Johnson & Borenstein LLC is a mid-sized law firm located 20 miles north of Boston in Andover, Massachusetts. The firm concentrates its practice geographically in Eastern and Central Massachusetts, Southern & Central New Hampshire, and Southern & Central Maine. The firm has attorneys admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, California and the District of Columbia.

Johnson & Borenstein's team has superior experience and qualifications in all aspects of real estate transactions, litigation and land development. In addition, the firm also focuses its practice on business and construction litigation, foreclosures and work-outs; and counsels corporations and individuals in closely held business matters.

Our practice areas include:
Real Estate Development/PermittingReal Estate Financing & ConveyancingCivil Litigation
Condominium, Leasing and Contractual counselingTitle Litigation & Insurance Defense
Business & Corporate Representation

Johnson & Borenstein has established a reputation for providing the highest quality legal representation in a cost effective and client-focused manner regardless of the size or scope of the matter. From simple residential closings to large-scale construction financing or complex land or business litigation, the Johnson & Borenstein team applies its practical and personal approach to produce successful results for its clients.
  • North Andover Townhouse Development Receives Financing

    Johnson & Borenstein recently participated in the closing of a $2.3m+ construction loan transaction with Georgetown Savings Bank for Merrimac Condominiums, a 49-unit townhouse development in North Andover.  The firm previously helped guide the developer through various stages of the project’s land use permitting, most recently including “final approval” of its Comprehensive Permit from MassHousing.  Georgetown Savings Bank’s financing sets the stage for construction to proceed following a complex but successful permitting process.

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  • Extension Act Extended by Two Years

    Permit Extension Act extended by two years. The MA legislature recently voted to extend the Permit Extension Act of 2010 by an additional two years, amending the “tolling period” to be August 15, 2008 through August 15, 2012, and increasing the permit extension period from 2 years to 4 years.  The PEA applies to many State and Local land use permits and approvals, however, it does not apply to Comprehensive Permits.


    Click below for the relevant pages of the House Bill No. 4352 (2012) and the relevant pages of the PEA-2010.

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  • Conservation Commission Denial Reverse
    Johnson & Borenstein was successful in its appeal to the MA-DEP, reversing an Andover Conservation Commission decision that would have denied development of Taylor Cove, a 32-unit townhouse project.  Although the project has received significant municipal and abutter opposition, the firm’s successful appeals of both zoning and conservation permit denials have paved the way for the development to proceed.
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  • MA Dept. of Housing & Community Development approves Cost Certification materials.
    MA Dept. of Housing & Community Development approves Cost Certification materials for home ownership projects developed under G.L. c. 40B, provides guidance on calculating the developer's 20% profit restriction. (8/1/07)
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  • Jury award against home builder substantially reduced
    A trial judge substantially reduced a $1m jury award against Johnson & Borenstein's client and other defendants in an alleged defective home construction case. (12/2010)
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  • North Andover ZBA approves 52-unit Merrimac Condominiums Comprehensive Permit project.
    On a 4-1 vote, the North Andover Zoning Board of Appeals approved the Comprehensive Permit application for Merrimac Condominiums, allowing the development of 3 single-family homes and 49 townhomes between Turnpike Street and Berry Street. The Applicant, One Hundred Fourteen Trust, was represented by Don Borenstein. (9/2007)
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  • Housing Appeals Committee grants Summary Decision in Developer's favor

    Johnson & Borenstein successfully appealled the Andover Zoning Board's denial of a Comprehensive Permit for the 32-unit Taylor Cove townhouse project. The Zoning Board had rejected the project in February 2009, based on several legal positions taken by the Board, including its assertion that a 1980's cluster subdivision permit prohibited the development of a condominium on a portion of the project site. In deciding the appeal, the HAC rejected all of the Board's arguments and found that the Comprehensive Permit Statute gave ample authority to override any adverse provisions in the old subdivision permit. Johnson & Borenstein expects to continue with its permitting of the Taylor Cove project immediately. (7/2009)

