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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Smoking tape in Regis battle?

WESTON

A newly discovered videotape. Dueling lawsuits. And angry neighbors.

It's not an episode of "Boston Legal" -- it's the latest twist in a dispute between the town of Weston and Regis College. The neighbors group Stop Regis Overdevelopment says it has video proof that the college once promised never to build anything like the retirement village planned for its east campus.

The group has blitzed the media with a DVD containing a tape from a Town Meeting in 1999 where then-Regis president Sheila Megley said the college would not build a "nonconventional" development on the site.

A transcript shows that Megley specifically referenced Lasell College's on-campus retirement community as an example of what would not be built.

"There was a rumor that we were going to build a whole development area; we are not," the transcript quotes her as saying.

The neighbors group and Weston officials say that Regis misled the town about its intentions in order to get approval for an easement it needed to tie into Waltham's sewer system.

The town today filed a counter-claim in Land Court in response to Regis's lawsuit. The college is suing the town, which has denied permission for the retirement community.

Regis argues that since the community would be tied to the nursing school, the state's Dover Amendment protecting educational institutions trumps local zoning laws.

-- Stephanie Siek

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