Court Battle On: Greenwood Avenue Neighbors vs Town

A trial opens today in Boston Land Court where plaintiffs are alleging "spot" zoning of the Greenwood Middle School parcel.


Today in Boston Land Court a case starts that challenges a Swampscott bylaw amendment rezoning the Greenwood Middle School and allowing substantially higher density, the court record states.

Arthur MacLeod and at least 12 other plaintiffs maintain the rezoning is "spot" zoning and impermissable.

A number of Greenwood Avenue residents have said at local meetings that the development's traffic and density — 41 residential units — would destroy the neighborhood's character.

The town of Swampscott denies that the rezoning is impermissable.

Groom Construction is proposing to buy the old Middle School building from the town and tear it down. It would replace it with a 41-unit condominum building.

Developers have said that the building is deteriorating and has limited historical significance left, and to preserve it would cost much more than to demolish it. 

The Greenwood neighbors are represented by lawyer Carl D. Goodman.

The town is represented by lawyer Patricia A. Cantor.

The case is estimated to last three days.

It is taking place at 3 Pemberton Square, near Government Center, in Boston and starts at 9:30 am Wednesday.




Carl Goodman March 09, 2014 at 03:45 PM
Land Court decision and judgment March 4, 2014. http://www.attorneygoodman.com/McLeodDecision.pdf Town acted illegally.
Connie March 15, 2014 at 02:54 PM
I was very upset to read the article in the Swampscott Reporter about the Greenwood Avenue property. The neighbors say that felt "they were left out of the process" and "their needs weren't met". I attended practically every meeting about the Greenwood Ave. property. Every neighbor had a chance to speak and Tom Groom did everything they requested, including traffic studies, light studies, sound studies, landscape changes, abutment changes. I can't believe these people say "they're needs weren't met". This building is deplorable. It has become a junk yard in the last 7 years. I can't imagine what it will look like by the time someone is allowed to do something with the property. The neighbors might get less than they want if this building goes back out to bid and a developer gets approval for 40B housing. There is no fighting that in land court. Be careful what you wish for.
Lenny March 15, 2014 at 06:05 PM
The town would have fared better in court had they not misrepresented what they thought would happen with the land. The judge, and rightly I believe, expressed skepticism that the Swampscott elderly and empty nesters would end up living in units built there. I would assume that judges reset litigants trying to the pull the wool over their eyes so flagrantly. But I agree with you Connie.....it could wind up being a phyrric victory for the neighbors if someone gets 40B housing.
Myron S. Stone March 16, 2014 at 10:26 AM
Connie, I completely agree with you, the Greenwood Ave. associates, including a now Selectman had plenty to say at several meetings, the Judge states that the Town is doing this to " make money " what is wrong with trying to get more money for our Town? This group is only interested in having a Town maintained off street parking lot, I live close to this property, i hope that the Town sells it to a 40B developer, or nursing home or for light manufacturing.


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