Public Law

Updates on Public Law in Massachusetts from Anderson & Kreiger LLP

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Mina S. Makarious and Paul Kominers Legal Analysis Featured in the 2019 Spring Boston Bar Journal

Mina S. Makarious and Paul Kominers co-authored, “Spaulding v. Town of Natick School Committee: Allowing Free Speech while Accomplishing Municipal Work”, for the 2019 spring edition of the Boston Bar…

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Posted In: Uncategorized

New State Law Allows Local Regulation of Short-Term Rentals

Just before 2018 ended, Governor Baker signed An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals into law.  The Act capped off years of public debate, Beacon Hill wrangling, and local regulation…

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Supreme Judicial Court Reaffirms Massachusetts Rule: No Liability for Damages from Healthy Trees

image credit: Couleur

The Supreme Judicial Court recently reaffirmed that a landowner whose property is damaged by a neighbor’s healthy tree cannot hold the neighbor responsible for damages. Shiel v. Rowell, SJC-12432 (July…

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Two Cases Result in Opposite Outcomes for Massachusetts Municipal Employees Seeking Immunity

Police officer not entitled to immunity under federal law, but school district shielded from suit under state statute. Two cases on municipal immunity were issued this month, one from a…

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SJC Agrees That Anti-Aid Amendment Does Not Ban Public Funds to Churches for Historic Preservation, But Sets a New Rigorous Test

Today, the SJC applied for the first time its Anti-Aid Amendment jurisprudence to public funding to an active church.  In a 5-1 decision in Caplan v. Town of Acton, SJC-12274,…

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Posted In: Uncategorized, Zoning

Time to Make the Donuts? Appeals Court Rules Hopkinton Dunkin’ Donuts Could Be a Retail Store

Fast-food coffee shops may look virtually the same from town to town, but as a recent Appeals Court decision reminds planners and local land use boards, what a town’s zoning…

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CPA Funds Can Be Used to Preserve Historic Church Buildings

The Town of Acton recently secured a victory in a Court fight over the use of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to preserve two historic churches. The CPA allows cities and…

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By Regulating Taxis but Ignoring Ride-Hail Services, Boston May Be Violating the Constitution

Municipalities may want to rethink the way that they regulate taxis, or consider regulating ride-hail services like Uber and Lyft, following a new federal district court decision in a dispute…

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Grandfathered Convenience Store Can Add Alcohol Sales Without Zoning Relief

A grandfathered convenience store may add beer and wine sales without obtaining zoning relief from the town, the Appeals Court recently decided in Almeida v. Arruda. How Much Can a…

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Serious Local Health Issues Trump the Affordable Housing Zoning Act

Chapter 40B – sometimes known as the Anti-Snob Zoning Act – tackles “exclusionary zoning” that can prevent badly needed subsidized housing from being built. Under the Act, local zoning boards…

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