SJC: RCA DEVELOPMENT, INC. v. ZBA OF BROCKTON

KeywordsSubdivision Control, Approval not required, Plan. Practice, Civil, Summary judgment

In the decision issued May 1, 2019, the SJC affirmed the Land Court’s determination that the 1964 division of a lot in Brockton was not a subdivision under the subdivision control law and the City’s zoning ordinance and further that the owners were not otherwise required to seek any planning board action.  After their appeal to the zoning board of appeals was denied the basis that the locus had merged with the adjoining lot and had therefore lost its “grandfathered” status as buildable under the 1963 zoning ordinance, the plaintiffs appealed to the Land Court. There, the plaintiffs argued that the property at issue resulted from a division that did not constitute a subdivision, and that the legitimacy and buildability of the lot should be considered under the 1963 zoning ordinance, which was in effect at the time of the division. The board countered that the lot was unbuildable because the division of the lot did not comply with the subdivision control law, and that the 1963 zoning ordinance should no longer apply because the locus merged with lot 47 due to common ownership. Click here for the full text of the decision.

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