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http://northernnewenglandmunicipallaw.blogspot.com/

Northern New England Municipal Law Blog

Preti Flaherty's Municipal Law attorneys have extensive experience representing cities and towns across New England on general and complex matters. Northern New England Municipal Law Blog provides news, discusses relevant legal issues, and highlights emerging trends in New England municipal law.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Experienced tax collectors and treasurers know that mortgage holders and unassessed owners of record have the right to receive copies of certain notices during the tax lien foreclosure process. But what are these entities’ precise rights, and how can towns and cities address the statutory requirements without spending tons of time doing title searches? A tax collector is not required to send... More
  • Social media is ubiquitous these days. Facebook alone, for example, has nearly 1.5 billion monthly active users. Given social media’s widespread use, it is not surprising that some municipalities have sought to harness its power as an effective tool for communicating with the public. Municipalities that use social media, however, should keep in mind that communications on such sites are not... More
  • Possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for recreational purposes has now been legal in the State of Maine for three weeks. The world as we know it seems unchanged. This, of course, follows the passage of last year’s Question #1 ballot initiative that sought to legalize the use of marijuana and was ultimately successful at the ballot box. Differences of opinion between various legislative... More
  • Yesterday the already tumultuous story of LD 88, "An Act To Delay the Implementation of Certain Portions of the Marijuana Legalization Act" took an increasingly intriguing turn when the bill was enacted by the Legislature but failed to meet Governor LePage's policy demands. LD 88 was introduced by Rep. Louis Luchini (D-Ellsworth) earlier this month in response to last November's passage of... More
  • Land use boards, especially planning and zoning boards, are often faced with applications to develop property that are similar to prior applications to develop the same property. Since the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. City of Dover, 120 N.H. 187 (1980), the law in New Hampshire has been that a zoning board of adjustment (“ZBA”) should not consider a subsequent application... More
  • The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee (“VLA”) held a public hearing on Tuesday of this week on LD 88, which lasted for just under four hours with several dozen members of the public testifying. There were more people there to testify against the bill, mainly organized by Paul McCarrier and Legalize Maine. VLA met yesterday to work LD 88 a second time. They voted unanimously to support... More
  • For the past decade, Maine's Supreme Judicial Court has been struggling to find a way to reduce – and expedite – the number of land use appeals going through the courts. It took the opportunity to make a sweeping new rule in the case of Bryant v. Town of Camden, decided last year. In Bryant, an abutter appealed the decision of the Town of Camden's Zoning Board of Appeals to issue a special... More
  • In the wake of Question 1's passage on last November's referendum ballot in Maine, marijuana legalization must now be implemented via programs overseen by the Legislature and Executive Branch. This has led to a spate of proposed legislation —65 individual bills in total—that now seek to modify forthcoming programs, rein in or loosen legalization, make slight tweaks to the referendum language, or... More
  • Do you have to let that animal in here? The law might just say that you do. The Maine Human Rights Act (“HRA”) is broad in its reach and is intended to cover municipalities and their properties. In a law that became effective this year, the Legislature created a new definition of “service animal”, thereby distinguishing between the rights of a person with a service animal and those with an... More
  • This is the first in a series of posts discussing financing alternatives available to municipalities and certain other governmental entities, such as school, water, and sewer districts.  Municipalities and other governmental entities throughout Maine and New Hampshire are primarily dependent on real estate tax revenues to finance their municipal projects, however, at times the cost of a certain... More
  • Governor LePage has certified the vote on the legalization of marijuana in Maine, which is now going into effect on January 30, 2017. It will be legal to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow your own six plants. There is no system in place to distribute recreational marijuana. It will be legal to give it away. A number of municipalities, including our clients in Augusta, Brunswick... More