A recent decision of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, Porter v. Board of Appeal of Boston (pdf), addressed the question of standing to appeal a variance granted by the Board of Appeal of Boston (“BOA”). Zoning in Boston is governed by c. 665 of the Acts of 1956, as amended (the “Enabling Act”), not by M.G.L. c. 40A (the “Zoning Act”), which applies to all other cities and towns in Massachusetts. See Emerson College v. City of Boston, 393 Mass. 303 (1984). In Porter, the Appeals Court applied to the Enabling Act standards and legal reasoning that are derived from unique language in the Zoning Act. The court found that parties entitled to receive notice under the Zoning Act are presumed to have standing under the Enabling Act.
The pro se plaintiff in Porter appealed a variance granted to a nearby property owner. In his complaint, the plaintiff claimed to be