By: Sierra Myers
With many land-use disputes, especially where there are limited parties involved, mediation may be an alternative to proceeding through, what can be, an expensive and uncertain local and state land use appeals process. In mediation, the conflicted parties agree to voluntarily meet with the aid of a neutral, trained mediator. The mediator is not a decision-maker (like a planning commission or hearings officer), but rather a neutral third-party that uses his or her mediation skills to move both parties toward compromise.
Often times, if a land use decision is made by an appellate body, governing body or hearings officer, the result will favor one party. The mediation process is flexible and can be tailored to fit the needs of the individuals. Thus, mediation can result in a mutually beneficial outcome that costs less than proceeding with a quasi-judicial land-use dispute.
Generally speaking, the benefits of mediation including saving money, eliminating, risk, and speeding up a final resolution. In some cases, though, perhaps when there are too many parties, the local government unwilling to participate, or one both parties can only accept “winning” the case, mediation will not work.
For an example and to read more on the topic, click on the link below.
Sierra Myers obtained her Paralegal certification through Boston University and is now working for Van Vactor Law, LLC as a Legal Assistant.
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