Our Municipal Real Estate and Land Use offers experienced representation in a broad range of complex real estate, land use regulation, and related litigation issues facing Massachusetts cities and towns.
Our Municipal Real Estate and Land Use attorneys’ experience includes working with municipal officials, town counsel and city solicitors as staff counsel, special counsel, and serving on municipal boards. In these capacities, we have drafted and interpreted zoning codes, conservation ordinances, and land use permits; advised on environmental matters and real estate transactions, including sales, acquisitions, leases, and easement grants; and represented municipalities in land use litigation. Our experience assisting and facilitating cooperation between developers and municipalities for new development has resulted in projects that enhance those communities.
In addition to expertise with the zoning requirements of numerous communities such as Boston, Cambridge, Hingham, Newburyport, Waltham, and Weston, our attorneys also have extensive experience with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), the Wetlands Protection Act, state and local historic commission regulations, Title 5, and numerous other local and state permitting regimes. Our practice group members include the co-chair of the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts (REBA) Land Use and Zoning Committee; the former Senior Land Use Counsel for the Boston Redevelopment Authority; a former member of the Amesbury Zoning Board of Appeals; and a ten-year member of the Hingham Planning Board, chair of the Hingham Harbor Planning Task Force, advisor to members of the Board of Selectmen on real estate matters, and a former member of the Hingham Development and Industrial Commission and Open Space Committee.
We work closely with city solicitors and town counsel in defending against appeals of zoning decisions, including cases in Cambridge, Chatham, Newburyport, Wayland, Wenham, and other municipalities. Some of the services we provide include:
- Review and draft amendments to municipal zoning codes
- Advise on environmental compliance and remediation matters affecting municipal property
- Advise on the sale, acquisition, leasing ,and easements of municipal property
- Represent municipalities in land use and permitting appeals
Examples of our municipal experience include:
- Representing the City of Peabody in connection with the acquisition of a contaminated, former tannery site for redevelopment as a public park
- Representing the Town of Amesbury in the remediation and redevelopment of municipal property contaminated by adjoining manufactures gas plant
- Drafting the PDA Master Plan for the Fort Point District/100 Acres area of South Boston Seaport
- Advising the Town of Newbury on adoption of a revised wetlands overlay district for Plum Island
- Defending the Town of Wenham against the appeal of a Zoning Board decision involving the interpretation of historical zoning amendments and applicability of statutory and municipal grandfathering provisions
- Advising the Town of Wenham on a comprehensive re-write of their zoning by-laws
- Working with the Hingham Board of Selectmen and Town Counsel on private/public development agreements for a land swap, housing and athletic fields, and the acquisition and ground lease by the Town of a 65-unit Section 8 elderly housing apartment building