In 2015, the Town of Plymouth granted Cushing/Kingstown a permit to mine 201,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel on the County Wood Lot. The problem is, the Town’s zoning law prohibits mining unless there is a “permitted end use” and the mining is “incidental to and required for” that “end use.”
In order to get the permit, Cushing/Kingstown told the Town the “end use” after the mining operation on the County Wood Lot would be an industrial solar facility, like the Blue Wave facility on Lot 19E, abutting the Wood Lot. Cushing/Kingstown told the Town the solar facility would be installed by Blue Wave. Problem is, under the Town’s solar bylaw, this solar field would be prohibited for a number for reasons – including that the land is zoned residential and is being cleared for solar. And, during Lawsuit II, Blue Wave solar testified under oath that mining out the sand and gravel on the Wood Lot was not “incidental to and required for” any solar facility to be installed.
In other words, what Cushing/Kingstown told the Town in order to get the permit is untrue: mining is not “required for” installation of a solar facility.
Where’s the County in all this? Commissioner Pallotta told the newspaper that “the County has no specific plans to develop the property.”
So how can there be a “permitted end use” tied to the Cushing/Kingstown mining operation when the County says it has “no plans”? Answer: there isn’t an end use. A web of lies has been woven by the County acting in concert with developers. The Town has been duped.
On March 9, 2018, 60 Town residents asked the Town’s Building Inspector to enforce the Bylaw by issuing a stop work order because Cushing/Kingstown did not have an “end use for the County Wood Lot. 2018_Zoning_RequestforEnforcement This makes the mining operation on the County Wood Lot illegal. The Building Inspector refused to issue a stop work order.
On about July 6, Cushing/Kingstown started cutting in an access road to the mining site — even though there is still no legimate, legal “end use” for the mining operation. The Town’s bylaw prohibits “stand alone” mining operations — yet the County and Cushing/Kingstown are proceeding with this activity in violation of the law. The Town officials refuse to enforce their own Zoning Bylaw.
And, as of June 27, 2018, the County has spent $660,000 of taxpayer money to buy access to the Wood Lot. ($325,000 to buy Zero Rafaelle Road from Balboni Construction and $325,000 to buy Lot 42-2 Long Pond Road from Silva).
If the County has “no specific plans to develop the property, then why spend $660,000 on buying access and let Cushing/Kingstown start mining? The County’s story is simply unbelievable.