Building Inspector's Written Response Period In Massachusetts

In Vokes v. Avery W. Lovell, Inc., 18 Mass. App. Ct. 471, 468 N.E.2d 271 (1984), further appellate review denied, 393 Mass. 1103, 470 N.E.2d 798 (1984), the Court held that the building inspector's written response declining enforcement, as required by G. L. c. 40A, 7, is a prerequisite to a right of appeal under G. L. c. 40A, 8. Id. at 477. In Vokes, the Court determined that the fourteen day response period set forth in Section 7 is directory only, and that the thirty day appeal period does not commence until a building inspector responds in writing to an enforcement request. Id. at 479. The court declined to address the possibility of a building inspector frustrating a party's right of appeal by ignoring an enforcement request. However, the court did state that in such a situation "the parties seeking enforcement may have an alternative to the time and expense which might accompany resort to a complaint in the nature of mandamus." See id. at n. 11.