Cape Cod Lumber expansion on busy Planning Board agenda

[DISCLOSURE: The author of this article is a member of the Planning Board.]

Cape Cod Lumber is looking to expand its Abington headquarters by adding three new storage buildings in the back right corner of its 56-acre Groveland Street property. 

The request is one of multiple projects on the Planning Board’s agenda Monday night, including the ongoing review of an unpermitted commercial business on Adams Street. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Town Hall. The public is able to attend. It could be lengthy.

Cape Cod Lumber moved from its longtime Bedford Street location to Groveland Street a decade ago, opting to build a new, larger, consolidated operation on the site of a former driving range. The site currently consists of a primary building that includes a retail store, office space, and drive-in lumber yard, a second building for its design center, and a third structure that’s used for storage. The company is asking to build three new structures totaling 20,000 square feet.  

“The owner and Cape Cod Lumber now desire to construct three additional accessory storage buildings with expanded pavement at the northeast/rear corner of the storage area in order to make the business more efficient, enhance site security and safety, and to protect their stores goods and materials from the weather,” the project’s attorney, Shawn Reilly, wrote in a letter to the Planning Board. 

The buildings will cut into an existing grassy hillside towards the rear of the property but project documents say it won’t require cutting down any more trees. The buildings would also be slightly further away from homes on Daniel Drive than the existing storage shed. 

Monday’s discussion is part of a public hearing, which means residents are able to speak on the project.  

Also on the Planning Board agenda:

  • A developer is looking to build a 10-unit apartment building at 176 Wales Street, which is currently an overgrown empty lot next to the Arnold Shoeworks complex.
  • The board will again discuss 662 Adams Street, the location of a commercial truck storage operation that’s currently under a cease-and-desist order. The owner bought a residential property, leveled a hillside, started operations without securing any required permits and licenses, and then ignored multiple cease and desist notices from the town starting last year. The Planning Board has been reviewing a proposed site plan for the business for multiple months now. Next door neighbors to the property showed up to last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting asking that panel to crack down harder on the business owner.  
  • The board will also meet with the owner of 67 Oak Street, who illegally received a lot of the fill that was removed from 662 Adams Street, which is located next door. A 6-foot pile of fill currently sits along the shared rear lot lines of the two properties. 
  • The owner of 513 Washington Street is asking permission to split up the first-floor office space, and turn half into a new apartment. The property is the former home of Slattery Insurance. Under existing zoning rules, no more than 50% of the building can be used for residential purposes. 
  • Design work is underway for a new roundabout at the Hancock and Chestnut Street intersection, and the Planning Board is being asked to provide input.
  • The Planning Board is also being asked by the town to provide thoughts about the 40B affordable housing project being proposed for Summer Street. The Planning Board doesn’t have a formal role in the project permitting process – that part is overseen by the Zoning Board of Appeals. But all town boards and departments are asked to provide thoughts to the state while it considers whether to allow the project to move forward (which it wil do).
  • As Town Meeting nears, the Planning Board will discuss a proposed bylaw requiring subdivisions to put additional money into a trust to cover the cost of maintaining retention basins. 
  • It will also discuss a rewrite of the town’s existing Flood Plain Wetland Protection District bylaw. The new language is effectively managed by the state. 
  • Finally, the board will also discuss changes to the town’s marijuana bylaws. The changes will bring the town’s bylaws in line with new regulations passed by the state Cannabis Control Commission around delivery operations. 
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