Saul M. Nectow
City of Cambridge
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
260 Mass. 441; 157 N.E. 618
January 17, 1927, Argued
July 1, 1927, Decided
Bill in equity, filed in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county
of Suffolk on December 31, 1924, and afterwards amended, seeking to have the zoning
ordinance of the city of Cambridge declared null and void and the defendant inspector
of buildings ordered to issue a permit to the plaintiff "to erect any lawful building upon
said tract, disregarding the provisions of said alleged ordinance."
The suit was referred to a master. The zoning ordinance in question was adopted by the
city council of Cambridge on December 31, 1923, and approved by the mayor on
January 7, 1924. Other material facts found by the master are stated in the opinion. By
order of Pierce, J., an interlocutory decree was entered confirming the master's report,
and the suit was reported to the full court for determination.
P. J. Nelligan, City Solicitor, for the defendants.
J. E. Hannigan, (M. L.
Orlov with him,) for the plaintiff.
Chief Justice Rugg, Justices Braley, Crosby, and Wait.
Chief Justice Rugg
This is a suit in equity whereby the plaintiff seeks relief from the terms of a zoning
ordinance as to certain of his land. It is not now questioned that the ordinance is valid
so far as concerns the formalities of its adoption.
See St. 1925, c. 87. The plaintiff at
times here material was the owner of a tract of land in Cambridge containing about one
hundred forty thousand square feet. It was situated on the southeasterly corner of
Street and Henry Street. Its frontage on Brookline Street, a main avenue of
travel, was about three hundred and five feet, and on Henry Street about seven hundred
and fifty feet. It was somewhat irregular in shape, narrowing toward the rear or easterly
end, where it was bounded by the Grand Junction Branch of the Boston and Albany
Railroad. Along the southerly side, being about eight hundred feet in length, is a
twenty-five-foot passageway designed for a spur track from the Grand Junction
Branch. By the zoning ordinance the land here in question and hereafter called the
locus, being that part of the larger tract directly on the corner of Brookline Street and