the trial court annul the zoning board's decision and grant the special permit. Alternatively, we have experience and success in seeking a remand of the matter to the zoning board to correct errors, giving us a strong position to defend the decision after remand or to negotiate a resolution with any other appealing parties.

Thoughtful, Efficient Solutions for Special Permits Legal Issues Call Toll Free 866-675-2109

For quality, experienced representation of your special permits matter — and the attentive personal service you deserve — come to Jeffrey T. Angley, P.C., in Boston.

Contact us by phone or e-mail to arrange your initial consultation with a Massachusetts special permits attorney. Messages left after business hours are promptly returned.