Carver-Plymouth: Weston’s Franklin Marsh mining operation is not “agricultural excavation” as claimed
This massive strip mine is located on the border of Plymouth and Carver
Starting in 2018, the Westons obtained earth removal permits from the Plymouth ZBA & Carver Earth Removal Committee and have since gotten “extensions”
Massachusetts law is clear: this mining operation is the “primary use” of the land and is prohibited because it is not “incidental” agricultural excavation
Under the ruse of an “agricultural project” Franklin Marsh Cranberry Co., whose owners are Gary Weston and his son Craig Weston started a massive, 1 million cubic yard earth removal operation in 2018. The bylaws of Carver and Plymouth prohibit earth removal on this land which is zoned residential-agricultural, without a permit. To obtain the permit, the Weston’s employed the age-old ruse of claiming that removing sand and gravel was merely “incidental” to building an 18-acre “agricultural project. This scale of earth removal does not meet the legal standard set by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for an “incidental” agricultural project.
(The Weston’s other projects include leasing their land to PowerPlus/Cranberry Point for the 150 MW battery storage facility in a residential neighborhood. The Weston’s primary business is not cranberry farming but sand and gravel mining and leasing their land for industrial energy infrastructure. Ironically, Craig Weston is Carver’s Fire Chief. Due to the conflicts of interest, he has had to recuse himself from being involved in safety preparedness regarding the Cranberry Point project).
Here is a short video on the Franklin Marsh Cranberry mining operation: Wampanoag Rights v. Extraction of Sand & Gravel
See drone footage here:
Read the legal analysis of how sand and gravel mining operators evade local bylaws by disguising their operation as “agricultural”.