Building Inspector of Chelmsford v. Belleville

Decision Date09 March 1961
Citation342 Mass. 216,172 N.E.2d 695
PartiesBUILDING INSPECTOR OF CHELMSFORD v. William E. BELLEVILLE et al.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court

Warren W. Allgrove, Lowell, for defendants.

Vernon R. Fletcher, Town Counsel, Chelmsford, for plaintiff.

Before WILKINS, C. J., and WHITEMORE, CUTTER, KIRK and SPIEGEL, JJ.

SPIEGEL, Justice.

This bill in equity sought to enforce the zoning by-law of the town of Chelmsford to prevent the defendants' garaging and storing heavy equipment in a Single Residence A-1 District. The defendants, by stipulation, admitted all the allegations in the bill. By further stipulation of the parties the sole question in issue was the validity of the zoning by-law. A judge of the Superior Court decided that it was valid and entered a final decree permanently restraining the defendants from garaging and storing paving equipment on their premises in violation of the zoning by-law.

It is the contention of the defendants that the zoning by-law of the town of Chelmsford, as enacted, fails to comply with G.L. c. 40A, § 2, as amended through St.1959, c. 607, § 1, 'in that it stipulates the permitted uses that are included in a Single Residence A-1 District but does not restrict or prohibit any other use; that no town may by implication regulate the uses in a particular district without a positive prohibition or restriction; that a regulation alone, without express language of restriction is not in compliance with c. 40A, §§ 2, 3, or 4 * * *.'

The town of Chelmsford by its zoning by-law established eight classes of use districts. It was stipulated by the parties that the defendants' property is included in the Single Residence A-1 District. Section 3(A) of the Chelmsford zoning by-law lists fourteen permitted uses of buildings and land in Single Residence A-1, A-2 and A-3 districts. Incidental or accessory uses are also permitted under this section. However, garaging and storing of heavy equipment are not included. The defendants do not attack the validity of the Chelmsford zoning by-law on any of the usual grounds but argue that the town did not 'adopt any form of by-law' because it does not contain any express or positive prohibitions or restrictions and is therefore not in accordance with the enabling legislation.

There is no need to resort to the presumption of validity of a statute to answer the defendants' argument.

The benefits of a zoning statute are not to be...

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8 cases
  • Sechrist v. Municipal Court
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • December 9, 1976
    ...Alaska v. Paulk (U.S.D.C.Alas. 1953) 113 F.Supp. 698, 14 Alaska 392 (storage of used motor vehicles); Building Inspector of Chelmsford v. Belleville (1961), 342 Mass. 216, 172 N.E.2d 695 (storage of heavy equipment); City of Knoxville v. Brown, supra, 260 S.W.2d 264 (storage of dismantled A......
  • Town of Harvard v. Maxant
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • November 9, 1971
    ...the uses permitted in each district. This by-law is 'both permissive and prohibitive in form.' Building Inspector of Chelmsford v. Belleville, 342 Mass. 216, 217, 172 N.E.2d 695, 696. The defendant's use is not made lawful solely because it is not prohibited by § 5.1 of the by-law. It must ......
  • Town of Foxborough v. Bay State Harness Horse Racing & Breeding Ass'n, Inc.
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • August 24, 1977
    ...case on the basis that the defendants must bring themselves within a listed permitted use. Cf. Building Inspector of Chelmsford v. Belleville, 342 Mass. 216, 217-218, 172 N.E.2d 695 (1961); Harvard v. Maxant, 360 Mass. 432, 435-436, 275 N.E.2d 347 (1971).b. Mass.Adv.Sh. (1977) 819, 849.c. M......
  • Richardson v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Framingham
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Supreme Court
    • November 7, 1966
    ...The by-law does not list apartment house use among the permitted uses of land in such a district. See Building Inspector of Chelmsford v. Belleville, 342 Mass. 216, 218, 172 N.E.2d 695. Conclusively, in any event, the by-law provides that except for the listed uses 'no change (shall be) mad......
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