Friday, June 16, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Thursday, June 8, 2017
there is more eating than fishing involved. He took me up on my offer to arrive on the Cape early on Friday so that he could watch me prep the boat and watch me pump diesel into the tanks. It gave us some time to catch up on family news, and it gave Vinnie an opportunity to vent about his suburban real estate practice before the other men arrived.
A former REBA president, Paul Alphen currently serves on the association’s executive committee and co-chairs the long-range planning committee. He is a partner in the Westford firm of Alphen & Santos, P.C. and concentrates in residential and commercial real estate development, land use regulation, administrative law, real estate transactional practice and title examination .As entertaining as he finds the practice of law, Paul enjoys numerous hobbies, including messing around with his power boats and fulfilling his bucket list of visiting every Major League ballpark. Paul can be contacted at email@example.com.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Originally posted June 5, 2017 on the Sherin and Lodgen Blog.
Monday, June 5, 2017
This seminar explains the documentation required to clear title when transferring real estate through an estate, whether it be a decedent sole owner, decedent co-owner, or individual under guardianship or conservatorship.
Our guest speakers are Susan LaRose, New England Underwriting Counsel for WFG Title Insurance Company, and John McCoy, former Title Examiner II for the Massachusetts Land Court and current Land Court Administrator for the Norfolk Registry District of the Land Court.
For information on the Paralegal Section, please contact Jackie Waters Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sharon Garcia at email@example.com.
Friday, June 2, 2017
What do I do if my title reveals a recorded Notice of Contract? When do mechanic's liens expire? How do I release a Lien Bond?
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
The new Integrated Mortgage Disclosure rule takes effect on August 1, 2015. You must be prepared for new procedures, new documents and changes to some common business practices. The panelists will discuss issues as diverse as anticipated purchase and sale agreement revisions, the increased liability for lenders if the rule is not followed and how to set your firm apart by adoption of ALTA Best Practices.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
other another attractive destination, you may have given consideration to renting your house or condominium unit on a short-term basis, either while out of town yourself or during a peak travel season. Often times Airbnb offers a cost-effective alternative to a typical hotel and provides income to the homeowner to offset property costs. But for all the convenience Airbnb offers, both to the guest as well as the owner, many of us have heard at least one horror story where an Airbnb renter caused substantial damage to the property, held wild parties, or engaged in some form of criminal activity. While the incidences of such behavior are without question the exception rather than the rule, many Airbnb guests engage, often times unknowingly, in conduct which is either bothersome to neighbors or in violation of a condominium’s rules and regulations.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
hottest topics in affordable housing over the past few years, is going to continue to attract attention in the coming months. As affordable housing aficionados know, the “General Land Area Minimum” (hence, “GLAM”) test is one of three safe harbors provided for under the Affordable Housing Law. Under Chapter 40B, this safe harbor exists when “low or moderate income housing exists… on sites comprising 1.5% or more of the total land area zoned for residential, commercial or industrial use.”
Monday, May 22, 2017
to appeal environmental decisions within state agencies and then to court. In fact, there are similarities but subtle differences in the rules among Massachusetts agencies, even within MassDEP for its various kinds of permits and enforcement.
The WPA rules add an extra layer, whereby an aggrieved person must have participated in writing in the permit proceedings. The CWA rules, with another twist, confer standing on aggrieved persons who have submitted written comments during the public comment period (unless the appeal is based upon new substantive issues arising from changes in the scope or impact of a project which were not apparent from the public notice). The Chapter 91 rules give standing to aggrieved persons so long as they participated in writing during the public comment period and can demonstrate that, as a result of issuance of License, they may suffer an injury in fact which is within the scope of the interests protected by Chapter 91 and G.L. c. 21A.
There are some liberal standing rights for citizen groups, but they read differently. Under the WPA, ten residents of the municipality where the project is proposed may request an adjudicatory hearing, so long as at least one member of the group has participated in writing during the prior proceedings. The CWA provides standing for “ten persons of the Commonwealth pursuant to G.L. c. 30A” so long as at least one member of the group has submitted written comments during the public comment period. Chapter 91 confers standing upon “ten residents of the Commonwealth, pursuant to G.L. c. 30A, § 10A” provided five members reside in the municipality where the licensed activity is located, all members of the group have submitted comments during the public comment period, and each member of the group files an affidavit stating her intent to be part of the group and represented by its authorized representative.
Standing also is available to government officials, agencies or environmental organizations. Under the CWA, governmental or private environmental organizations which have submitted written comments during the public comment period have standing (again, the prior written participation requirement is waived for appeals based upon new substantive issues arising from changes in the scope or impact of a project which were not apparent from the public notice). Chapter 91 licenses may be challenged by a municipal official in the affected city or town who has previously submitted written comments during the public comment period and, in certain instances, the state Office of Coastal Zone Management and Department of Conservation and Recreation.
These details matter. MassDEP’s Presiding Officers routinely undertake a close analysis of standing. Expect this. One recent MassDEP Final Decision concluded that a ten-person group must allege environmental harm to enjoy standing to appeal a Chapter 91 License, although many interests protected by Chapter 91 are not per se “environmental” (e.g., navigation, water access, and livelihood interests). In The Matter of Webster Ventures, LLC, Docket No. 2015-014, Final Decision (June 15, 2016).
In another recent Final Decision, MassDEP found that a petitioner lacked standing to challenge a WQC as a “person aggrieved,” due to his failure to submit written comments, yet granted him standing as being a property owner. In the Matter of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., LLC, Docket No. 2016-20, Final Decision (March 27, 2017).
Ultimately, appealing a final agency action to court requires plaintiffs to meet the traditional standing test of injury-in-fact to an interest cognizable by law or rule. This means proving claims of particularized harm or prejudice to substantial individual rights.
Do not assume that a party before an agency under state environmental laws has automatic standing to challenge the resulting agency decision in court. This was driven home by the SJC in Board of Health of Sturbridge v. Board of Health of Southbridge, 461 Mass. 548, 559 (2012).
Plaintiffs with standing as a ten-person group for an adjudicatory hearing at MassDEP, therefore, had better be ready to individually establish “old-fashioned” standing in court.
Careful practitioners never take standing for granted. Read the statute and agency regulations for the pleading and proof requirements, consult the court cases and agency decisions, and leave time to satisfy yourself that the petitioner(s) have (or lack) the requisite standing. And remember that, while alleging personalized harm may be unnecessary to establish statutory or rule-based standing before the agency below, it is always necessary to get your day in court.
Luke Legere is a partner with McGregor & Legere, P.C. He helps clients with a broad range of environmental, land use, and real estate issues including coastal and inland wetlands and waterways, zoning, subdivision, development agreements, conservation restrictions, state and local enforcement actions, stormwater, solid waste, hazardous waste, air pollution, site remediation, regulatory takings, affordable housing, and energy facility siting. A regular contributor to REBA News, Luke can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, May 19, 2017
Rick Diamond; Christopher J. Gulotta; Richard M. Reass
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
sporting events, and she has attempted to impose injunctions on arbitrary and capricious ticket purchases. Nevertheless, when a certain Saturday morning in December rolls around each year I can be found behind the keyboard waiting to find reasonably priced tickets for games in America’s Most Expensive Ballpark. Consequently, my Cousin Vinnie, the suburban real estate attorney, and I were able to enjoy a nice spring evening in the ballpark watching the fourth highest payroll in the MLB.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Henry H. Thayer, a giant of the Massachusetts real estate bar and a former President of REBA (then the Massachusetts Conveyancers Association), died March 26, 2017, 20 days shy of his 80th birthday.
|Henry H. Thayer,|