Skip to Content
June 19, 2024 Clouds | 83°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 81BB: Appeal to superior court; counsel; costs; surety or bond; speedy trial

Section 81BB. Any person, whether or not previously a party to the proceedings, or any municipal officer or board, aggrieved by a decision of a board of appeals under section eighty-one Y, or by any decision of a planning board concerning a plan of a subdivision of land, or by the failure of such a board to take final action concerning such a plan within the required time, may appeal to the superior court for the county in which said land is situated or to the land court; provided, that such appeal is entered within twenty days after such decision has been recorded in the office of the city or town clerk or within twenty days after the expiration of the required time as aforesaid, as the case may be, and notice of such appeal is given to such city or town clerk so as to be received within such twenty days. The court shall hear all pertinent evidence and determine the facts, and upon the facts so determined, shall annul such decision if found to exceed the authority of such board, or make such other decree as justice and equity may require. The foregoing remedy shall be exclusive, but the parties shall have all rights of appeal and exceptions as in other equity cases.

A city or town may provide any municipal officer or board with legal counsel for appealing, as provided in this section, a decision of a board of appeals or a planning board and for taking such other subsequent action as parties in other equity cases are permitted to take.

Costs shall not be allowed against the planning board or board of appeals unless it shall appear that such board acted with gross negligence or in bad faith.

The court shall require nonmunicipal appellants to post a surety or cash bond in a sum of not less than two thousand nor more than fifteen thousand dollars to secure the payment of any costs incurred by the appellee as a result of the appeal of a decision approving a subdivision plan if it appears to the court that said appellant or appellants acted in bad faith or with malice in making the appeal to the court.

All issues in any proceeding under this section may be advanced for speedy trial over other civil actions and proceedings.