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August 2012 Archives

Intro to Variances II: Finding of Substantial Hardship

As discussed in an earlier post (Intro to Variances I), there are a few necessary findings before a zoning board can grant a variance. Last time we talked about soil conditions, shape or topography that support the need for a variance. This post explores the necessity of a "substantial hardship" that will result if literal enforcement of the zoning code is required.

TREES & BOUNDARY LINES: IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

It is certainly not unusual to hear about tree cutting cases where a landowner wants to trim the branches of a neighbor's tree that overhang the common boundary line-which is lawful, to a point-or even those cases where a person trespasses onto the land of another to trim or cut down trees entirely situated on that lot-which is unlawful. Whatever the underlying motivation for such trimming and cutting, Massachusetts law is fairly clear about whether liability and damages will ensue under those circumstances.

Excavation & Blasting Activities: The Duty of Lateral Support

Before embarking on any excavation project--including tunneling and blasting--developers and landowners should understand the often-overlooked duty they owe to neighboring properties in order to avoid nuisance or negligence liability.