SWL: Park Central developer seeking to dismiss Planning Board appeal (and sanction costs)

by beth on October 13, 2016

Post image for SWL: Park Central developer seeking to dismiss Planning Board appeal (and sanction costs)

Above: Attorney Catanzaro and developer Bill Depietri were in front of the Planning Board for Park Central Site Plan Review last month, after the board filed its appeals against the project. Last week, the two filed a motion claiming the board was acting in “bad faith or malice”. (photo by Allan Bezanson)

Southborough Wicked Local posted a story that was inevitably coming – the developer for Park Central is asking the court to dismiss an appeal filed by the Planning Board. But some of the details in the appeal are worth noting.

The motion to dismiss points out that the appeal may have wrongly been filed against developer Bill Depietri. It argues that the permit was issued to Capital Group, LLC, not its president.

[If that is enough to dismiss the appeal, I can’t help thinking it’s an error that could have been avoided had they been allowed by the Town to consult an attorney.]

But that’s not the only grounds that Attorney Angelo Catanzaro is basing their case on. SWL writes:

The motion says the Planning Board is not “aggrieved” and has no standing.

“The Supreme Judicial Court has been clear and unequivocal in its determination that a municipal Planning Board is neither a ‘person’ or ‘aggrieved,'” Catanzaro wrote.

Depietri is also seeking costs from the board: 

The motion sanctions for the costs of appealing because the Planning Board acted in “bad faith or malice.”

For the full article, click here.

In addition to the Planning Board’s court appeal, there are two other related appeals still to be ruled on. A group of residents also filed an appeal with the court. And the Planning Board filed an appeal of a decision by the Building Inspector on the project. That appeal is filed with the Zoning Board of Appeals.

1 Rob October 13, 2016 at 11:08 AM

Town officials including counsel should be looked at for ” acting in bad faith or malice”.

2 mark dassoni October 13, 2016 at 1:07 PM

Knew this was coming , developer and attorney fighting appeals ,they are banking on building inspector error to win for them ,ZBA try to run their own process but forgot conservation and planning boards processes not that they caught up developer and attorney are fighting back ,and later going after citizens hmm! witnessing the Donald Trump of appointed boards ,Mark Dassoni .

3 MIKE FUCE October 14, 2016 at 9:06 AM

Mark, your emotion is getting the best of you. Get a grip on yourself man. These are people and a business who own land legally, who are seeking in the best way possible to develop the land as Southboro residents and good stewards, and you and the like are going to cause Southboro to loose hundreds of thousands when this goes to court. That land has probably paid over $500K in taxes over the years to pay for your kiddies so called top Southboro education. And to align Mr. Dipietri with Donald Trump, again, liberals have no answers but name calling and lies – shame on you. But you have done a good job at it. We would be smart to find the best ingress and egress to the land so as to minimize traffic onto the small back roads of Southboro and move the inevitable forward before you Mark and others cost us more money with legal fees and shenanigans.In closing, do you know Mr. Depitri, have you ever met with him, spoke with him? Casting stones, shame on you. So judgemental and hurting, are your biased and prejudiced words and comparisons – so academically liberal and without value or fact.

4 n October 14, 2016 at 9:57 AM

What if the best way possible to develop the land was consistent with the town’s zoning for the site?

As a conservative I lean towards the idea of personal responsibility and not making my problems other peoples’ problems.

That is, if I buy property and it is zoned one way that has one impact on the community, I don’t think it’s my right to demand that it be effectively rezoned to the detriment of the community, and claim hardship if I don’t get my way.

5 Matthew Brownell October 14, 2016 at 10:53 AM


The developer bought the Park Place parcel in the full knowledge that it is “land-locked” . . . Which is why the previous developer gave up the parcel.

6 mark dassoni October 14, 2016 at 9:41 PM

Emotion plus facts to find truthfulness in local government , monies cost is reason why ZBA and developer getting greedy , I do know developer plus attorney from board meetings in Ashland for over a year now, I know my values through facts ,Mark Dassoni .

7 Mike Fuce October 14, 2016 at 11:44 AM

Matt, good information, but if they knew that why would they buy the land?

8 Pat D October 14, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Good question, paticularly since the previous owner (Flately) could not develop it! Dipeitri must have known all along that it was “land locked” and very difficult to develop without consessions by the town. I see nothing positive with this entire situation!

9 Publius October 14, 2016 at 11:48 AM

An owner of property should have the right, does have the right to develop their property. It is always amazing when abutters try to impose their will on others. Anyone who bought next to an underutilized lot that close to Rt9 was forewarned.

10 Mike Fuce October 14, 2016 at 12:23 PM

E Plumas, you’re absolutely correct that’s one of the reasons we didn’t buy over in that neck of the woods

11 djd66 October 14, 2016 at 3:29 PM

Yeah – you should be able to build strip clubs and a nuclear power plan,… he owns the land. Mike and Publius – it is called ZONING. Do you guys really think it makes sense to build 100’s of dwellings that will dump out on Flag road? No, this makes no sense and is completely unsafe. If it costs the town money to go to court – so be it. I’m more than happy to pay. BTW – it will cost Depetri too. My share is spread out by 9,000 people.

Bottom line – he bought the land knowing he was taking a risk. The risk being that he would not be able to build something that would be profitable or he would not be able to build something at all. I would not have bought the land based on that. Judging from how much other real estate he owns, I think he will be just fine.

12 BR68 October 14, 2016 at 9:43 PM

I disagree with your assessment that Mr. Depietri “bought the land knowing he was taking a risk” and let me tell you why. Previous owners sat on that land for a long time while the area around it was developed residentially. The land was zoned commercial I believe. Every time someone proposed development, which by ZONING regulations they had every right they to do, the neighbors threw all sorts of hissy fits and fought it.

Mr. Depietri did not take a “risk”, but acting as a wise businessman and seasoned developer, he saw a golden opportunity through a law that would enable him to develop the land and skirt zoning – that law is 40B. And as we all saw, his business and development sense worked!

Do I agree with 40B and what it allows developers to do?? Hell, no!! I agree with you – it makes NO sense to develop the land as Capital Group has proposed and create 100s of residential units which will create traffic all of the time, add to the school population, and tax public safety resources. But the law is the law, and short of another attempt to repeal it, we are stuck with it…

Perhaps in retrospect some 3 story office buildings weren’t so bad after all!

13 mark dassoni October 15, 2016 at 10:47 AM

law can be blind too, Mark Dassoni.

14 Trixie October 15, 2016 at 8:31 AM

My question is where is the second egress? Much smaller subdivisions were held up until they had two roads in and out. Is it Park Central Drive that goes to Rt 9 next to the gas station? I know the State said that road cannot be used. Is it emergency use only?

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