Environmental/Land Use


Environmental/Land Use

  • The attorneys at Fletcher Tilton have sponsored and authored Amicus Briefs on controversial legal issues in land use or zoning cases pending in the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court.
  • Our team of environmental and land use litigation attorneys includes a LEED-Accredited Green Associate and a Life Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation.
  • Our group practice leader serves as special municipal counsel to a number of municipalities, boards and districts on matters relating to real estate and land use.


Defending Developments, Protecting Property

Securing development approvals for a project is often just the beginning of the real estate development process.  Many projects involve controversial issues which frequently face local or organized opposition from abutters and competitors and roadblocks from permitting officials. To move a project forward, these issues must be resolved, often through judicial appeals or by mediation.

Fletcher Tilton has years of proven experience and success in litigating judicial and agency appeals regarding challenging or unpopular developments in diverse courts, including  Superior Court, District Court and Land Court, as well as other agency forums.  Our services also include arbitration and mediation of environmental disputes including private party cost recovery claims, and litigation of environmental insurance coverage claims.

Our attorneys provide environmental law services to a large and diverse clientele of business owners and operators, banks, commercial lenders, and property owners and developers. Recognizing that the broad spectrum of environmental regulations affects all traditional fields of practice, Fletcher Tilton draws on an interdisciplinary team of attorneys with experience and participation in real estate, litigation, and business and corporate practices.

Liability Defense

Our attorneys are also experienced in defending clients in environmental liability claims under state and federal superfund claims, compliance actions and civil and criminal enforcement actions. Clients seek our expertise for defense of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and federal Environmental Protection Agency enforcement and penalty assessment actions.

Representative cases
  • Successful defense by summary judgment, which dismissed a judicial appeal of approvals for the Woodlands, a493-unit, multi-family residential development in Clinton.
  • Defended Lancaster Golf Center in appeals regarding conservation commission permitting.
  • Argued before Land Court and appeal successfully overturned subdivision disapproval, which prevented efforts to block zoning freeze protection of 40-plus unit residential subdivision in Sterling.
  • Zoning enforcement action against Massachusetts Broken Stone in Land Court action for unlawful quarry expansion resulted in removal of $2 million asphalt plant in Berlin.
  • Successful zoning enforcement action involved trial and judgment in Land Court to enforce zoning by-law to cease illegal use of neighboring property for commercial sawmill in Sutton.
  • Successful trial defense in Superior Court of permits for proposed respite care facility in Holden for retarded citizens, allowed as Dover amendment uses.
  • Defended zoning appeal brought by competitor of Shrewsbury assisted living facility in Worcester Superior Court. Appeal dismissed due to lack of standing.
  • Sustained approvals for 240,000-square-foot Cornerstone Square Lifestyle Center in Westford with successful defense of appeals in Land Court, after trial and Appeals Court appeal.


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