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May 2013 Archives

VIEW-BASED HARM & STANDING IN ZONING APPEALS: A LAW REVIEW LINK

We wanted to share a link to a very recent Suffolk University Law Review article discussing the issue of standing: Beth Lidington, Massachusetts Standing Laws and Zoning Appeals: Standing on Shaky Ground After Kenner v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 46 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 603 (2013). Like most law review articles, this one contains a good synopsis of the law with many useful footnotes and citations throughout. The arc of this particular article is view-based harm as a premise for standing, all in the wake of the SJC's Kenner decision rendered in 2011. The author's analysis is thoughtful and worth the read.

MERGER & GRANDFATHERING: WHEN A COURT INTERPRETS A ZONING PROVISION DIFFERENTLY THAN THE ZBA

In many M.G.L. c. 40A, § 17, appeals, courts are required to interpret the local zoning bylaw or ordinance to address the underlying substantive issue. The judge's standard of review in these cases must give "substantial deference" to a board's reasonable interpretation of its zoning code. However, erroneous interpretations, are not entitled to deference. And it is interesting to see how this dynamic plays out both during a case and after the fact. The recent case of Mauri v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Newton, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 336 (2013) (on appeal from the Land Court) provides a good example.