Stephen F. Madaus

Stephen provides advice and counsel to clients in various areas of municipal law, including public bidding and procurement, the designer selection law, public construction, contracts, zoning, subdivision control law, eminent domain, the creation or discontinuance of public ways and the state's conflict of interest law. He represents owners, both public and private, in preparing, reviewing and amending agreements for architect's services, engineering services and contracts for construction of medium-size and large-scale projects. He also appears regularly on behalf of clients before local planning boards, zoning boards of appeals and conservation commissions. He represents companies in applying for and obtaining Tax Increment Financing Agreements. Stephen serves as co-chair of the Worcester County Bar Association's Municipal Law Section.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Suffolk University Law School JD, cum laude
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute BS
  • Serves as town counsel, special town counsel or deputy town counsel for four towns, two water districts and two school departments
  • Reviewed and revised contracts for design and architectural services and for construction on behalf of owners and developers
  • Represented two Massachusetts public charter schools relative to significant school construction projects
  • Represents a national bank in negotiating, preparing and reviewing agreements for design services and contracts for construction for various branches throughout the northeast
  • Represented a local college in obtaining zoning approvals and permits for the construction of a new residence hall and parking garage


  • Quoted in “Amazon Revealed As Proposed Tenant for Greendale Mall Redevelopment Project,” Telegram & Gazette, December 10, 2020
  • Quoted in “Worcester School Bus Hub and Conservation Land are Part of Plans for Former Allegro Property,” Telegram & Gazette, December 10, 2020
  • “Municipal Permitting Timelines Resume on December 1,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, November 20, 2020
  • “Governor Updates Restrictions on Gathering, Masks, and Business Hours,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, November 4, 2020
  • “Governor Updates Restrictions on Gatherings and Restaurants,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, August 11, 2020
  • Quorum at Town Meeting may be Reduced During State of Emergency,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, June 9 2020
  • “Municipalities May Allow Outdoor Dining for Restaurants During COVID-19 Re-Opening,” Mirick O’Connell Clerk Alert, June 2, 2020
  • “Governor Files Bill to Help Delay Town Meeting Season During COVID-19 Emergency,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, March 17, 2020
  • Lecture on public construction law and the recent reforms thereto at the 2006 annual meeting of the Fire Chiefs' Association of Massachusetts
  • Panelist, "How to Avoid Litigation," 2005 conference of the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative, a training collaborative for local planning boards supported by the UMass Extension School and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

Professional / Community Affiliations

  • Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Worcester County Bar Association
  • Lt. James "Jay" Lyons Memorial Scholarship Committee
  • Worcester State University, Board of Trustees
  • Bay State Savings Bank, Corporator

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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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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, …

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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 …

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