The client is a fictional nonprofit organization created by churches, synagogues, and mosques in eastern Massachusetts to prevent homelessness before it happens and to construct and operate affordable housing while promoting racial integration of the suburbs of Boston. Five homeowners in the fictional town of Baytown donate their single-family homes on lots of one acre or more to the organization on the condition that the property is developed into affordable housing. The client develops a plan for 21 condominiums that would be owned by families while ownership of the land is retained by the nonprofit organization. The zoning law prohibits multifamily housing without a special permit from the town. After a public hearing, the town planning board denies the permit. The question is what to do next.
The underlying legal structure includes (1) the town zoning ordinance; (2) a Massachusetts statute that creates a process for bypassing local procedures to develop affordable housing; (3) state and federal fair housing laws that override local zoning decisions and laws when they have a disparate impact based on race, sex, familial status, or disability; and (4) state and federal religious land use laws that provide exemptions from zoning law for property uses that involve religious or educational uses or religious exercise.
Table of Contents
This problem set consists of three parts:
- Part 1A-The Problem presents the problem and describes the issue, background, and setting
- Part 1B-Brochure an informational brochure on Interfaith Neighbors
- Part 1C-Theresa Place Plan the plan for the housing development
- Part 1D-Existing Conditions the existing conditions at Theresa Place
- Part 2-Law Law relevant to the case is presented
- Part 3-Advice to the Board Advice to the Board is presented
This product contains a zip file with all of the products listed above; each file is also available for separate download to meet your individual distribution needs.
1. Working with a nonprofit client
2. Working with a client that is a religious organization
3. Combining the legal aspects of zoning law with public relations and political aspects
4. Negotiating against the background of powerful but unclear regulatory laws
5. Discussing social class and racial issues in a political-legal context
6. Developing options against a background set of legal rights and obligations
1. Property law
2. Zoning law
3. Local government law
4. Antidiscrimination (fair housing) law
5. Religious freedom law
6. Administrative law
Geographic: Metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts
Industry: Affordable Housing
Event Year Begin: 2016
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