Complaint Analysis of Zoning Variance Issues Legal Essay

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Submitted By bbaby2001
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Client Jim ("Client") would like to build a gas station in an area zoned for commercial officespace. The client believes a gas station is more feasible for the area noting excessivecommercial building properties and downtown traffic fuel needs. Would the Client succeed inseeking a zoning variance in Worcester County, Massachusetts?In order to legally grant a variance, a local board of zoning appeals must specifically find that:(1) owing to circumstances relating to the soil conditions, shape or topography and especiallyaffecting such land but not affecting generally the zoning district in which it is located; (2) aliteral enforcement of the residential zoning would involve a substantial hardship, financial orotherwise, to the petitioner; and (3) desirable relief may be granted without substantialdetriment to the public good, and without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intentor purpose of such ordinance or by-law. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 10.In Grenon v. Commonwealth, (2004) Mass. Super. LEXIS 176, the court stated “No person hasa legal right to a variance and they are to be granted sparingly . . . [Reviewing courts should]ensure that local boards of appeal conform with the statutory restrictions upon grantingvariances." Damaskos v. Board of Appeals of Boston, (1971) 359 Mass. 55, 61, 267 N.E.2d 897.The statutory requirements are conjunctive, so "a failure to establish any one of them is fatal."Blackman v. Board of Appeals of Barnstable, (1956) 334 Mass. 446, 450, 136 N.E.2d 198.” In Shacka v. Board of Appeals, (1961) 341 Mass. 593, the Massachusetts Supreme Courtreviewed a decree upholding a zoning variance granted to a gas station owner. In its decision,the Court held that no hardship to the gas station owner was shown attributable to conditionsespecially affecting his property and not affecting generally the zoning district in which it waslocated.…...

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