Brian R. Falk
Brian is a municipal and land use attorney in Mirick O'Connell’s Public and Municipal Law Group and Real Estate and Environmental Law Group. Brian also leads Mirick O’Connell’s Cannabis Industry Group.In his municipal practice, Brian counsels towns, cities, and districts in all areas of municipal law, including home rule, zoning, real estate, elections, finance, taxation, procurement, public construction, and general governance. Brian advises local officials on compliance with the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law, and Conflict of Interest Law, and has extensive experience drafting town meeting warrants, bylaws, ordinances, and special legislation.
Brian also represents private clients in land use permitting matters. He regularly appears before municipal boards seeking special permits, variances, licenses, zoning amendments, and other local approvals for large projects and challenging sites.
In 2014, 2015, and 2016, Brian was named a Massachusetts "Rising Star" by Boston magazine and Law & Politics. Brian previously served on the Milford Zoning Board of Appeals.
Bar & Court Admissions
- Boston College Law School JD (2006)
- State University of New York at Geneseo BS, cum laude (2000)
- Provides Town Counsel services to nine Massachusetts communities.
- Provides special counsel and land use counsel services to several towns, cities, and districts.
- Represented a large developer to obtain an overlay zoning amendment and land use permits for a 475-unit high-end apartment community.
- Represented a boutique developer on zoning amendments and land use permits for a mixed residential/commercial downtown building.
- Represented a large developer to obtain an overlay zoning amendment and land use permits for a $160 million regional hospitality, entertainment and retail center.
- Represented a large cannabis operator to secure a special permit for a community’s first cannabis retail store.
- Negotiated over 15 cannabis host community agreements on behalf of municipalities and private parties.
- Led negotiations for a city on two multi-million dollar host community agreements for resort-style gaming establishments.
- "Municipalities May Allow Outdoor Dining for Restaurants During COVID-19 Re-Opening," Mirick O'Connell Clerk Alert, June 2, 2020
- “Public and Municipal Law," On Air with Mirick O’Connell legal podcast, April 10, 2020
- “Extended Closure due to COVID-19 Raises Multiple Issues for Schools,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, March 30, 2020
- Governor Files Bill to Help Delay Town Meeting Season During COVID-19 Emergency,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, March 17, 2020
- “Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, March 13, 2020
- “Ruling underscores power of ‘host community agreements’ over pot retailers,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, January 2, 2020 (quoted)
- “Table of Experts: The Business of Cannabis,” Boston Business Journal, October 11, 2019 (panelist)
- “Abutters’ appeal a first under Chapter 43S for DALA,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, April 7, 2016 (quoted)
- “Getting Ready for a Brighter Economic Development Forecast in 2014,”Municipal Advocate, Vol. 24, No. 4 (2014) (co-author)
- "On Solid Ground: The Mirick O'Connell Real Estate Law Blog," (contributor) (2012 to present)
Professional / Community Affiliations
- Milford Area Chamber of Commerce, Board member
- Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
- Worcester County Bar Association, Government Relations Committee, Municipal Law Section
- Massachusetts Bar Association
Important Update – The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry
Since our post on March 18, a lot has happened from both a health and regulatory standpoint as far as the impact from the outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) on local and state construction practice. Here is an update, as of …[ load webpage to read more ]
The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry
The outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) has impacted all industries, including construction. First and foremost, we are in the midst of a public health crisis, and the safety and well-being of all project participants should be top of mind. We are …[ load webpage to read more ]
Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency
Governor Baker signed an Executive Order relieving government boards and committees from compliance with certain Open Meeting Law requirements during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The Order gives public bodies greater leeway to hold closed-door and remote meetings, so that government agencies …[ load webpage to read more ]
SJC Reverses Appeals Court on Standing Requirements Under the Zoning Act – With Record Speed
All zoning conformities are alike, to rephrase Tolstoy’s famous opening line, but each zoning-related injury is injurious in its own way. Such has been the time-honored tenant of Massachusetts law for abutter standing under the Zoning Act. To successfully challenge …[ load webpage to read more ]
PFAS Concerns Mounting for Cities and Towns as MassDEP Proposes Maximum Contaminant Level in Drinking Water
Many of our readers will be aware that on December 27, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFAS in drinking water of 20 parts per trillion (0.02 ug/L or ppt) for six PFAS …[ load webpage to read more ]
Building the Boroughs: A Year in Review
In 2019, Mirick O’Connell’s permitting attorneys were proud to help our clients, large and small, with local approvals in Marlborough for 6 great projects. Thank you to our clients and the City of Marlborough for a wonderful year! Click here …[ load webpage to read more ]
Building on Lands Formerly Used as Railroad Right-of-Ways- An Amendment That May Simplify the Permitting Process
For the last forty-five (45) years, obtaining a permit to build any type of structure on any former railroad right-of-way in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been far from seamless. Massachusetts General Law c.40 §54A, enacted by the legislature in …[ load webpage to read more ]
MassDEP Working on a Drinking Water MCL for PFAS
Several weeks ago, I posted that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a new groundwater standard for PFAS contamination under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan regulations (310 CMR 40.0000). Public comment on the proposed regulations remains open through July …[ load webpage to read more ]
Appearance of Bias Not Enough to Invalidate Appraisal – Unless the Contract Says Otherwise
When parties enter a contract involving an appraised value of real estate, they need eventual finality with respect to that appraised value, but they also want fairness in the appraisal process. In Buffalo-Water 1, LLC v. Fidelity Real Estate Company, …[ load webpage to read more ]
BREAKING: MassDEP Announces Proposed Revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, Including a Reportable Concentration for PFAS at 20 ppt
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced proposed revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.0000). This begins a 3-month public comment period that will end July 19, 2019, and will include four public hearings. According to MassDEP, …[ load webpage to read more ]
EPA Issues Interpretive Statement: Groundwater Discharges are Not Subject to the Clean Water Act
In a not-so-stunning development, the EPA on Monday issued an Interpretive Statement putting to rest speculation on EPA’s position as to whether groundwater discharges are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The answer: “No.” EPA’s 57-page …[ load webpage to read more ]
Third Party Beneficiary Rights in Construction Contracts
Last week the United States District Court in Massachusetts issued an important decision concerning third party beneficiary rights in construction contracts. In Arco Ingenieros, S.A. de C.V. v. CDM International Inc., Civil Action No. 18-12348-PBS, a design-builder incurred damages due …[ load webpage to read more ]