Posts tagged "1000218"

Roma, III, Ltd. v. Board of Appeals of Rockport (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-002-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-12278   ROMA, III, LTD.  vs.  BOARD OF APPEALS OF ROCKPORT.       Suffolk.     September 6, 2017. – January 8, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Gaziano, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Municipal Corporations, By-laws and ordinances.  Zoning, Validity of by-law or ordinance, Private landing area.  Federal Preemption.       Civil action commenced in the Land Court Department on March 12, 2015.   The case was heard by Robert B. Foster, J., on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Jackie Cowin for the defendant. Nicholas Preston Shapiro (Robert K. Hopkins also present) for the plaintiff. Maura Healy, Attorney General, & Elizabeth N. Dewar, State Solicitor, for division of aeronautics of the Department of Transportation, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     GANTS, C.J.  A judge of the Land Court barred the town of Rockport (town) from enforcing a zoning bylaw that prohibited the use of land for a private heliport without some form of approval, variance, or special permit because the bylaw had not been approved by the division of aeronautics of the Department of Transportation (division).  The issue on appeal is whether cities and towns may exercise their zoning authority to determine whether land in their communities may be used as a noncommercial private restricted landing area, here a heliport, or whether they may do so only with the approval of the division because the exercise of such zoning authority is preempted by the State’s aeronautics statutes, G. L. c. 90, §§ 35-52 (aeronautics code).  We hold that there is no clear legislative intent to preempt local zoning enactments with respect to noncommercial private restricted landing areas, and that a city or town does not need the prior approval of the division to enforce a zoning bylaw that requires some form of approval, variance, or special permit for land to be used as a private heliport.[1] Background.  Roma, III, Ltd. (plaintiff), is the owner of 1.62 acres of oceanfront property in Rockport (property).  The property, improved by a single-family residence, is located in what is classified as a residential A zoning district. Ron Roma (Roma) is licensed as a helicopter pilot and regularly uses the helicopter he owns to travel to his various family homes, business engagements, and other activities.  Roma does not operate his helicopter for […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 9, 2018 at 4:37 pm

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