Final Decision on Lawsuit Against the City

Sharing some news and asking for your help!

We are sharing with you all that while our lawsuit against the City of Somerville regarding the 2019 Condo Conversion Ordnance was not as successful as we had hoped – we did achieve a small but very important victory.

The judge who presided over our Summary Judgment hearing sided with the City on almost all the points but did dissent on one – that the City did not have the right of first refusal and ability to purchase a property if the tenants were not interested. The City initially indicated they were appealing that ruling, but ultimately decided against doing so. While we would have liked to have seen the entire ordinance thrown out, we are gratified that the judge agreed with us that granting right of first refusal to the City was government overreach beyond the pale.

We celebrate this victory; and despite not having the entire ordinance overturned, we still feel that legally challenging the City on this unfair and overreaching ordinance was the right thing to do and made a statement to the City that property owners in Somerville were not going to let the City enact unfair laws infringing on the rights of property owners without a challenge. So, while we are disappointed that our victory was not complete, we feel gratified that we fought the good fight.

And although we lost points in this round, the fight goes on. There are additional issues for the Somerville Property Owners Coalition, and you our members, to be concerned about and continue to challenge and have our voices be heard on, locally and at the State level: rent stabilization (“rent control”), TOPA (Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act), a transfer tax on the sale of real estate, and other future bills.

So, the Somerville Property Owners Coalition will continue to be involved in monitoring and sharing information on all of these issues and reaching out to you to ask for your help in advocating for the rights of property owners in Somerville and across Massachusetts.

In the meantime, we do have big ask of all of you who are SPOC Members and receive these updates and participate in and benefit from our advocacy efforts.

Our legal challenge has come to an end, but we still have a $10,000 legal bill to pay.

Many of you have contributed over the last couple years – some in large amounts, some in whatever you could afford -and for that we are very grateful. And the SPOC Board of Directors has contributed their fair share towards this cause as well – collectively donating over $23,000.

This is what we are asking: If everyone who receives this email donates just $25-$50, we could pay off our legal bill! Any excess amounts will help us sustain the administrative costs of our website and member communications.

Please contribute whatever you can. Contributions can be made on the SPOC GoFundMe page OR by sending a check made out to the Somerville Property Owners Coalition and mailed to:

Somerville Property Owners Coalition
P.O. Box 441488
Somerville, MA 02144

If you choose to have your contribution, be anonymous on the GoFundMe page you can do so. Also, all donations, whether through GoFundMe or a check are kept confidential.

Thank you for your anticipated support!

Somerville Property Owners Coalition

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