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Appeals Court Rules on 'Undersized' Lot Development in Newton

The ruling, which came down on Friday, revokes a building permit issued in 2009.

In a ruling handed down on Friday, Feb. 22, the Appeals Court backed a decision that prohibits landowners with two small lots to build a second home.

The Appeals Court case stemmed from a dispute between Newton residents Bonnie and James Chansky and their neighbors, Maureen and Ronald Mauri.

According to court documents, the Chanskys' owned two small abutting lots on Bradford Road, one of which included their single-family home and the other a small garage. The Chanskys were looking to sell the second lot, the one with the garage, and build another home on the property. 

The city issued a permit to the Chansky's in 2009 for the construction of a single-family home on the garage lot, according to court documents. 

Read the full court ruling online

Citing concerns about noise, light, views, density in the neighborhood and lowering the value of their home, the Mauris appealed the building permit to the city's Zoning Board of Appeals. However, the board "narrowly affirmed" the city's decision to issue the permit, the court documents said.

The Mauris then headed to the Land Court for judgement on the permit, and the Land Court ruled in favor of the Mauris and revoked the building permit.

The Chanskys appealed the Land Court decision, but Friday's Appeals Court ruling affirms the Land Court's decision and agrees that a second home cannot be built on the Chanskys' garage lot. 

According to a report in YourTown Newton, developer Ernest D. Rogers, of Lexington, has a purchase and sale agreement with the Chanskys. He was planning to build a 2,600-square-foot home for himself on the Chanskys' garage lot. 

Rogers told YourTown Newton that he will be speaking with his lawyer about a possible appeal to the state Supreme Judicial Court.

The Appeals Court ruling could affect around 400 other lots in the city, YourTown Newton reported, and some current developments could also be affected by the decision.

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