Plaintiffs, Maria and Alvaro DaRosa, filed their unverified complaint on July 6, 2010, appealing the decision of Defendant, Taunton Zoning Board of Appeals (the "ZBA"), pursuant to G. L. c. 40A §17, that granted a sideline setback variance (the "Variance") to Defendants Daniel and Rose Baptista (the "Baptistas") (together with the ZBA, "Defendants") to build a garage/living addition (the "Addition") on the south side of their house at 1219 Bay Street, in Taunton Massachusetts. The parties filed a Joint Pre-Trial Memorandum on March 18, 2011, which was supplemented by Plaintiffs on June 22, 2011. A pre-trial conference was held on March 21, 2011. On July 26, 2011 a site view of the Baptistas' house and Plaintiffs' abutting property was taken and the trial took place at the Taunton District Court. Plaintiffs and Defendants filed their Post-Trial Memoranda on September 19 and 20, 2011 respectively, at which time the matter was taken under advisement.
At trial, testimony for Plaintiffs was given by Maria and Alvaro DaRosa (Plaintiffs and abutters), John DeSousa (civil engineer) and Troy Medeiros (ZBA member and Defendant). Testimony for Defendants was given by Daniel Baptista (homeowner and Defendant), John W. Delano (land surveyor and engineer), and Michael S. Mendonca (construction manager).
A decision of today(s date has been issued.
In accordance with that decision, it is:
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Defendants have satisfied their burden and effectively rebutted Plaintiffs' presumption of standing.
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Plaintiffs' concerns regarding fire are too speculative, beyond the scope of the Ordinance and G. L. c. 40A, and do not confer standing for this appeal.
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Plaintiffs' concern regarding the structural integrity of the Addition is beyond the scope of the Ordinance and G. L. c. 40A, and does not confer standing upon Plaintiffs.
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Plaintiffs' concern over privacy is not sufficient to confer standing because it is beyond the scope of G. L. 40A and the Ordinance and is purely speculative, as Plaintiffs have produced no credible evidence showing any particularized injury.
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that since no competent expert has testified to the claim of diminution of value, and Plaintiffs did not claim that diminution in value is related to any cognizable harm, I find that this claim does not confer standing upon Plaintiffs.
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that Plaintiffs' concerns about water drainage problems are too speculative, are not supported by credible evidence and do not confer standing.
ORDERED and ADJUDGED that this case is DISMISSED because this court is without jurisdiction to determine its merits.
By the court. (Sands, J.)