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J.M. Hollister, LLC v. Architectural Access Board (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-052-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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       11‑P‑1847                                       Appeals Court   J.M. HOLLISTER, LLC  vs.  ARCHITECTURAL ACCESS BOARD.     No. 11‑P‑1847. Suffolk.     May 3, 2012.  ‑  April 19, 2013. Present:  Berry, Milkey, & Sullivan, JJ.     Architectural Access Board.  Handicapped Persons.  Administrative Law, Judicial review, Substantial evidence, Agency’s interpretation of regulation.  Statute, Construction.  Zoning, Variance.  Words, “Entrance.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on June 25, 2010.   The case was heard by John C. Cratsley, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     Daniel P. Dain for the plaintiff. Douglas S. Martland, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendant.     SULLIVAN, J.  The Architectural Access Board (board) issued a final order on May 26, 2010, requiring that the retailer J.M. Hollister, LLC (Hollister), make all entrances to its Kingston, Massachusetts, store accessible to persons with disabilities.[1]  Hollister sought review in the Superior Court pursuant to G. L. c. 30A, and a judge granted the board’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.  We affirm. Facts and procedural history.  Hollister is a clothing retailer that leases and operates a store in the Independence Mall in Kingston.  Hollister began operating that store in late 2005.  When it took over the space within the mall, Hollister replaced the existing, fully accessible mall-level interior entrance with two adjacent doorways.  The central doorway is a “California surf shack” entryway that consists of two steps leading to a roofed porch extending to the sides of the door and outward from the wall of the store into the mall.  The porch contains large plants, pictures, and other decorative items.  In other stores, the porches contain chairs and magazines for customers.  At the back of the porch, on the left and right side, are two steps leading back down to ground level and into the store proper, one leading to the men’s clothing section (the “Dudes”), and one to the women’s clothing section (the “Bettys”).   The second doorway is a ground level, unadorned doorway with a mechanically operated door, located to the left of the porch.  To the right of the porch (at that time) were a series of windows extending to the floor with plantation shutters, and a fire door, built to look like the windows.  The door on the left also is designed to look like the plantation shuttered windows to the right, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm

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