SJC Rules on Educational Exemption Under the Dover Amendment in The McLean Hospital Corporation v. Town of Lincoln

September 23, 2019

Overturning the Massachusetts Land Court’s decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled in favor of McLean Hospital in The McLean Hospital Corporation v. Town of Lincoln. Hemenway & Barnes attorneys Diane C. Tillotson and M. Patrick Moore represented McLean Hospital before the SJC. At issue was whether the hospital’s proposal to operate a skills development program in a residential zone was an educational use exempt from town zoning laws under the Dover Amendment, G. L. c. 40A, § 3. Tillotson and Moore argued that the program's purpose was educationally significant in that the "therapy" consisted of educating the population served in necessary life skills. The SJC agreed concluding, “although not a conventional educational curriculum offered to high school or college students, the proposed facility and its skills-based curriculum fall well within the "broad and comprehensive" meaning of "educational purposes" under the Dover Amendment.”

Read the SJC decision:

Click here to Watch Diane’s April 2, 2019 argument at the SJC

  • In Search Archive enter Docket Number: 12675

Related Practice Areas

Nonprofit Representation
From corporate governance to tax planning, we provide a full range of services to private foundations and public charities.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution
From high-stakes business litigation to probate and land use and real estate litigation, we help clients resolve difficult disputes.
Real Estate Law
We partner with our clients to meet the varied real estate needs of start-up developers and large corporations, lenders, nonprofits, and families.

News & Events

Boston Estate Planning Counsel Annual Gala 2024
Firm News
Donna Mizrahi quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article “Extrinsic evidence allowed to prove testator’s intent”
Firm News
Donna Mizrahi Earns IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional Certification (CIPP/US)