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  • Commercial mortgage successfully defended

    Johnson & Borenstein successfully defended the holder of a commercial mortgage against the claims of the New Hampshire property owner who sought to avoid the mortgage based on the alleged fraud of a prior owner. (12/2010)

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  • MassHousing releases revised Comprehensive Permit Site Approval Application Checklist (6/14/07)
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  • Planning Board forced to endorse “ANR” subdivision plan following landowner’s appeal

    Johnson & Borenstein successfully appealed the refusal of the Boxford, MA Planning Board to endorse its client's "Approval Not Required" subdivision plan. The MA Land Court decided the case on Johnson & Borenstein's motion for summary judgment and found that the presence of significant wetland areas on the property and the necessity of a wetlands crossing did not justify the Planning Board's refusal to endorse the plan. The decision completes a series of successful appeals brought by Johnson & Borenstein that were necessary to address several municipal board decisions initially refusing approval to subdivide or develop the property. (5/2009)

  • Court rules in favor of Johnson & Borenstein client in parking easement case

    Johnson & Borenstein prevailed in the Massachusetts Land Court, successfully defending its client's rights in a parking lot easement benefiting commercial property in Boston. (8/2010)

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  • The effort to repeal Mass. General Law ch. 40B by initiative petition fails.
    MA Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Galvin, announced on December 19th that the Coalition to Repeal 40B did not meet the minimum certified signature requirement according to the state’s initiative petition law, and that the group’s question will not appear on the November 2008 statewide ballot. The group claimed to have submitted 72,000 signatures, however, only 34,000 were certified. This was far short of the 66,593 required. For the foreseeable future, the Comprehensive Permit Statute will remain the principle tool for building affordable housing in the Commonwealth. (12/20/07)

  • Court upholds lakeshore easement

    Johnson & Borenstein, LLC successfully defended its client's rights in an exclusive, lakefront easement benefiting property in Jaffrey, N.H. against an abutting owner's claims that the easement was invalid. (11/2010)

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  • MA DHCD issues revisions to its Ch. 40B regulations
    MA DHCD has issued extensive revisions to its Ch. 40B regulations. One of many changes is that the determination of whether a muncipality has reached its 10% affordable housing minimum is set at the time an application is filed with the local ZBA. (2/22/08)
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  • New Ch. 40B Regulations (2/22/08)
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  • New, 32-unit townhouse development proposed in Andover, MA.
    The Andover ZBA has begun consideration of Taylor Cove, a new, for-sale townhouse community proposed off River Street under Chapter 40B, the State's affordable housing law.  The developer is represented by Don Borenstein, who is working to correct misinformation about the 40B program and to address neighborhood concerns. (9/2008)
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  • Taylor Cove development team, represented by Don Borenstein, meets directly with neighbors to discuss proposed townhomes.
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  • Mark B. Johnson joins faculty of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's 11th annual Real Estate Law Conference
    Mark B. Johnson has been asked to join the faculty of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education's 11th annual Real Estate Law Conference.  The Conference features workshops presented by expert real estate attorneys from around the state.  Mark will be presenting a workshop on issues faced by escrow agents in real estate closings and methods for safeguarding client escrow funds.  This topic is particularly important in today's financial market, where decisions regarding escrow deposits require a greater depth of consideration than may have been common in the past. (2/2009)
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  • North Andover Board Approves 32-Home Residential Development
    Following an appeal brought by Johnson & Borenstein to the Board's original comprehensive permit decision, the North Andover Zoning Board unanimously amended its decision, approving the project substantially as proposed by the developer.  Orchard Village, located off of Turnpike and Chestnut Streets, was proposed as a "smart-growth", environmentally efficient, single-family neighborhood.  With individual home-sites between 5,000 and 15,000 s.f. and 9 attractive home styles ranging in size from 1,500 to 2,500 s.f., the project will emphasize quality over quantity and supply an under-served market for moderately-sized, high quality new homes.  Johnson & Borenstein is proud of its continuing work on this project from initial acquisition documents through the ongoing permitting process.  (1/2009)

