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Plymouth: officials refuse to enforce sand mining laws at 19-acre Collins Ave. site

On May 10, the Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals refused to enforce the Town’s “earth removal” bylaws against a 19-acre sand mining operation. The Building Commissioner Nick May, the Town Planner Lee Hartmann and the Planning Board all allowed a strip mine to go ahead under the laughable claim that a $9 million, 2 year operation with 70 trucks a day is “necessary” to site a warehouse in the Industrial Park.

April 20, 2022 Spencer Mining Operation, Collins Avenue, Plymouth MA

In fall 2021, in plain sight, and in violation of a Zoning Permit issued illegally by the Town’s building inspector, Spencer Realty, under the name of a shell corporation, began a 2 year mining operation at a site on Collins Avenue in Plymouth.

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 owned letter refutes that.

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.

Ignoring the illegal activity, in January, 2022 the Planning Board nevertheless approved a massive, 2 year, approximately $6 million earth removal operation claiming it was “necessary and incidental” to site a warehouse building on the property. The developer, Scott Spencer, claimed that he wants to hide his building from the view along Route 3 and therefore needs to excavate a huge hole to put the building at the bottom of the hole. This sound preposterous — and it is.

Save the Pine Barrens is challenging this illegal sand mining. The Planning Board and Building Commissioner’s decisions violate the law and are not based on any credible fact scenario.

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”
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