Land Use Permitting

Mirick O’Connell’s transactional real estate practice encompasses all real estate sectors and includes the representation of individuals, businesses, institutions and public entities in the acquisition, financing, disposition and management of real estate assets.  We also represent landlords and tenants in the negotiation and drafting of leases and subleases for office, retail, industrial, biomedical and R&D space.

Our attorneys assist clients in the planning and permitting of real estate projects from single-family homes to manufacturing facilities.  We understand the political framework in which all real estate development projects exist and have the experience, contacts and judgment required to shepherd a project to fruition and profitability.  We also have extensive experience with the redevelopment of former manufacturing properties and the conversion of existing structures into residential and commercial condominiums.

Today, every real estate development project is subject to some degree of environmental scrutiny.  We have the expertise to navigate the world of overlapping and multi-jurisdictional environmental permitting requirements.  Once a project has been permitted, we also have the skills and knowledge to draft and negotiate the construction documents needed to complete the project in a cost-effective and timely manner.  Our construction experience includes green building design and renewable energy projects.

Practice Chair

Todd K. Helwig

Todd K. Helwig

David McCay Named Go To Environmental Lawyer by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

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Brian Falk quoted in Worcester Business Journal, "Home field advantage: Local attorneys smooth the path for developers"

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Brian Falk quoted in Telegram, "Central Mass. draws interest as hub of marijuana business"

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Representative Matters

  • Represented a school system in connection with a $35 million acquisition, financing and ground lease transaction for the district’s elementary and middle schools and for the construction of a new high school 
  • Represented a developer in connection with the acquisition, financing and construction of a continuing care retirement project
  • Represented a limited liability company in connection with the acquisition of a nursing home facility in Worcester
  • Represented a manufacturing company in connection with the acquisition and financing of a new manufacturing facility 
  • Represented a developer in obtaining zoning and state relief for the redevelopment of a 1 million square-foot mill building
  • Represented several developers in large multi-building commercial office park projects
  • Represented a local college in the permitting of a new student residence hall and parking garage 

A Classic Distinction Between Legal Remedies and Equitable Remedies:  1st Circuit Overturns Decades-Old Precedent On Citizen Enforcement of Clean Water Act

The First Circuit recently overturned a thirty-one year old decision on citizen enforcement of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The now-overruled decision is North and South Rivers Watershed Ass’n v. Town of Scituate, 949 F.2d 552 (1st Cir. 1991), in …

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Municipal Law:  Supreme Court Lightens Up On Standard of Review for Certain Sign Bylaws

Recently, the Supreme Court addressed a challenge from two private entities related to the constitutionality of a sign bylaw (“Bylaw”) instituted by the City of Austin (“City”).  In City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC, et. al., …

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“A Trap for the Unwary:”  Bankruptcy Court Declares Debtor’s Homestead Deficient

In In re Luu, Danny Luu (the “Debtor”) argued that he had a homestead exemption in the amount of $324,960.00.  He argued that because he filed a homestead declaration on March 18, 2021—just two days prior to filing his Chapter …

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State’s Highest Court to Determine Scope of Dover Amendment Solar Protection in M.G.L. c. 40A

Last week, the SJC heard oral arguments for a case that is anticipated to potentially impact municipal zoning, specifically in the realm of solar energy projects.  The outcome of this case will either aid or inhibit a municipality’s ability to …

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Remote Public Meetings Authorized Through April of 2022; New Law Extends Additional COVID-19 Emergency Rules

Public bodies may continue to hold remote meetings through April of 2022 under new legislation enacted this week. The statute, Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, authorizes a quorum of a board or committee to meet remotely and require remote …

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Municipal Permitting Timelines Resume on December 1

Effective December 1, municipal boards must follow the usual permitting deadlines following a COVID-19 statute enacted last week. Towns and cities had been operating under Section 17 of Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, which tolled the deadlines for commencing …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Our Practices