In these early months of 2014, as we inch from winter toward spring, there have been a few interesting zoning and land development stories from around Massachusetts. Let's take a brief look at just a few.
- As reported in several news outlets, such as the Patriot Ledger, it appears that multi-family housing starts are on the rise, and that this is a trend that is favored by many. It is an indicator of economic growth, and good news for young families in particular.
- In Peru, Massachusetts, a developer wants to build five, 500-foot wind turbines. What makes the situation a little uncertain is the status of the developer, a limited liability corporation (LLC) that was dissolved by court order in June 2013 (for failing to file annual reports for three consecutive years). Among some of the usual arguments made by opponents of these kinds of projects (e.g. noise, vibration, health concerns), there is also the question about whether this applicant can even go forward with its proposal given its dissolution. The Berkshire Eagle reports more on the story, here.
- A sticky situation appears to be developing in Southborough, where a land developer is under scrutiny by some town officials about whether the open land/open space conditions of his permit have been violated. The developer is building eight homes on a cul-de-sac; there is question about whether he may have wrongly cut down or removed some trees during the process. You can read more about that in this piece from the Metrowest Daily News. If anything, it just goes to show that nearby landowners are often paying just as much attention to the details/conditions of permits and development as are the relevant municipal authorities.
- Many communities are grappling with how to deal with neglected or blighted properties. As reported by the Sentinel & Enterprise, it appears that Leominster is soon slated to become another one, with plans to craft an ordinance with more teeth than what limited tools currently exist for town officials.
- The cranberry growing industry is about to get bigger in Plymouth. A lot bigger. And a lot more efficient. In order to make room for new, high-yield bogs (which are already in use out in Wisconsin), A.D. Makepeace was given permission (via special permit) to remove 6.5 million cubic yards of sand and gravel over the next ten to twenty years. Read more about this fascinating and ambitious project here (via Wicked Local/Old Colony Memorial).
- Speaking of expansion of water-based commerce, there is also some interesting development slated north of Boston too. The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency is set to add two more berths to the Jodrey State Fish pier located in Gloucester Harbor. Though it is a small expansion, it is expected to at least help mitigate some potential zoning changes in that community. A brief article in the Gloucester Times explains.
As always, stay tuned in future months as we bring you additional bits about what's happening in Massachusetts zoning and land use news.
Written by Kristen M. Ploetz, Esq., of Green Lodestar Communications & Consulting, LLC, on behalf of Jeffrey T. Angley, P.C. Edited by Jeffrey T. Angley, Esq.
Copyright (c) 2011-2014 by Jeffrey T. Angley, P.C. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is general in nature and for educational purposes only. No personal legal advice is being provided. If you have an actual legal issue that needs to be addressed, you should seek the advice of competent legal counsel. This post does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Jeffrey T. Angley, P.C., Phillips & Angley or their attorneys.