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March 2012 Archives

Appeals Court Affirms That Subdivision Developer Has No Negligence Claim Against Town's Consulting Engineer

Subdivision developers should think twice about relying on engineering firms/consultants retained by planning boards to disclose any deficient work. Even if that failure to disclose problems later leads to costly re-construction and repairs, there may be no legal recourse against the town's engineer.

Appeals Court Declines To Order The Tear Down Of A South Boston Home Despite Overturning Variances and Remands To Superior Court For Further Proceedings

After the recent publicity surrounding a court-ordered removal of a million-plus dollar home in Marblehead (for more on that story, click over to The Massachusetts Real Estate Blog), it would be easy to assume that courts would have no problem ordering the removal of a much smaller residence, especially one that was later determined to fall short of the requirements needed for the variances that authorized the home's construction in the first instance. But on March 7, 2012, despite the fact that it had overturned five variances that allowed such construction, the Massachusetts Appeals Court declined to order such relief as part of its remand.

Phased Development: Considerations for Developers

Phased development often makes better business sense for certain kinds of residential and commercial properties. There are several planning and practical considerations that developers should make when it comes to phased projects.

Land Court Permit Session: A Useful Tool for Appeals of Larger Development Projects

In 2006, the Massachusetts Legislature created the "Permit Session" of the Land Court to allow a more expedited appeal process for development projects that meet certain build-out thresholds. So long as the underlying project involves either twenty-five (25) or more dwelling units, or the construction or alteration of 25,000 square feet or more of gross floor area (including commercial and industrial projects), or both, then the appeal can be heard by the Permit Session of the Land Court.