SLT mining site, Carver MA
After Carver zoning board covers for another sand and gravel mining operation group sues
Lawsuit aims to protect drinking water, residents and homes
The Carver Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) refuses to enforce the zoning law to stop illegal mining. On July 19, 2022, for the second time, the ZBA invented a legal argument to avoid enforcing the law, this time against SLT’s illegal mining in the “Spring Street Innovative District”. On August 18, 2022, Save the Pine Barrens sued in Superior Court.
In January 2022, on behalf of residents who tried for years to get local officials to stop SLT’s violations, STPB stepped in with legal help. STPB sent letter under General Laws Chapter 40A and the bylaw asking the building inspector to enforce the bylaw and stop the violations The building inspector denied the request. With lawyers, STPB took the next required legal step and appealed to the ZBA.
Under the law, the ZBA had to have hearings, like a trial, to hear from both sides on whether to stop the violations.
At the first hearing, the ZBA claimed Save the Pine Barrens didn’t have legal standing. When presented with the law that says we do, Chairman Grey and Vice Chair Clark had to back down. At the last hearing on July 19, 2022, the Chair concocted a legal argument and claimed the ZBA doesn’t have “jurisdiction” to enforce the zoning law. He denied the appeal. STPB’s lawyers filed the August 18, 2022 lawsuit to overturn the ZBA’s illegal decision and enforce the law.
This isn’t the first time ZBA Chairman Gray invented a novel legal argument to cover up for a strip mining company. In September 2021 he denied Save the Pine Barrens request for enforcement of the zoning law against strip mining company AD Makepeace saying we didn’t pay the filing fee. We appealed that to court. Read more here.