Selectmen Monday night will discuss concerns they have with a sprawling North Quincy Street property that appears to be housing hundreds of vehicles, dozens of portable toilets, piles of refuse, and multiple businesses.
The board’s expected investigation may heat up quickly following the workplace-related death of a man on the property Wednesday.
“I’m overly concerned about the safety of our community with the number of vehicles, 55-gallon drums, and other unknown substances up there,” Selectman Jim Connolly said.
Connolly and fellow Selectman Alex Bezanson visited the site, located at 267 North Quincy Street, Wednesday morning after receiving complaints from residents, including a picture from Google Maps showing the extent of materials on the 20-plus acre property.
“Its obvious to me that the Google picture is outdated because the amount of materials up there now is double what from I see in the picture,” Connolly said.
Victor Cimino, the property’s owner, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Bezanson said they saw hundreds of cars, trucks, trailers, boats, and heavy machinery in various states of disrepair spread across the site, in addition to oil tanks, dumpsters, and auto repair businesses.
A past chairman of the Conservation Commission who toured the site in 2008, Bezanson said he believes there’s evidence of numerous wetland violations on the site.
“There’s definitely some issues up there,” he said.
Selectmen Chairman Tim Chapin said he also had recently heard some complaints and seen Google Maps imagery of the site, but was “blown away” by the photos Bezanson showed him.
“That [Google Maps] picture doesn’t even do it justice,” Chapin said. “It’s even worse.”
Dozens of cars, trucks, trailers, and boats can be seen next to and behind 201 North Quincy Street as well. It’s not clear if that property will be included in the Board of Selectmen’s review.
The selectmen’s discussion Monday night could kickoff an investigation into whether the property is violating any zoning, building, or health codes. The board’s agenda says it could also issue a cease and desist order.
A majority of the property at 267 North Quincy St., is located in the town’s Highway Commercial zoning district. The rear part of the property is zoned R-40, which is reserved for residential housing. It backs up to Ames Nowell State Park.
Cimino received special permits from the zoning board of appeals in 2006 and 2010 to allow “open lot storage of site trailer, commercial trucks, trailers and commercial construction equipment” on the site. In 2011, he received a variance to “operate an asphalt, brick, concrete, and clean wood recycling operation.”
In 2008 he received approval from the Planning Board to build a warehouse with office space on the front of the property, but it was never built.
According to the Town Clerk’s Office, nine companies have listed 267 North Quincy Street as their place of business.
Historical imagery of the site shows limited activity, particularly in the back acreage. That starts to change about a decade ago, with the volume of material growing quickly in recent years.
Connolly said the point of Monday’s discussion is to better understand what’s happening on the site.
“Its an investigation, not an accusation,” he said.
A man was killed on the property Tuesday after becoming pinned underneath a truck. He was extricated and transported by Abington Fire to Brockton Hospital but died from his injuries. His name has not been released and investigators have not said how he became trapped under the vehicle.
Based on interviews at the time, Abington News originally reported the accident happened next door at 231 North Quincy Street. Abington Fire clarified yesterday that the initial call came in from 231 North Quincy Street but the accident happened on 267 North Quincy Street.