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Land Use Archives

TREES & BOUNDARY LINES: IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

It is certainly not unusual to hear about tree cutting cases where a landowner wants to trim the branches of a neighbor's tree that overhang the common boundary line-which is lawful, to a point-or even those cases where a person trespasses onto the land of another to trim or cut down trees entirely situated on that lot-which is unlawful. Whatever the underlying motivation for such trimming and cutting, Massachusetts law is fairly clear about whether liability and damages will ensue under those circumstances.

Excavation & Blasting Activities: The Duty of Lateral Support

Before embarking on any excavation project--including tunneling and blasting--developers and landowners should understand the often-overlooked duty they owe to neighboring properties in order to avoid nuisance or negligence liability.

Cater v. Bednarek: Judges Must Adhere to Certain Local Regulations When Fixing the Location and Width of Ambiguous Easements

Earlier this month, the SJC remanded an interesting easement case back to the Land Court and ordered the Land Court judge (Piper, J.) to take a second look at the width of the easement that he had laid out to the extent that it conflicted with local subdivision road regulations.

Discussion With...A Traffic Engineer

We recently had an opportunity to talk with traffic engineer, Ron Müller, P.E., of Ron Müller & Associates, Traffic Engineering and Consulting Services, based out of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to get a better understanding of his profession. Here is an excerpt from our conversation.

An Introduction to Adverse Possession & Prescriptive Easements

Fences, driveways, structures, lawns, gardens, trees or shrubbery often extend beyond a deeded property line and encroach onto another's property. The area of land may only be a few feet wide or consist of an entire parcel. Depending on the duration and nature of the use in those areas, the person using the property of another may have a valid claim of ownership over the property (in fee simple) or some lesser degree of property rights (i.e. prescriptive easement).

Gated Easements

Some landowners have private roadways or footpaths existing on their property (the servient estate) that serve as easements or rights of ways for use by other individuals (easement holders). Often these passageways have existed for many years. They can range from simple, meandering dirt foot paths or driveways to paved or gravel roads.

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