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Real estate developer facing fines for erosion

Boston area property developers understand that there are many different regulations that need to be followed when a development occurs. There are many local, state and federal regulations that come into play and when rules aren't followed there can be problems. A developer with property in Uxbridge and Bellingham is facing thousands of dollars in EPA fines.

A real estate developer who has two developments in Uxbridge and Bellingham is facing fines from the EPA due to a lack of erosion control. The Bellingham housing development of 100 homes is on the shore of Silver Lake. Since the development, the lake, which was once clear, is now brown, murky and full of vegetation. It was found that the development company violated terms of the Clean Water Act at two developments in Bellingham and one in Uxbridge. The EPA cited the company for erosion control measures not put in place and fined them $48,000. In 2010 the same development company was fined $150,000 for violating federal permits at a dozen sites throughout Massachusetts.

Developers may need to get creative to meet Boston's housing need

As a real estate developer, you are probably already aware that Boston has a housing shortage. You may be one of the many developers who is trying to figure out how you can fill this need.

One of the primary concerns is space. Boston is an old city with an abundance of history, charm and, well, buildings. Finding places to put in new housing within the city becomes more challenging every year. You may have to get creative to stay competitive.

What is entailed in a site plan review?

Boston area developers understand that before their project can begin there are many hurdles they must jump through. Local and state zoning ordinances and other regulations can be complicated and require vast knowledge of real estate law.

Many times, authorities demand a site plan review. These requirements widely among Massachusetts municipalities.

How can a person obtain a special permit?

The Boston area is constantly under change in regard to commercial property and land use. Many times, the use of the land that a contractor is considering requires a special permit. Land use in Boston is often challenged and property developers understand that their projects often require multiple hurdles to jump through.

Massachusetts land developers understand that many times their project requires special permits, variances, and other zoning and land use agreements with local and state governments. Many projects do not go as easily as planned and sometimes a special permit is required. A special permit is usually required for a building project that does not meet setback requirements or if the building that is currently there is non-conforming, and the developer wants to make changes to it.

Are you considering property with a restrictive covenant?

You may have had your eye on a piece of property for some time. Perhaps you saw that a Massachusetts developer had purchased land and was subdividing it for residential or commercial use, and you were anxious to claim a particular plot for your purposes.

Along with the many practical and legal considerations to make during this time, you will want to understand any restrictive covenants the developer has placed on the land. Developers often establish restrictive covenants for the good of every landowner in the development, but these restrictions may prevent you from carrying out some of your plans.

East Boston property eyed by developers

Boston area property developers understand how important every square inch in land is in the Boston area. Property is scarce in the area, with demand for new building projects always high. Property developers and other groups are always looking for new projects for their development plans.

A long-overlooked mile of East Boston waterfront now is becoming a focal point among Boston developers. A one-mile stretch of old railroad right-of-way that is parallel to Route 1A along Chelsea Creek is being eyed by a company that wants to put an access road there for industrial properties that are located in the area. The developing company believes by building this access road it would keep trucks off Route 1A and help reduce traffic congestion. The MBTA and state Department of Transportation have put the nine acres along the creek, along with easement rights, out to bid. But, some believe that the state should spend more time assessing future land use needs, especially with the Suffolk Downs project that will soon be developed.

Vineyard Wind project facing setbacks

Alternative energy sources have been a growing trend in Massachusetts and the U.S. With climate change upon us, many are searching for more energy sources in order to power our every day life and not pollute as much as older technologies. A planned wind farm off the coast of Martha's Vineyard is one such project.

The Vineyard Wind project is a proposed 84-turbine wind farm that would be built off the southern coast of Martha's Vineyard. The project is being backed by a Danish fund management company that was chosen by the governor and state utilities. Recently this project has had some setbacks. The Edgartown Conservation Commission has denied the application by Vineyard Winds to lay transmission cables that would pass through their town giving the reason that they haven't been assured that the cables won't cause any adverse effects. In addition, there has been a delay in the issuance of the final environmental impact statement by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. This statement is needed in order for the project to begin. Vineyard Wind says it will ask the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to overrule the Edgartown decision.

Do you need an easement to access your land?

If you recently found what you believe to be the perfect piece of property for your business, you are probably excited to get the transaction completed and get your operations up and running. Then, when the title search and survey come back, you realize that you need an easement to access the land.

Perhaps the old easement expired or otherwise ended. In the alternative, you may need a different route because changes to the infrastructure make the old easement cumbersome or not "user friendly." In any case, you now face seeking an easement from the owner of the property across which you will need to go in order to get to the property you want.

Nonconforming uses in land development

Boston area property developers are used to the many issues that can come up during their project. From variances to real estate permits to nonconforming structures, there is always something that needs to be figured out. Nonconforming uses is a common issue for many Boston area properties.

The terms nonconforming use or nonconforming structure are familiar for many property developers in Massachusetts. This is when a structure or use of land was conforming to existing laws when it originated but now no longer meets local zoning ordinances. Massachusetts law allows for these structures or land uses to exist if they were in compliance with the zoning ordinances at the time of their creation and they are given a grandfathered status. However, if there is any change with the structure or use, then they lose their grandfathered status. Also, if a property has sat vacant for two years, it also loses its status.

Would mixed-use zoning be right for your development?

If you are in the real estate development business, then you know that you need to keep track of what the people who will occupy your property want. In the past, municipalities had zones clearly defined as residential areas, industrial areas and business areas. In recent years, that has changed. More people want to live, work, shop and enjoy entertainment all within the same area. As such, mixed-use areas are more popular, which means that you may need to consider this zoning option for your development.

Types of mixed-use areas

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