This is the third in a series of posts on challenges to zoning bylaws and ordinances, and the second addressing the question of where to bring a challenge to a zoning bylaw or ordinance. The prior post covered the Land Court. The Land Court, however, is not the only court of competent jurisdiction to hear these cases. As the Department of the Massachusetts Trial Court having general jurisdiction, the Superior Court has the authority to hear all manner of claims challenging zoning bylaws and ordinances. As discussed below, the United States District Court, depending on the type of challenge, has the subject matter jurisdiction to hear these types of cases as well.
As previously posted, on May 18, 2015, P & A won summary judgment, under the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the "TCA" / "Act"), against the Town of Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals in Industrial Tower and Wireless, LLC v. Haddad ("ITW v. Haddad"), 2015 WL 2365560, at *17 (D. Mass. 2015). The next two posts will look at two aspects of the District Court's decision that are particularly noteworthy.
On May 18, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Burroughs, J., issued its Memorandum and Order on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, allowing summary judgment to enter for P & A's client, Industrial Tower & Wireless, LLC ("ITW"), and ordering the Defendant Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Falmouth, "within forty-five (45) days" to "issue all necessary permits allowing ITW to construct and operate" its proposed telecommunications facility in Falmouth, MA. See Industrial Tower and Wireless, LLC v. Haddad, 2015 WL 2365560, at *17 (D. Mass. 2015).