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Florida developer wins zoning case

A Framingham developer won approval for a proposed subdivision with a new street along the streets of Winch and Grove Streets. The subdivision would include four single-family homes, and the land surrounding it would remain untouched. While the plans were approved, the subdivision will not be built.

According to reports, the developer applied for and gained zoning approval as a way to freeze the zoning laws so that he can build a much larger project of 70 senior living units. Developers are allowed to seek zoning approval so that they can freeze the projects under existing zoning laws. Since the proposed subdivision was approved, any changes that the city makes to its zoning bylaws will not have an impact on the site for eight years.

The developer has fought for more than three years to develop the site. He initially planned to build a 90-unit, age-restricted development for seniors age 55 and up. However, the city learned that age-restricted units do not count toward the city's low-income housing quota.

Building owners and developers who need zoning assistance might benefit from retaining attorneys who are experienced with zoning laws. The attorneys may review the proposed projects and represent their clients in hearings before the zoning board. They might seek variances for the intended use of the property. The attorneys might also challenge existing zoning regulations for their clients if the regulations are overly restrictive and litigate in their clients' interests in an effort to achieve a favorable result for them. If the projects are not approved, the attorneys may appeal the ruling. Getting help from attorneys might help developers move forward with their proposed projects.

Source: The Metro West Daily News, "Framingham: Developer wins zoning freeze for Grove Street project," Jim Haddadin, Feb. 23, 2019.

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