This is one of two cases involving two separate appeals from a decision of the Town of Sherborns Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) regarding certain activities at Sweet Meadow Farm in Sherborn (Decision). In this case, Plaintiffs Nancy E. Teti and Jennifer Hawkins, abutters to Sweet Meadow Farm, appealed the portion of the Decision that allowed the continued operation of a farm stand at Sweet Meadow Farm. [Note 2]
Plaintiffs initiated this action on October 16, 2009, by filing a complaint appealing the portion of the Decision upholding the refusal of the Sherborn Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO) to take enforcement action against the farm stand. [Note 3] Defendants did not file answers, as permitted under G. L. c. 40A, § 17.
A two-day trial was held on July 25 and 26, 2012. A decision of todays date has issued in both cases. In accordance with that decision, it is hereby:
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that the farm stand operating at Sweet Meadow Farm falls within the protections afforded agricultural uses under G. L. c. 40A, § 3 and the Zoning By-Laws § 3.4; and it is further
ADJUDGED and ORDERED that, to the extent the Decision upheld the ZEOs refusal to take enforcement action against the farm stand, the decision is AFFIRMED.
[Note 1] The Town of Sherborn is a named Defendant, but there does not appear to be any count that is directed at the Town, as opposed to the ZBA members, who are properly named in accordance with G. L. c. 40A, § 17.
[Note 2] The second case was filed in the Superior Court Department (MICV 2009 04025). All parties assented to the transfer of the related case from the Superior Court to the Land Court. On April 7, 2010, Judge Scheier was assigned by the Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Trial Court to sit in the Superior Court Department for the purpose of hearing the Superior Court Case in conjunction with this case.
[Note 3] The ZBA vote was 2-1 in favor of overturning the ZEOs action denying the request for enforcement. This vote was insufficient to overturn the administrative action, which requires a unanimous vote of the three-member ZBA. Accordingly, the Decision is deemed to be one upholding the ZEOs refusal to enforce.