This massive strip mine is located on the Plymouth-Carver border
Since 2018, the Westons have been mining under the false pretense of agriculture with permits from Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals and Carver Earth Removal Committee
Massachusetts law is clear: this does not qualify under state or local law “incidental” agricultural use
January 2023 Update: Westons exploit the land again – after illegally mining to create an “agricultural reservoir” now they plan “floating solar” on cranberry pond – backed by state subsidies– and Plymouth Planning Board
The “ReWild” solar plans here
Westons seek subsidies for a “Floating Solar Tariff Generation Unit” under the state SMART program
Under the ruse of an “agricultural project” Franklin Marsh Cranberry Co., whose owners are Gary Weston and his son Craig Weston started a massive, 1 million cubic yard earth removal operation in 2018. The bylaws of Carver and Plymouth prohibit earth removal on this land which is zoned residential-agricultural, without a permit. To obtain the permit, the Weston’s employed the age-old ruse of claiming that removing sand and gravel was merely “incidental” to building an 18-acre “agricultural project. This scale of earth removal does not meet the legal standard set by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for an “incidental” agricultural project.
The Plymouth Zoning Board of Appeals permit is below. The ZBA extended the permit several times to allow Ryco and the Westons to maximize the sand and gravel extraction.
The Carver Earth Removal Committee permit is here.
The Westons are also leasing their land to PowerPlus/Cranberry Point for the 150 MW battery storage facility in a residential neighborhood. The Weston primary business is not cranberry farming but sand and gravel mining and leasing their land for industrial energy infrastructure. Ironically, Craig Weston is Carver’s Fire Chief. Due to the conflicts of interest, he has had to recuse himself from being involved in safety preparedness regarding the Cranberry Point project.
Here is a short video on the Franklin Marsh Cranberry mining operation: Wampanoag Rights v. Extraction of Sand & Gravel
See drone footage here:
Read the legal analysis of how sand and gravel mining operators evade local bylaws by disguising their operation as “agricultural”.
State SMART Solar Regulations here.