Challenge to Wareham Planning Board

BREAKING: April 20, 2021 Concerned Wareham residents filed a lawsuit today in Land Court in Boston, MA against AD Makepeace Company, Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. and the Wareham Planning Board. The lawsuit appeals the Planning Board’s March 2021 Decision granting Site Plan Review Approval for a 76-acre clear cut and strip mine for the Borrego Solar project at 140 Tihonet Road, Wareham. The lawsuit “seeks to make Defendant AD Makepeace Company, the largest private property owner in Eastern Massachusetts, play by the rules.” It states that for too long, Makepeace “has avoided proper regulatory reviews for its industrial sand mining, earth removal, and land development activities.” California-based Borrego Solar plans to build the solar project and 2 others located nearby.

The lawsuit asks the court to remand the Decision back to the Planning Board for proper consideration of the factors in the Zoning Bylaw that are supposed to protect neighbors from nuisance and detrimental impacts to their property and well being. The lawsuit also seeks to enforce a covenant Makepeace made with homeowners in the private Crane Landing Road association when it marketed and sold them homes promising the “natural beauty and scenic use” of their property and surrounding common lands. The earth removal and solar installation will create a blight on the neighborhood and harm the value of Crane Landing homes, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asks the Court to prevent the issuance of a building permit until the case is resolved.

*** Take action by Monday April 26, 2021 *** SEND A LETTER TO THE WAREHAM BOARD OF SELECTMEN TO SAVE THIS LAND: Follow this link

These three strip mining and solar utility projects will destroy about 190 acres of pristine Pine Barrens forest, further eliminating rare ecosystems, wildlife and trees and plants. To date, AD Makepeace has clear-cut about 300 acres for land based solar projects. More land has been strip mined by Makepeace for industrial sand and gravel sales.

We can stop the three new solar projects in Wareham. Makepeace has to give the Town the chance to buy the land for conservation. Community groups are working on this — seeking sources of funding and taking the steps needed to make this happen. On April 23, 2021 [correction: this date is not set yet] the Wareham Board of Selectmen plan to vote on whether to allow the conservation groups to keep working to save this land or whether to “waive the right of first refusal.” Let the Selectmen know they should give the community more time to conserve the land.

Here are the 3 solar locations in Wareham

27 Charge Pond Road, Wareham 44 acres

AD Makepeace Site Phase 10

140 Tihonet Road, 76 acres

1-2 million cubic yards of earth removal

AD Makepeace Site Phase 11

150 Tihonet Road, 67 acres

AD Makepeace Site Phase 12

Earth Removal TBD