General, Illegal earth removal, Sand mining in Southeastern Massachusetts

Plymouth: Planning Board approves 19-acre strip mine ruse at 10 Collins Ave., Plymouth

Ruse of siting a warehouse used to obtain earth removal permit for about $1 million sand and gravel

Massive earth removal operation rubber stamped by Building Inspector, Planning Board and ZBA

Watch the ruse unfold at the Planning Board hearings of January 11, 2022 and December 23, 2021.

Drone footage on September 23, 2022

Drone footage April 30, 2022

This came to light in May 2021 when residents noticed Spencer was clearing the land, plainly visible from the highway. He had no permit to do this. Over the course of a year, the Plymouth Planning Board, Buidling Inspector and ZBA all went along with this ruse. The Town is allowing Spencer to strip mine to under the laughable claim that digging a hole, removing $9 million worth of sand and gravel over years is “necessary” to site a warehouse in the Industrial Park. This is a blatant ruse!

Sept. 23, 2022: Spencer mining operation, 10 Collins Ave.
April 20, 2022 Spencer Mining Operation, Collins Avenue, Plymouth MA

In June 2021, before he even owned the site, Scott Spencer contracted with Lopes Construction to excavate the site and purchase the sand and take it off site. At the January 2022 Planning Board hearing, Spencer told the Planning Board that if any sand was removed off site, it was a “misunderstanding” with the contractor, Lopes. Spencer’s own letter refutes that. He also said that any sand removed was for “testing” the soil. This was a lie.

Save the Pine Barrens requested enforcement from the Building Inspector, who refused to enforce the law. Work stopped temporarily after a Planning Board member reported the illegal activity in the spring but then resumed and continues today.

Sept. 23, 2022: G. Lopes hauling sand and gravel from 10 Collins Ave. strip mine site. About 8 trucks were observed leaving the site on 9/23 between 8 and 9 a.m.

In January, 2022 the Planning Board rubber-stamped the project under the ruse presented by the developer, Scott Spencer, that digging a huge hole, removing 1 million in cubic yards was “necessary” to hide the building from being viewed from the highway. This sound preposterous — and it is.

Save the Pine Barrens is challenged this illegal sand mining legally but was unable to pursue it to court.

October 2021: illegal earth removal project by Spencer Realty Plymouth, 10 Collins Ave.
October 2021: Spencer Realty Plymouth sand mining operation hits groundwater at 10 Collins Ave. site
Spencer Realty Plymouth: illegal earth removal operation. Truck hauling sand off site in violation of Zoning Permit that says “no earth removal”