News & Updates

BRA Statement on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Long Wharf Decision

Mar 15, 2013

Today the state’s highest court ruled in favor of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) in the case of Mahan v. Department of Environmental Protection. The decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court places the BRA one step closer to enabling a restaurant to improve and expand a vacant MBTA vent structure on Long Wharf in downtown Boston. “We are pleased with the SJC’s decision on Long Wharf,” said BRA Director Peter Meade. “It paves the way for yet another great destination on the edge of the Boston Harbor that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for decades to come.” The BRA took the Long Wharf property by eminent domain in 1970 to revitalize the area and promote real-estate development. Today’s decision reasserts that the BRA is legally empowered to do important urban renewal work that adds to the economic vitality of our city. Long Wharf is a key location that will be discussed during the BRA’s Municipal Harbor Planning study that launched this week. Lawsuit Background In 2010, ten North End residents filed a lawsuit against the BRA asserting that any changes to the use of any part of Long Wharf required a 2/3 vote of the Massachusetts Legislature to approve. In 2011 the Suffolk County Superior Court ruled in favor of the residents. The BRA appealed that decision to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, leading to today’s ruling.

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