WILLIAM A. BRUNO, trustee,  & another 
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS OF TISBURY & others. 
Heard: November 9, 2017.
action commenced in the Land Court Department on May 2, 2014.
case was heard by Gordon H. Piper, J., on motions for summary
Douglas A. Troyer for the plaintiffs.
M. Miller for Samuel Goethals & another.
Jonathan M. Silverstein for Zoning Board of Appeals of
Present: Meade, Shin, & Ditkoff, JJ.
plaintiffs, William A. Bruno and Lynne Bruno, as trustees of
the W.A.B. Realty Trust and L.B. Realty Trust (Brunos),
appeal from a Land Court judgment upholding the denial by the
zoning board of appeals of Tisbury (board) of the Brunos'
request to enforce the zoning law against the defendants,
Samuel Goethals and Mary Goethals, as trustees of the
Goethals Family Trust (Goethals). The Goethals subdivided a
piece of land on which there was a primary house and a
guesthouse, separating the two structures and leaving the
guesthouse on an undersized lot. We conclude that the
ten-year statute of limitations under G. L. C. 40A, § 7
-- which governs actions to compel the removal of a structure
because of alleged zoning violations -- commenced at the time
that the lot containing the primary house was conveyed,
rather than at the endorsement of the approval not required
(ANR) subdivision plan. As the Land Court judge concluded
otherwise, we reverse that portion of the judgment and remand
for further proceedings, while affirming the judge's
denial of the Brunos' request for attorney's fees and
costs from the members of the board.
Goethals and Brunos separately own adjoining real property
parcels, held in trust, located on Goethals Way in the town
of Tisbury. The Goethals' property (Lot 1) and the
Brunos' property (Lot 2) formerly comprised a single
parcel (original lot), first purchased by the Goethals family
in or around the 1930's. The original lot contained a
single-family dwelling when the Goethals purchased it, and
they added a separate garage sometime prior to 1960.
1978, the planning board of Tisbury granted the Goethals a
special permit under the town zoning by-law (by-law) to build
a detached guesthouse on the original lot. As authorized by
the special permit, the Goethals constructed a guesthouse
structure of approximately 850 square feet in place of the
garage. In or around 1986, the Goethals performed additional
work on the guesthouse, including the addition of two
bedrooms and increasing the total area to 1, 710 square feet.
There is no evidence that the 1986 addition was authorized by
a building permit.
December 19, 2001, the planning board endorsed the
Goethals' plan to subdivide the original lot into two
parcels, Lot 1 and Lot 2, with approval not required (ANR)
under G. L. c. 41, § 81L. Under the subdivision plan,
Lot 1 measured approximately 12, 350 square feet and
contained the guesthouse, and Lot 2 measured approximately
32, 200 square feet and contained the original single-family
dwelling. Both lots are in Tisbury's R-25 zoning
district, which requires a minimum lot size of 25, 000 square
feet for a single-family dwelling, well in excess of the
square feet assigned to Lot 1.
and Lot 2 remained in common ownership following the ANR
subdivision, until the Goethals conveyed Lot 2 to the Brunos
by deed dated August 17, 2005, and recorded two weeks later.
Under the terms of the conveyance, the Goethals reserved
easements for their family and guests granting access across
a portion of the Brunos' property to use the beach. After
the 2005 conveyance, the Goethals maintained ownership of Lot
2010, the Goethals converted a television room in the former
guesthouse into a bedroom, bringing the number of bedrooms to
five. The Goethals did not seek any permits or authorization
for this work. The lots are subject to the "Coastal
District and Barrier Beach Regulations" (coastal
district regulations) incorporated into the ...