Coastal Plain Pond, Drinking Water, General, Illegal earth removal, Sand mining in Southeastern Massachusetts, Sand mining in Southeastern Massachusetts

Plymouth: Long Pond Road: Group appeals to Zoning Board to enforce earth removal bylaw

Since 2015, Town officials ignored residents complaints about a illegal earth removal operation on about 13 acres of forested lands off Long Pond Road

When the building inspector refused to enforce the zoning law, CLWC a non-profit group appealed to the ZBA on Nov. 29, 2022

Satellite images show mining in the Sole Source Aquifer, blatant zoning violations

On November 29, 2022 CLWC filed an appeal with the ZBA of the Town Building Inspector’s denial of a request for enforcement of the earth removal bylaw at the site of the proposed New Hope Church off Long Pond Road. See the Appeal here. The Appeal asks for a cease and desist on sand and gravel removal, an accounting of the volume of sand and gravel removed, penalties for illegal mining, and restoration of the site.

The approximately 15 acre site abuts conservation land and residences. In 2015, Sheava Development started mining after filing a 5-lot subdivision plan with the Town. This plan was a ruse to put in a road to gain access to lucrative sand and gravel. Sheava never built the 5 houses but took out several hundred cubic yards of sand and gravel.

Sheava sold the land to the New Hope Church. The Church is seeking a Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals for more earth removal and variances from the zoning bylaw. The ZBA public hearing is continued to Dec. 22.

Prior to the ZBA appeal, CLWC took the first required step of filing a request for enforcement with the Building Inspector. On Nov. 8, 2022 the Building Inspector denied the request for enforcement. This left CLWC with no option but to appeal to the ZBA.

Spencer mining, 2019. Illegal mining in the groundwater.

Map showing 12.85 acres where earth removal occurred. 2021.

Photos documenting violations of Zoning Laws: land clearing without a permit, mining without a permit, clearing trees up to property line, clearing within 50 foot buffer to property line, no erosion controls and more.

Long Pond Road, Sheava Development Earth Removal Site, June 2020. Excavation on going. New Hope Church bought the land in August, 2020.