Appeals Court: JOANNE DELAPA vs FALMOUTH CONSERVATION COMMISSION

Keywords:   Wetlands Protection Act. Zoning, Wetlands. Municipal Corporations, Conservation commission. Practice, Civil, Action in nature of certiorari, Judgment on the pleadings

The Appeals Court today issued its decision in DeLapa v Conservation Commission of Falmouth in which it upheld a decision in favor of the Town on motions for judgment on the pleadings in an appeal of the denial by the Conservation Commission of an NOI under both state and local law to rebuild a pier damaged in a storm.

“In 2015, winter storms caused significant damage to a dock in Falmouth (town) owned by Joanne Delapa, as trustee of the Delcor Realty Trust (Delcor).  Delcor sought approval from the town conservation commission (commission) to repair the dock, which would involve, inter alia, driving four pilings into a protected wetlands area.  Acting in part pursuant to the town wetlands protection by-law and accompanying regulations, the commission denied Delcor’s application after finding it deficient in various respects.  Delcor brought an action in the nature of certiorari to challenge the commission’s denial, see G. L. c. 249, § 4, and on cross motions for judgment on the pleadings, see Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(c), 365 Mass. 754 (1974), a Superior Court judge ruled in the commission’s favor.  On Delcor’s appeal, we affirm the judgment.”

MMLA member and Assistant Town Counsel Patricia Harris represented Falmouth in this appeal.   Click here for the full text of Judge Milkey’s decision.

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