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Kelley, et al. v. Cambridge Historical Commission, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-105-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us       12‑P‑1309                                       Appeals Court   JACQUELINE KELLEY & others[1]  vs.  CAMBRIDGE HISTORICAL COMMISSION & others.[2] No. 12‑P‑1309. Middlesex.     May 2, 2013.  ‑  August 21, 2013. Present:  Milkey, Carhart, & Sullivan, JJ.   Historic Preservation.  Massachusetts Historical Commission.  Real Property, Restrictions.  Practice, Civil, Motion to dismiss, Complaint, Standing.  Administrative Law, Judicial review, Standing.  Contract, Third party beneficiary.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on June 13, 2011.   Motions to dismiss were heard by Bruce R. Henry, J.     Elaine M. Callahan for David Vogel, Peter Fifield, & James J. Carr, Jr. David T. DeCelles for Jacqueline Kelley. Timothy J. Roskelley for Oak Tree Development, LLC & Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Arthur J. Goldberg, Deputy City Solicitor, for Cambridge Historical Commission. Annapurna Balakrishna, Assistant Attorney General, for Massachusetts Historical Commission.     MILKEY, J.  The St. James Episcopal church sits at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Beech Street in North Cambridge.  Built in 1888, the church was designed by noted New York architect Henry M. Congdon in a style that has come to be known as “Romanesque revival.”  Since 1983, the church has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and all parties to this litigation recognize that it has significant historic value.  Also at the site are a parish hall that predates the church by four years, and a small park known as “Knights garden” that was designed in 1915 by noted landscape architect John Nolen. The church property is owned by the St. James Parish (parish), which is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.  In conjunction with a private developer, the parish has proposed a four-story, mixed-use development at the church site and on an adjacent parcel that the developer owns.  Under the proposal, the church itself would remain but the parish hall and Knights garden — at least in the garden’s current form — would not. The plaintiffs are four nearby residents who allege that various historic preservation laws prevent the project from going forward as proposed.  Ruling that their amended complaint failed as a matter of law, a Superior Court judge allowed the defendants’ motions to dismiss.  We affirm the judgment, albeit on somewhat different grounds than those stated by the judge below. Background.  The 1987 Massachusetts Historical Commission preservation restriction.  In 1987, the parish granted defendant […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm

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