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  • Claims against commercial equipment leasing company dismissed as a result of Johnson & Borenstein's summary judgment motion.
    Johnson & Borenstein successfully defended the leasing company in a case brought by its former customer.  The customer had alleged six-figure claims for breach of contract, implied warranties, negligence and ch. 93A for alleged damage to its property.  Johnson & Borenstein achieved a dismissal of the action on a summary basis and without requiring a trial.  The leasing company was represented by Don Borenstein.  (3/2009)
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  • Land owner successfully defended against building inspector's order and abutter's appeal
    Johnson & Borenstein successfully defended the land owner against an order of the building inspector and an abutter's subsequent appeal.  The property owner was alleged to have unlawfully violated the Town's earth removal zoning bylaw and was issued a cease and desist order.  Johnson & Borenstein secured a reversal of the order from the Town's zoning board and then successfully moved to dismiss an abutter's appeal of that action by way of a summary judgment decision entered in the MA Superior Court.  Mark B. Johnson and Denise Brogna represented the land owner.  (3/2009)
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  • Long-time paralegal, Kathryn Morin, admitted as Massachusetts attorney
    Johnson & Borenstein is pleased to announce that Kathryn M. Morin has been admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.  Kathryn has been with the firm as a paralegal and Director of Administration for many years.  For the past four years she has also been working towards her law degree at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover, MA.  Earlier this year, Kathryn received her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude, passed the Massachusetts bar exam, and was recently sworn in as a Massachusetts attorney.  She also intends to seek admission to the bar in her home state of New Hampshire.  Kathryn will continue to focus on real estate transactions, where she will now draw on her legal education, as well as, over 24 years of paralegal experience.  Kathryn will also be expanding her practice into the areas of estate planning, counseling closely held businesses and commercial litigation.  Kathryn’s proven dedication to the firm’s clients, along with her exceptional organizational skills and unique legal experience will surely serve her well in her “new” career as an attorney.  Congratulations Kathryn!  (6/2009)

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  • Johnson & Borenstein, LLC welcomes Attorney Lorri S. Covitz to team
    Johnson & Borenstein, LLC is pleased to announce that Attorney Lorri S. Covitz of Andover, Massachusetts has joined the firm.  Lorri is a cum laude graduate of Suffolk University Law School and the University of Massachusetts’ School of Business Administration.  For nearly twenty years, Lorri has been the principle of Lorri S. Covitz, P.C., a successful real estate conveyancing firm formerly located at 90 Main Street in Andover.  As an associate of Johnson & Borenstein, she will continue to serve her existing clients and will also utilize her extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of real estate transactions, real estate financing, and conveyancing to support clients of Johnson & Borenstein.  Given her long-time, personal dedication to the needs of her clients and her proven skills in handling various types of real estate transactions, Lorri will be an integral part of the Johnson & Borenstein team.  She is the latest example of the firm’s commitment to maintaining an exceptional legal staff and providing the highest quality representation to its clients. (2/2009)
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  • •Court upholds Lakeshore Easement

    Johnson & Borenstein, LLC successfully defended its client's rights in an exclusive, lakefront easement benefiting property in Jaffrey, N.H. (11/2010) 

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  • Sales of new single-family homes up!
    Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 11% nationally in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures released on July 27.  Coming on the heels of an upwardly revised number for May, the gain marks a third consecutive month of improved sales activity.  New-home sales for June rose by double-digits in the Northeast at 29.2%.
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Johnson & Borenstein, LLC. 
12 Chestnut Street, Andover, MA 01810 · Tel: 978-475-4488 · Fax: 978-475-6703 · info@jbllclaw.com

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