One of the busiest places in Town Hall as of late has been the Building Department.
Yes, they’ve been busy reviewing building applications, issuing permits, and conducting inspections for all the new construction, remodeling, and additions happening in town.
But what’s also keeping them busy are the number of requests for significant zoning enforcement investigations. The issues at 267 North Quincy Street are probably the biggest and most well known. Fire Chief John Nuttall has been leading the overall response to the problems uncovered at that site, which include multiple zoning and building code violations.
For the past year, the Building Department has also been busy trying to bring to heel a rogue business at 667 Adams Street. A Milton man bought a home, illegally leveled a hill, started storing trucks on the site without seeking a single town permit, and then essentially ignored multiple cease and desist orders levied by the Building Department. That issue appears to be winding down as the Planning Board two weeks ago approved a site plan for the property that included restrictions on what can be stored there, and an increased vegetative buffer between the neighboring residential home. The neighbors last week told selectmen they were considering appealing the planning board’s permit while also criticizing the town’s overall response to the issue.
Tonight, the Board of Selectmen will discuss another new zoning enforcement complaint, this time at a collection of businesses owned off Hjelm Street. Vineyard Road resident William Creighton for several months has insisted that the property’s owner is violating Abington’s zoning rules by using part of the property to illegally store boats, trailers, and other vehicles, as well as blocking public and emergency access along the private way. Building Inspector Marshall Adams has insisted there are no violations, but Creighton has now officially asked the Board of Selectmen to order an investigation. (The property is owned by Conservation Commission Chairman Michael Noonan.)
Fire Chief Nuttall said in March when problems at North Quincy Street first came to light that he wanted to conduct similar investigations into two other properties: one nearby on North Quincy Street and another off Bedford Street. It’s not clear whether Nuttall was referring to the Hjelm Street property, but what is clear is that the Building Department will remain busy for the near future.
BUSY SELECTMEN’S AGENDA
Tonight’s Board of Selectmen’s agenda is sure to generate additional news. Chief Nuttall will update the board on 267 North Quincy Street, and how the owner is doing resolving the three dozen violations town officials found on the site. The board will also officially discuss the complaint at Hjelm Street. In addition, the board is expected to finalize an ad hoc committee that will help Town Manager Scott Lambiase choose a new police chief, hear from Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works Superintendent Joe LaPointe on water issues, an operation update from Deputy Police Chief Chris Cutter, approve a new cannabis Host Community Agreement with NashMac, LLC, and appoint a new committee that will be charged with issuing stormwater permits.
STATE OF EMERGENCY ENDING
The pandemic-related restrictions we’ve been living with for more than a year will be disappearing quickly. Gov. Charles Baker this morning announced that effective May 29, all businesses will be able to open at full capacity, and gathering limits will be dropped. Masks and social distancing will still be required in schools, on public transportation, and other congregate settings, however, as well as advised for those not vaccinated. Kids will be able to drop their masks at recess starting Tuesday, and be allowed to share items. Young athletes will also be able to play without masks starting Tuesday. The State of Emergency, which has allowed Gov. Baker to institute unprecedented restrictions, will end June 15.
The Abington Garden Club is holding their annual flower sale this coming Saturday. The event starts at 9 a.m. at the Butterfly Garden on Central Street.
The town Compost Site on Groveland Street will be open this Saturday – and every Saturday until November – from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Weather dependent of course. And not on July 3.
Aside from being to drop off yard waste, Abington residents can also drop off a number of household items for recycling, including mattresses, computers, TVs and monitors, washers and dryers, and lawnmowers. There is a fee associated with disposing most of these items. Fridges and dishwashers are among the items that can’t be taken. If you have questions, contact the Health Department at 781-982-2119
A reminder: Town Meeting is Monday, May 24.
Here is a link to the Special and Annual Town Meeting warrants.
And more information on what attendees can expect at Town Meeting.
Finally, Moderator Shawn Reilly has a preview of all agenda items.
Abington News will have additional information on the budget and warrant articles in the coming days.
Planning Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a public hearing on town meeting articles affecting retail marijuana licenses and penalties for builders that violate site plans.
Board of Selectmen, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes updates on 267 North Quincy Street, a complaint about businesses on Hjelm Street, a vote on a cannabis Host Community Agreement for NashMac, LLC, and updates on the police chief search committee, police department operations, and the town’s water situation.
Board of Health, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes discussions around COVID-19 and the vaccination effort, regulations regarding donation bins, and an update on the board vacancy.
Council on Aging, 6 p.m., Senior Center. Agenda includes the director’s May report.
Parks & Recreation Commission, 7:30 p.m., Senior Center. Agenda includes a discussion about the Island Grove gazebo, complaints about dogs in the parks, and updates on the Island Grove Pool and Eager Beaver camps.