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Massachusetts Agencies

Zoning (Memo 2)


Although it is true that one may rely on the record title (and does not have to inquire as to who holds the beneficial interest) in land at the time of a zoning change,[1] but the rules are slightly different when a trust is involved and the record title shows the same person as individual owner of one parcel and trustee owner of another.[2]

1 Gamer v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Newton, 346 Mass. 648, 195 N.E.2d 772 (1964).

2 Planning Board of Norwell v. Serena, 7 Mass.App.Ct. 689, 542 N.E.2d 314 (1989). Admittedly, in Serena the individuals were also the beneficiaries of the trust, but I'm not sure this would be dispositive, inasmuch as there is no distinction between the individual and official capacities of a trustee. Kaufman v. Federal National Bank, 287 Mass. 97, 191 N.E. 422 (1934). The same person in your case owns one lot as an individual and one lot as trustee.