WEEK AHEAD: Things reopen, town budget, town elections, candidate news, marijuana job fair, North Quincy St; the planning, health, parks & rec, finance, housing, assessors boards meet

This week’s theme is the steady but cautious march back to normalcy.

Monday marked the first day of full-time, in-person learning for Abington’s K through 8 students; high school students return next Monday. Public health and school officials across the state are also monitoring the ongoing spike in positive COVID-19 tests being fueled by some particularly nasty variants. But the fact Abington’s students are back in school five days a week for the first time in a calendar year is a step in the right direction.

Another small but notable step can be seen on the Board of Health’s agenda for its Monday night meeting. Yes, it will discuss the pandemic and vaccines, but it’s also chatting about the town’s plastic bag ban. Town Meeting voted in 2019 to ban the use of non-reusable plastic bags based on the damage they cause to the environment. The regulation was scheduled to take effect April 1, 2020, but implementation was pushed off as the pandemic set in. Public Health Director Marty Golightly will update the board on what the next steps are. 

Another welcome step towards normalcy will happen Tuesday night when the Parks and Recreation Board discusses plans to hold the Eager Beaver Summer Camp program at Island Grove. Last year, the board opted to cancel the venerable camp program fearful that the social distancing and safety mandates in place would have diminished the camp experience. There will likely be some precautionary rules in place this summer — but as of now, camp is on.*  

(*If people continue to do the right thing, be responsible, wear masks even if vaccinated, maintain social distancing, stay home if sick or waiting test results, and keep the numbers down. Let’s not blow this, people)


The proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1st also continues its march forward this week. The finance committee on Wednesday will hear an update from Town Manager Scott Lambiase, as well as the status of the town’s inaugural five-year capital plan. With news that the town is slated to receive about $800,000 this year from the federal government, the town budget isn’t looking as stark as it once did. 


Annual town elections are scheduled for Saturday, April 24th. Voting will take place at the Beaver Brook Elementary School. Absentee ballots are now available at the town clerk’s office.

Abington News’ Question of the Week feature will be posted later this evening. 

In case you missed it, here are the responses to Week 1’s question.

Board of Selectmen

Board of Health

Also, Abington Community Access & Media will be releasing a series of Community Chats with candidates in the competitive races this Friday, April 9. Here are the links:

Board of Selectmen

Tim Chapin

Alex Hagerty

Christine Henrickson

Board of Health

Melissa Pond

Chris Schultz

Kevin Whalen

Abington News will be teaming up with ACAM to host a candidate’s form in the coming weeks.


The saga of 662 Adams St., will continue during Monday night’s Planning Board meeting. Robert Sullivan, who owns a trucking company, bought the former residential home in 2019. He subsequently leveled a hill in the back of the property, started commercial operations without securing needed town permits, and then ignored multiple cease and desist orders. The property is now undergoing site plan review, but the drama has pulled in his neighbors to the north and south. While leveling the hill on its property, Sullivan also struck a deal to level the hill on his neighbor’s residential property to the south, again without securing any town permits. Their relationship has since soured. Part of the removed hillside was dumped – improperly – along the property line Sullivan shares with his commercial neighbor to the north.  All three property owners will appear at tonight’s Planning Board meeting. Why does the planning board care about this stuff? A few reasons. Town zoning bylaws says people can’t buy residential homes and turn them into commercial properties without going through a “change of use” public hearing process. Every commercial property also needs to undergo site plan review to discuss drainage, traffic, parking, what will be stored on site, how contaminants will be collected and kept out of the ground or sewer system, etc. And removing hillsides and dramatically reworking grading can change how stormwater drains through an entire neighborhood.


Bud’s Goods & Provisions, the town’s first retail marijuana shop is weeks away from opening and the company is holding a job fair Wednesday and Thursday at its 1540 Bedford St., location. The shop is nearly built out, but must still undergo a series of local and state inspections before it can open, which has been pencilled in for May 1. 


The investigation continues into the large and largely unpermitted commercial operation at 267 North Quincy St, although town officials didn’t have much new to say. Fire Chief John Nuttall declined to comment late last week, saying the investigation is ongoing. Town Manager Scott Lambiase said mostly the same. “It would be a bit premature to comment on the outstanding issues at this time,” he said. The town also declined to release the report compiled following the March 23 multi-agency inspection of the site until the investigation is complete. Lambiase said the town continues to work with the owner’s son to compile a complete list of every tenant, including contact information, operating out of the location. 



Planning Board, 6 p.m., via Zoom. The agenda includes discussions about the state’s new Housing Choice Law and stormwater management regulations, a modification to the Eagle Estate subdivision plan, problems with the detention basin behind 12 John L. Sullivan Way, and public hearings about 652 Adams St., 662 Adams St., and 67 Oak St.

Board of Health, 6 p.m., via Zoom. The agenda includes discussions about the pandemic, the trash contract, the plastic bag ban, and the compost site. 


Parks & Recreation Commission, 7 p.m., Senior Center. The agenda includes discussions about the Eager Beaver Summer Camp and Island Grove Pool


Board of Assessors, 11 a.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes discussions about motor vehicle excise taxes, exemptions, and deferrals.

Finance Committee, 7 p.m., via Zoom. The agenda includes updates on the FY 22 budget, 5-year capital plan, the police chief search committee, and the fire station roof. 

Housing Authority, 5 p.m., via Zoom. The agenda includes a discussion about a DHCH Service Coordinator grant.


Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes discussions around 131 Lincoln St., 154 Brockton Ave., and 164 North Ave.

{DISCLOSURE: The author is a member of the Planning Board and is related to the chairwoman of the Parks & Recreation Commission.

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