No bond needed for JPNC lawsuit appeal

The judge in a Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC)-backed lawsuit against the 161 S. Huntington Ave. redevelopment project has ruled that the JPNC does not need to post a $750,000 bond to appeal the decision.

The appeal will likely take a year to 18 months, Jeffrey Wiesner, an attorney and JPNC member representing Day in the case, told the Gazette. The JPNC is slated to hold its biannual election in October.

Boston Residential Group (BRG), the company attempting to redevelop the former Home for Little Wanderers site, repeated its criticism of the lawsuit this week.

“It’s unfortunate that the legal maneuvering of a few individuals, designed simply to delay or stop this project, is denying Jamaica Plain new housing, including 33 affordable units and 200 construction jobs, and denying the Home for Little Wanderers tens of millions of dollars. We plan to vigorously pursue the appeal,” BRG President Curtis Kemeny said in a written statement to the Gazette.

JPNC chair Benjamin Day last year sued the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals and BRG alleging that zoning approvals for the controversial apartment project were improperly granted. A judge threw out the case in May, ruling that neither Day nor the JPNC had “standing,” or legal grounds, to sue.

“Because of the long delay, the defendant [Boston Residential Group] filed a motion to request us to post bond. They know we can’t pay [that amount],” Wiesner said. If the judge had granted that request, it “would effectively end the case,” he added.

The redevelopment likely will remain on hold pending the outcome of any appeal. A successful appeal potentially could lead to the end of the project.

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