Coastal Plain Pond, General, Sand mining in Southeastern Massachusetts

Plymouth: Claremont Development, Colony Place: Zoning Bylaws or Why-Laws?

Developers target Colony Place for dense development in Aquifer Protection Overlay District

The “water crisis” — November 18, 2022 update here.


August 16, 2022: Planning Board violates Open Meeting Law on August 10, 2022 by not giving public notice of new Claremont plans.

This project threatens the Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer.

When Colony Place was first developed in 2003 there were serious water and other concerns that where pushed off to the future with vague promises. Read more about the environmental review process starting in 2002 here.

Here is the regional Zone 2 for wells in the area.

This project was preceded by strip mining disguised as “site preparation.” This has been done for decades without considering the impact to groundwater.

The industrial sand and gravel mining going on removes the forest, vegetation and sand and gravel that protects and filters our water.

The Town lacks adequate water quantity. The DPW makes deals with developers like the one made for “The Walk” development to paper over real problems like the contamination of the North Plymouth wells. There were serious issues about whether the Town could supply enough water to The Walk without further contaminating the North Plymouth wells and ruining Darby Pond and Muddy Pond, a globally rare ecosystem in permanent conservation protection. Wildlife in the area is already being displaced.

Colony Place is built on a 100 acre strip mine: former owners including Gary Darmin removed massive volumes of sand and gravel and huge hills. There was never any accountability for the environmental impacts of this strip mining. It left the underlying groundwater aquifer with NO PROTECTION at all.

Sign posted in Colony Place announcing public hearing by Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals. The notice lists all the waivers and exemption the developer is demanding from the ZBA. This includes a waiver from the laws that protect our drinking water.

Claremont Development wants a laundry list of waivers from our zoning laws. Those laws are to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Why should a developer get waivers?

Are they Zoning Bylaws or Zoning Why-Laws?

Why bother to have Zoning laws at all if the Planning Board and ZBA grant so many waivers that it eviscerates them — making them meaningless. Why have them at all?

July 20, 2022: Plymouth Planning Board meeting: Claremont Development presented their proposal. About 50 concerned residents attended the meeting in person and 40 on Zoom. The Sawyer’s Reach concerned residents group presented a list of concerns to the Planning Board and Town Planner. Westwood Village representatives also attended the meeting and oppose the development. Four residents spoke about their concerns. The meeting is continued to August 10 and Claremont developers are asked to provide answers to questions raised by the Board and concerned residents.

The Planning Department obtained a peer review from the Town’s consultant on the “reconfiguration” of the pond on the site.

July 20, 2022: Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals: Rescheduled to August 17.

Sand & Gravel Mining at Colony Place 2003 and 2004

Mining at Colony Place 2003
Mining at Colony Place 2004
Colony Place, October 2021: Source MassMapper GIS
What the topography used to be at Colony Place: Hills up to 150 feet, now down to sea level. What has this done to our aquifer and environment?