Robert M. Twiss


The Massachusetts Appeals Court has actively interpreted zoning and urban planning law during the past three years. These decisions have produced significant developments in zoning and planning law through the applications of the law to a variety of factual scenarios. The appellate courts have reversed board and lower court decisions on relatively minor distinctions from prior cases.

During the past three years, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) handed down published decisions involving what constitutes a “public use” of property taken by eminent domain, lack of standing claimed by an abutter, the definition of educational institutions under the Dover Amendment, the Sub-Division Control Act, applicability of variances rather than a special permit, dredging of sand adjacent to breakwaters, affordable housing, and preemption of local zoning authority by the Commonwealth.