Lawsuit could affect JPNC election

August 16, 2013
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The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s (JPNC) controversial lawsuit against a real estate project could have an impact on the council’s upcoming election.

Potential candidates will have to consider the JPNC’s connection to a lawsuit that likely will remain under appeal during the entire campaign process. And the next JPNC chair will be the plaintiff in the lawsuit, even if the position is no longer held by Benjamin Day, who filed the suit, according to JPNC attorney Jeffrey Wiesner.

“The chair of the JPNC—whoever that may be—is the party to the lawsuit,” Wiesner said in an email to the Gazette.

Wiesner is also a current JPNC member and told the Gazette he will run for re-election. Day did not respond to a question about whether he will run again as well.

Day, on behalf of the JPNC, last year sued the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals and developer Boston Residential Group alleging that zoning approvals were improperly granted for a planned apartment building at the former Home for Little Wanderers site at 161 S. Huntington Ave. Earlier this year, a judge threw out the case, ruling that neither Day nor the JPNC had “standing,” or legal grounds, to sue.

Day is appealing the case, and the apartment project cannot proceed without a legal resolution. The defendants have requested that the judge demand the JPNC post a $750,000 bond to continue with the appeal, Wiesner said. A judge is still considering that request.