Posts tagged "Wayland"

Boelter, et al. v. Board of Selectmen of Wayland (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-050-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12353   MARY ALICE BOELTER & others[1]  vs.  BOARD OF SELECTMEN OF WAYLAND.       Middlesex.     December 5, 2017. – April 5, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Open Meeting Law.  Municipal Corporations, Open meetings, Selectmen.  Moot Question.  Attorney General.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on February 11, 2014.   The case was heard by Dennis J. Curran, J., on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Mark J. Lanza, Special Town Counsel, for the defendant. David S. Mackey, Special Assistant Attorney General (Christine M. Zaleski also present) for Massachusetts Gaming Commission. George H. Harris for the plaintiffs. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Maura Healey, Attorney General, & Jonathan Sclarsic & Kevin W. Manganaro, Assistant Attorneys General, for the Attorney General. Robert J. Ambrogi & Peter J. Caruso for Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association. Kenneth S. Leonetti, Christopher E. Hart, Michael Hoven, & Kelly Caiazzo for Hal Abrams & others.     LENK, J.  The plaintiffs, all registered voters in the town of Wayland (town), brought this action in the Superior Court to challenge the procedure by which the board of selectmen of Wayland (board) conducted the 2012 performance review of the town administrator.  The chair of the board had circulated to all board members, in advance of the public meeting where the town administrator’s evaluation was to take place, board members’ individual written evaluations, as well as a composite written evaluation, of the town administrator’s performance.  The board made public all written evaluations after the open meeting.  The issue before us is whether the board violated the Massachusetts open meeting law, G. L. c. 30A, §§ 18 and 20 (a), which generally requires public bodies to make their meetings, including “deliberations,” open to the public. A judge of the Superior Court allowed the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, issued a permanent injunction, and declared “stricken” a contrary determination by the Attorney General that had issued the prior year, on essentially the same facts, in which the Attorney General had found that the board’s conduct had not violated the open meeting law.  The board appealed from the allowance of summary judgment, arguing that the matter is moot, its conduct did not violate the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 5, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,

Nelson v. Conservation Commission of Wayland (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-113-16)

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   15-P-1437                                       Appeals Court   KENNETH TODD NELSON  vs.  CONSERVATION COMMISSION OF WAYLAND.     No. 15-P-1437.   Middlesex.     May 16, 2016. – August 31, 2016.   Present:  Rubin, Milkey, & Neyman, JJ.     Zoning, By-law, Wetlands.  Municipal Corporations, Conservation commission, By-laws and ordinances.  Practice, Civil, Action in nature of certiorari.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on December 3, 2014.   The case was heard by Peter B. Krupp, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     George F. Hailer for the plaintiff. Mark J. Lanza for the defendant.     RUBIN, J.  The plaintiff[1] appeals from a judgment of the Superior Court affirming a determination by the conservation commission of Wayland (commission) that there are wetlands on his property.[2]  That determination was made under Wayland’s wetlands and water resources protection by-law.  See chapter 194 of the Wayland town code (2015) (by-law).  Under the by-law’s definition, wetlands are protected more broadly than they are under the Wetlands Protection Act and the accompanying regulations.  See § 194-1 of the by-law (“The purpose of this chapter is to provide a greater degree of protection of wetlands, buffer zones, and related water resources, than the  protection of these resource areas provided under [G. L.] c. 131, § 40, and the Wetlands Regulations promulgated thereunder by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection”).  Compare § 194-2 of the by-law, with G. L. c. 131, § 40, and 310 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 10.01 et seq. (2014). The plaintiff agrees that the town has the authority to provide such broader protection, but argues that the commission’s decision here was not supported by substantial evidence.  The plaintiff brought an action in the nature of certiorari (G. L. c. 249, § 4) in the Superior Court.  The plaintiff moved for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(c), 365 Mass. 754 (1974).  The judge denied the motion and upheld the commission’s decision.  This appeal followed. The commission made two findings supporting its conclusion that the property at issue contains wetlands within the meaning of the by-law.  These findings, in full, provide that “[p]lants including [r]ed [m]aple, American [e]lm, skunk cabbage, and other hydrophilic vegetation comprise at least 50% of the vegetational community.”  Further, “[r]unoff water from surface drainage frequently collects above the soil surface.” Section 194-2 of the by-law defines “wetland” as “[w]et meadows, marshes, swamps, bogs, and other areas where groundwater, flowing […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 31, 2016 at 8:56 pm

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West Beit Olam Cemetery Corporation v. Board of Assessors of Wayland (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-080-16)

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   15-P-128                                        Appeals Court   WEST BEIT OLAM CEMETERY CORPORATION  vs.  BOARD OF ASSESSORS OF WAYLAND.     No. 15-P-128.   Suffolk.     April 8, 2016. – July 7, 2016.   Present:  Kafker, C.J., Wolohojian, & Maldonado, JJ.     Cemetery.  Taxation, Real estate tax: exemption, cemetery.       Appeal from a decision of the Appellate Tax Board.     Sander A. Rikleen for the taxpayer. Mark J. Lanza for board of assessors of Wayland.     KAFKER, C.J.  This is an appeal from a decision of the Appellate Tax Board (board) by West Beit Olam Cemetery Corporation (West Beit Olam), a nonprofit corporation organized in accordance with G. L. c. 114.[1]  West Beit Olam is the record owner of lot 1A, located at 59 Old Sudbury Road in Wayland (town).  In 2012, pursuant to G. L. c. 59, § 5, Twelfth (Clause Twelfth), West Beit Olam applied to the town’s board of assessors (assessors) for a tax abatement for lot 1A.[2]  The assessors denied the application, and West Beit Olam appealed to the board.  After an evidentiary hearing, the board determined that a portion of lot 1A, known as parcel A, was exempt under Clause Twelfth, but the rest of the property was taxable.  West Beit Olam appeals, claiming that all of lot 1A is exempt from taxation exempt under Clause Twelfth.  For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the board’s decision.  In particular, we conclude that the board properly denied a tax exemption for the large part of lot 1A and a building located on it that were contractually restricted to residential use for seven years, including the tax year in question. Background.  We summarize the facts as the board found them, noting that they are essentially undisputed by the parties.  In 1998, the Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts, Inc. (JCAM), a nonprofit cemetery corporation, purchased property in the town and created the Beit Olam Cemetery.  As part of that purchase, JCAM also secured a right of first refusal on an adjoining parcel, lot 1A, which is the focus of this appeal.  Lot 1A is contiguous to the Beit Olam Cemetery’s western border and is improved with a single-family residence. To accommodate the future expansion of the Beit Olam Cemetery, JCAM created West Beit Olam in 2007 for the purpose  of acquiring lot 1A.  On July 26, 2007, West Beit Olam purchased lot […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 7, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,