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Documents from the legal and administrative proceedings
The following sections contain documents from the several administrative and legal stages. The sections are ordered from most to least recent, so that the most current items are near the top of the page.
Remand to Superior Court
The case returned to the Superior Court to decide the validity of the Chapter 91 license.
The BRA moved to dismiss the case, arguing that plaintiffs lack standing.
Plaintiffs' opposition to the BRA's motion to dismiss, filed with the BRA April 22, 2013. The opposition also included a copy of plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint, based on the agreement between the BRA and DEM where the BRA committed to keep Long Wharf as public open space and based on the correct Land and Water Conservation Fund boundary map provided by the federal government.
BRA's reply to plaintiffs' opposition to the BRA's motion to dismiss, filed May 3, 2013 with the court (along with the motion and plaintiffs' opposition).
Plaintiffs moved to amend their complaint, based on the map of the Land and Water Conservation Fund area provided by the federal government and based on the agreement between the BRA and DEM to keep Long Wharf as public open space.
Plaintiffs' motion to amend complaint, filed May 20, 2013 with the court.
Plaintiffs' amended complaint, filed May 20, 2013 with the court.
Plaintiffs' memorandum of law accompanying amended complaint, filed May 20, 2013 with the court.
Plaintiffs' request for leave to file a reply brief, filed May 8, 2013 with the court.
Plaintiffs' reply to BRA's and DEP's opposition to motion to amend complaint, filed May 20, 2013 with the court.
Supreme Judicial Court
After the Superior Court decision, the Boston Redevelopment Authority appealed directly to the Supreme Judicial Court (the Massachusetts Supreme Court).
SJC ruling, decided March 15, 2013, holding that, although urban-renewal land is not automatically exempt from Article 97, the taking of Long Wharf was not for a purpose protected by Article 97. The remainder of the case (the Chapter 91 license) was remanded back to the Superior Court.
Plaintiffs' reply to the BRA's reply, filed November 20, 2012, showing that the lease area includes the compass-rose area.
BRA's reply letter, filed November 14, 2012, stating that the Chapter 91 license and lease does not include the compass-rose area (which all parties concede received LWCF funds).
Plaintiffs' letter to the Court, filed November 09, 2012, pointing out a significant concession made by the BRA at oral argument: that receiving federal funding under the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Act makes an area subject to Article 97. LWCF funds were received for (at least) a portion of Long Wharf.
Watch oral argument (streaming video). Download oral argument (MP3 audio, 32MB). Read transcript.
Amicus brief of Shirley Kressel, filed October 19, 2012.
Joint amicus brief of the Conservation Law Foundation, the Massachusetts Assocation of Conservation Commissions, The Trustees of Reservations, and the Nature Conservancy.
DEP's reply brief: DEP's reply brief.
BRA's reply brief: BRA's reply brief.
Sierra Club's amicus brief: Brief of the Sierra Club, the nation's largest nonprofit, grassroots environmental organization, in support of plaintiffs Sanjoy Mahajan, et al.
Plaintiffs brief: Plaintiffs' brief arguing that parkland, even if taken for urban renewal (as Long Wharf was), is protected by Article 97.
BRA brief: Brief of the Boston Redevelopment Authority arguing that land taken for urban renewal, including Long Wharf, is not subject to Article 97---thus, that it may be changed to a new, non-park use without legislative authorization.
DEP brief, DEP brief appendices: Brief of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) arguing (in the main) that the license does not create an Article 97 land disposition, and thus that it was legal for DEP to issue the license to the BRA to convert part of Long Wharf to a restaurant.
After losing in the OADR (Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution), the plaintiffs appealed to the Superior Court. This phase lasted from February 2010 until June 2011.
Complaint stating the issues and starting the Superior Court appeal.
BRA's additional response to plaintiffs' main brief/arguments
Plaintiffs' brief arguing that Long Wharf was taken for article 97 purposes
Plaintiffs' brief arguing that land taken for urban renewal can also be protected by Article 97
Plaintiffs' additional exhibits and references relevant to Article 97 protection of the site
Judgment by Judge Fahey, June 2011, voiding the waterways license because (1) Long Wharf is protected by Article 97, and (2) the license counted as an Article 97 disposition.
Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution (OADR)
The procedure for challenging a waterways (Chapter 91) license is to file an appeal with the DEP's Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution (OADR). This appeal lasted from October 2008 until January 2010.
Plaintiffs' initial challenge to the waterways (Chapter 91) license, starting the OADR process.
OADR presiding officer's recommended final decision affirming the Chapter 91 license (allowing the BRA to lease the end of Long Wharf to a late-night restaurant and bar).
Chapter 91 (waterways) license
The applicant, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, applied to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a Chapter 91 (waterways) license to enlarge and enclose the shade pavillion at the end of Long Wharf in Boston, in order to build a late-night restaurant and bar. The written determination was given in September 2008.