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Boston College Files Lawsuit Against Newton to Challenge Compensation Received For Webster Woods

Boston College filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Newton on March 9 in Superior Court challenging the amount of compensation it received for the eminent domain taking of Webster Woods.

“ … Not only were we expecting this complaint from BC, but also it is within their rights to make this claim and is not unusual in matters involving eminent domain takings,” Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said in a statement Thursday. 

Newton City Council voted unanimously in December 2019 to seize Webster Woods from BC. The city compensated BC $15.2 million for a portion of the land. 

In 2016, BC paid $20 million for the 17 acres, along with the former synagogue and parking lot at 300 Hammond Pond Parkway.

BC is arguing that the seizure of the land diminished the value of the remaining property and the $15.2 million is not a fair or adequate amount. As requested by BC, a jury will decide if the University is entitled to additional compensation plus interest, according to Fuller. 

“Newton’s Law Department continues to work with outside counsel and filed a response to this complaint earlier today asserting the City’s position that the amount BC received for the land is fair and appropriate,” Fuller said. 

Following the council’s decision to seize the woods in November 2019, Associate Vice President for University Communications Jack Dunn told The Heights that the University will challenge the mayor’s appraisal of the land’s value in court. 

“Our contention remains that the Mayor and City Council have grossly underestimated the value of the property and the legal costs associated with its seizure,” Dunn said.

Featured Image by Colleen Martin / Heights Senior Staff

March 26, 2021