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Alford, et al. v. Boston Zoning Commission, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-124-13)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;       12‑P‑1579                                                                             Appeals Court   MARK ALFORD & others[1]  vs.  BOSTON ZONING COMMISSION & others.[2] No. 12‑P‑1579. Suffolk.     May 8, 2013.  ‑  October 9, 2013. Present:  Milkey, Carhart, & Sullivan, JJ.     Boston.  Zoning, Amendment of by‑law or ordinance, Appeal, Educational use, Hearing, Judicial review.  Quasi‑Judicial Tribunal.  Administrative Law, Adjudicatory proceeding, Conflict of interest, Hearing.  Practice, Civil, Zoning appeal.  Constitutional Law, Right to hearing.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on July 9, 2009.   The case was heard by Frances A. McIntyre, J., on a motion for summary judgment.     Orestes G. Brown for the plaintiffs. Michael K. Murray for Trustees of Boston College. Adam Cederbaum for Boston Zoning Commission. Denise A. Chicoine for Boston Redevelopment Authority.       CARHART, J.  The plaintiffs, who own property that abuts property owned by Boston College, appeal from summary judgment entered by a Superior Court judge, who determined that art. 29 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights does not apply to review and approval by the Boston zoning commission and the Boston Redevelopment Authority of Boston College’s Institutional Master Plan.  The judge also ruled that the approval of the Institutional Master Plan was not arbitrary or capricious, and that the plaintiffs’ request to defer summary judgment pursuant to Mass.R.Civ.P. 56(f), 365 Mass. 824 (1974), was without merit.  We affirm. Background.  In the spring of 2003, Boston College (BC) embarked on a strategic planning process to redevelop its Chestnut Hill and Brighton campuses.  In November, 2003, the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announced its intention to sell sixty-five acres of property located in Brighton.  In May, 2004, BC purchased approximately forty-three of those acres and, in subsequent transactions in 2006 and 2007, purchased the remaining acreage.  After BC finalized the purchases, it hired a campus architecture and planning firm to help develop a long-term comprehensive campus plan.  Among BC’s main institutional objectives were to develop more “academic, residential and co-curricular facilities.”  The plan was projected to cost $ 1.6 billion and span ten years. Under art. 80D of the Boston zoning code (art. 80D), when educational or health care institutions with more than 150,000 square feet seek to expand by more than 20,000 gross square feet, they must file for review an Institutional Master Plan (IMP) with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).  See Bobrowski, Massachusetts […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 9, 2013 at 3:20 pm

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