Rosenfeld v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Mendon

Mass. Appeals Court, 78 Mass. App. Ct. 677, Jan. 28, 2011: Court held for the first time that an abutter has standing to seek enforcement of a deed restriction that does not refer to the abutter’s land or identify it as a benefited parcel.

The restriction, which ran with the land, was granted as a condition to [...]

Willowdale v. Board Of Assessors Of Topsfield

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, No. 10-P-605, February 16, 2011: Upholds the denial of a property tax exemption for a historic mansion and 6 surrounding acres, part of a state park leased under the state’s historic curatorship program to a private entity to operate a bed and breakfast and for other specified for-profit purposes. The private lessee [...]

Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield v. Springfield (Bishop of Springfield I)

U.S. Dist. Court, D. Massachusetts, 760 F. Supp. 2d 172 (D. Mass. 2011), January 4, 2011: Rejects RLUIPA and constitutional challenges to City Ordinance designating single church parcel as historic district. The Church’s failure to submit any plan for alteration of the building exterior or apply for an exemption from constraints on alteration figured significantly in [...]

Arno v. Commonwealth

MA Supreme Judicial Court, SJC-10559, August 2, 2010: Holds that the public’s interest in tidelands (public trust doctrine) may not be extinguished either by registration of title under the state’s Torrens system or by acts of the Attorney General absent an express delegation of power by the legislature, which has not occurred. Arno has a certificate [...]

Massachusetts Historic Rehab Tax Credit Extended to 2017

The FY 2011 Massachusetts state budget amends the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, previously set to expire in 2011, to sunset 12/31/2017. According to the Massachusetts Historical Commission website, “Under the program a certified rehabilitation project on an income-producing property is eligible to receive up to 20% of the cost of certified rehabilitation expenditures in state [...]