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Land Use Archives

Putting up a new telecommunications tower isn't only your call

Since the explosion of cell phone usage in the United States, providers have struggled to keep up with the demands for more coverage and better service. Having a reputation for dropped calls could essentially ruin a telecommunications company, so ensuring that enough towers are in place to prevent that eventuality is crucial.

Phillips & Angley Successfully Defend Adverse Possession and Prescriptive Easement Claims in the Land Court

On January 4, 2017, the Land Court, Scheier J., issued a decision in Stafford v. Flett, Land Court Docket No. 15 MISC 000134 (KFS), which granted declaratory judgment to P&A's client, the Defendant, declaring that she owns outright an area of her property that included a parking spot, grassy slope, staircase, and cobblestones and flagstones pavers (the "Disputed Area"), free and clear of any of the Plaintiff's claims. In its decision, the Court denied the Plaintiff's claims for adverse possession of or, in the alternative, a prescriptive easement over the Disputed Area. The Court agreed that the element of adverse use required for claims for adverse possession and prescriptive use rights was not established by the Plaintiff due to an oral license agreement allowing Plaintiff to use the Disputed Area, which agreement had been in place since the putatively-adverse use had begun.

Phillips & Angley Successfully Defend Clients' Horse Stable Licenses

On November 9, 2016, after multiple, contentious hearing before the Town of Plymouth Board of Health, and related proceedings before the Plymouth Conservation Commission, Phillips & Angley was successful in opposing a request by neighbors that its clients' horse stable permits be revoked.

PHILLIPS & ANGLEY WIN SUMMARY JUDGMENT AT THE MASSACHUSETTS LAND COURT ANNULLING ZONING BOARD DECISION THAT HALTED LANDOWNER'S HELICOPTER USE

On October 19, 2016, the Massachusetts Land Court issued a Memorandum and Order on Cross Motions for Summary Judgment in Roma, III, Ltd. v. Town of Rockport Board of Appeals, Land Court Case No. 15 MISC 000074 (RBF), granting P & A's client, the plaintiff, Roma, III, Ltd.'s Motion for Summary Judgment, annulling a decision of the Town of Rockport Board of Appeals.

Discrepancies in Boston's real estate market remain

As always, the real estate market is unpredictable. While looking at the neighborhood and county level, Boston Globe findings demonstrated in recent years that there has been recovery in certain markets while stagnant or nonexistent growth in other Boston area localities.

Apartment complex transaction may exceed $5 billion or $6 billion

A pending commercial real estate transaction may involve between $5 billion to $6 billion changing hands. This deal involves a number of large investors including Blackstone Group LP vying for an apartment complex that contains 11,200 units. "There's been a tremendous demand for multifamily as homeownership rates have declined," said on real estate debt analyst. However, there also is a challenge for the new owners to keep rates for the tenants affordable in order to achieve success.

UTILITIES AND LAND USE: A DEVELOPING STORY

There are several competing factors at play when the energy and utility demands of a region increase. In New England, much of those demands can be seen during extreme temperatures, whether it is the heat waves of summer or protracted cold months in winter. In this region, many homes rely on natural gas to heat their homes during the winter.

Sarkisian v. Concept Restaurants, Inc.: The SJC Expands the Mode of Operation Approach to Premises Liability in Massachusetts

On June 23, 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court handed down its most significant decision in the area of premises liability since 2010. See Sarkisian v. Concept Restaurants, Inc., SJC-11786, 2015 WL 3833877 (Mass. June 23, 2015). In Sarkisian, the court was asked to "decide whether the 'mode of operation' approach to premises liability, adopted . . . in Sheehan v. Roche Bros. Supermkts., Inc., 448 Mass. 780, 788, 863 N.E.2d 1276 (2007), applies to slip-and-fall incidents occurring outside of the context of self-service establishments." Id., at *1.

DEVELOPMENT 101: SOURCES OF STRUCTURE & USE RESTRICTIONS

Today we offer a quick refresher of sorts. When it comes to real estate development-whether it be incorporating a new use, building a structure, or somehow otherwise modifying the existing conditions on site-there are several sources of laws and other "restrictions" that the developer and/or landowner should be aware of in advance. These include the following: