Barbara J. Saint André

Barbara J. Saint AndréMember

Phone: 617.556.0007
Practice Areas: General Municipal, Land Use, Real Estate, Litigation

Attorney Saint André assists the firm’s clients in all facets of municipal, land use, real estate and related litigation. She has more than thirty-five years of experience counseling clients on general municipal law, zoning, real estate, subdivision control law, chapter 40B comprehensive permits, chapter 40R, wetlands, board of health, town meetings, historic districts, municipal finance, licensing, enforcement and litigation. She is a frequent speaker on both land use and general municipal law topics, including programs sponsored by CPTC, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Mass. Association of Planning Directors, Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association, and the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

Attorney Saint André has represented clients in a broad range of cases, including zoning enforcement and appeals, comprehensive permits, the Telecommunications Act, the Subdivision Control Law, board of health, wetlands, licensing, and general municipal litigation before all levels of the Massachusetts trial courts, the United States District Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court, as well as administrative agencies including the Housing Appeals Committee, Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, and Department of Environmental Protection.

Representative Matters

  • Cumberland Farms, Inc. v. Walpole Zoning Board of Appeals, 61 Mass. App. Ct. 124 (2004) Successfully defended Board of Appeals denial of special permits to alter and extend the nonconforming use of the property.
  • Fanta v. Board of Health of Braintree – Rule 1:28 (2006) Successfully defended Board of Health against challenge to tobacco sale regulations.
  • Marinelli v. Board of Appeals of Stoughton, 65 Mass. App. Ct. 902 (2005) Plaintiff unsuccessfully argued that the Stoughton Zoning By-law should be interpreted to allow grandfathered lot protection more generous than state law.
  • Wyman v. Grafton, 47 Mass. App. Ct. 635 (1999) Successfully defended the Town against civil rights claims arising out of the grant of a variance with conditions.

Representative Speaking Engagements

Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors

  • 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 Annual Conferences: “Recent Court Decisions”
  • 2009 Annual Conference: “All You Ever Wanted to Know About Subdivision Guarantees”
  • 2011 Annual Conference: “Everything You Should Have Told Town Counsel in the First Place”

Massachusetts Municipal Lawyer Association

  • 2008: “Chapter 40B – New Regulations and Cases: Are You Ready?”
  • 2009: “Land Use Practices Pointers”
  • 2010: “Regulation of Wireless Communications”
  • 2011: “Municipal Trial: Evidentiary Proof in chapter 40B appeals”
  • 2014 Annual Meeting: “Significant Zoning Decisions”
  • 2016: “Municipal Finance from the Finance Committee Perspective”
  • 2016 Annual Meeting: Land Use Update

Southern New England Chapter, American Planners Association

  • 2007 Fall Conference: “Planning for Impacts of Increasing Immigrant Populations on Local Government”

Massachusetts Citizen Planner Training Collaborative

  • 2007 Annual Meeting: “The State of Chapter 40B: The Massachusetts Affordable Housing Zoning Law
  • 2008 Annual Meeting: “Chapter 30B Public Procurement”
  • 2009 Annual Meeting: “Site Plans and Special Permits”; “Establishing and Enforcing Subdivision Security”
  • 2010 Annual Meeting: “Planning By Change: Spot Zoning and Use Variances”
  • 2011 Annual Meeting: “Zoning Exemptions”; “Everything You Should Have Asked Town Counsel in the First Place”
  • 2012 Annual Meeting: “Soup to Nuts: Amending Zoning By-laws and Ordinances”; “Site Plan Review/Special Permits”
  • 2013 Annual Meeting: “Zoning Exemptions”
  • 2014 Annual Meeting: “Zoning Exemptions”; “Inclusionary Zoning”
  • 2015 Annual Meeting: “Zoning Exemptions”; “Special Permits and Variances”
  • 2016 Annual Meeting: ‘Will Your Community’s Sign Bylaw Survive a Legal Challenge”
  • 2017 Annual Meeting: “Hiring A Consultant from RFP/RFQ to Management of Project”; “Subdivision Securities”

Massachusetts Citizen Planner Training Collaborative
Taught various modules during fall training sessions, including:

  • “Special Permits and Variances”
  • “Approval Not Required Plans”
  • “Site Plan Review”
  • “Special Permits”
  • “Subdivision Control/ANR”
  • “Introduction to the Zoning Act”
  • “Vested Rights and Nonconforming Uses and Structures”
  • “Roles and Responsibilities of Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeal”
  • Writing Reasonable and Defensible Decisions

American Bar Association, section of State and Local Government Law

  • 2005 Fall Council Meeting: “Chapter 40B”

Massachusetts Municipal Association

  • 2013 Annual Meeting: “Local Government and The Medical Marijuana Law”
  • 2016 Annual Meeting: “Land Use Case Law Update”

Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education

  • “Immigration Issues Facing Local Governments”‘; “Comprehensive Permits – Municipal Overview of Procedures and Enforcement”; “2010 Environmental and Land Use Law Update”
  • 2014 Annual Real Estate Conference: Keynote Panels, “Medical Marijuana Dispensaries”
  • Municipal Law Conference 2016: “The Latest in Land Use and Zoning”
  • Municipal Law Conference 2017: “The Latest in Land Use and Zoning”
  • Zoning Practice 2017: “Recent Developments in Zoning Law”

Massachusetts Bar Association

  • “Recent Changes in the Comprehensive Permit Process for Developing Affordable Housing

Boston Bar Association

  • 2010: “Permit Extension Act”

Massachusetts Health Officers Association

  • “Public Records versus Privacy Concerns”; “Regulations: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

Massachusetts Chapter – National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials

  • “New State Regulations on Local Housing Initiatives and Certification under Chapter 774”
  • Responsibilities of Public Officials: Conflict of Interest, Open Meetings and Public Records”

Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District

  • “Marijuana Legalization & Local Land Use Implications”

Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission

  • “Subdivision Control – Relevant Issues and Strategies for Improving Local Review”

Representative Publications

  • “Chapter 40A and General Land Use Law”, ENVIRONMENTAL AND LAND USE LAW UPDATE (MCLE 2010)
  • “Immigration Issues Facing Local Governments”, MUNICIPAL LAW CONFERENCE 2007, (MCLE 2007)
  • “Municipal Concerns, Procedures and Enforcement”, OBTAINING AND ENFORCING COMPREHSNIVE PERMITS, (MCLE, Inc. 2002)
  • MAHB Legal Handbook for Boards of Health, Chapter II, “Organization and Administration of Health Boards”, 1995
  • “Board of Health Betterments”, massHealth, February 1995;
  • “How to Write a Regulation”, massHealth, January 1989
  • “Recent Subdivision Control Cases”, Massachusetts Bar Association Section News, Winter 1991
  • “Requirements for Keeping Minutes of Meetings”, Massachusetts Bar Association Section News, October 1991

Prior Experience

Petrini & Associates, P.C., Framingham, Massachusetts
Principal, 2006 to 2015
Concentrated in municipal practice with emphasis on general municipal law, land use, comprehensive permits, and litigation. Represent cities and towns as counsel and special counsel in all areas of municipal law, including zoning, permitting, litigation, Subdivision Control Law, wetlands, affordable housing, board of health, enforcement, town meetings, contract, licensing, and Open Meeting Law. Tried cases before the Land Court, Superior Court, Housing Appeals Committee, Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, and other courts and state agencies.

Kopelman and Paige, P.C., Boston, Massachusetts
Principal, 1985 to 2006
Concentrated in municipal and land use law and litigation. Advise officials and represent municipalities and housing authorities in administrative and state and federal court litigation in all areas of municipal law, including: zoning and land use, board of health, comprehensive permits, housing, Civil Service, Wetlands Protection Act, Subdivision Control Law and licensing and employment issues. Tried numerous cases before the Superior Court and Land Court, and represented towns in dozens of appeals before the Housing Appeals Committee. Conduct seminars for client municipalities in a broad range of issues, including comprehensive permits, land use, licensing and open meeting law. Argued cases before the Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court.

Murphy, Lamere and Murphy, Braintree, Massachusetts
Associate, 1982 to 1985
In this general practice law firm, concentrated in litigation, municipal and labor law.  Represented numerous municipalities in labor issues, including strike petitions, Labor Relations Commission, Civil Service, and arbitration, and extensive court appearances.

Massachusetts Superior Court, Boston, Massachusetts
Law Clerk, 1981 to 1982
Law clerk to justices of the Superior Court in the Superior Court of Suffolk and other counties. Researched and drafted memoranda in all types of civil and criminal litigation. Worked closely with a number of Superior Court Justices in both trial and motion sessions.

Professional Memberships

  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Real Estate Bar Association
  • The Abstract Club
  • Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
  • Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors
  • Association of Town Finance Committees

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts Bar
  • U.S. District Court (Mass.)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • Us. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Suffolk Law School
Juris Doctor, 1981, cum laude

Suffolk University
Bachelor of Science, 1979, summa cum laude