The protracted court battle over the fate of Long Wharf Park grew lengthier yesterday in a Suffolk Superior Court motion session before presiding justice, Linda Giles. Moving towards a sixth year of litigation in the case of Sanjoy Mahajan vs. Boston Redevelopment Authority, ten North End residents have challenged the Mass. DEP’s approval of BRA plans to install a late-night bar-restaurant in an existing shade pavilion within the waterside park.
In a hearing lasting three minutes, Judge Giles refused to proceed with the BRA’s and co-defendant DEP’s new motion to dismiss the North Enders’ appeal of a DEP hearing officer’s decision overturned by another superior court judge, Elizabeth Fahey. It was later reversed and remanded by the state Supreme Judicial Court in a ruling on the inapplicability of Article 97 of the Massachusetts constitution which otherwise protects parkland. The plaintiffs claim to have discovered previously undisclosed evidence which authoritatively proves that the entire parcel was designated as a protected park when federal funds were contributed for its initial development.
Sanjoy Mahajan appeared pro se as a spokesperson for the ten. Three times during Tuesday afternoon’s abbreviated hearing, Judge Giles admonished the BRA and DEP counsels for ‘judge shopping’– that is, attempting to avoid reconsideration by the original trial judge, Elizabeth Fahey who will resume her deliberations by summer’s end.
The case has been rescheduled for further review on September 12.
Thomas F. Schiavoni is one of the ten North End residents in the case of Sanjoy Mahajan vs. Boston Redevelopment Authority pending in Suffolk Superior Court.