TIDS n BITS: AEF meets tonight; ConCom walk through, playground committee Thursday; Planning Board results

AEF holds first meeting of school year Wednesday

The Abington Education Foundation, which provides grants to Abington teachers looking to supplement in-class curriculum, will hold its first meeting of the new school year tonight. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Meier Room at Town Hall. The foundation in the past has held a number of fundraising events including an annual trivia night, parents’ night out, and Abington-themed home decor items. Questions about the foundation can be emailed to aefinformation@gmail.com

ConCom walking through Dale St site

This time the walk through is posted and they have the owner’s permission. The Conservation Commission will check out 75 Dale Street this Thursday at 4 p.m. The homeowner, Richard Montgomery, is looking to figure out a new driveway or access point for the home currently on the site, which is located on the other side of the Shumatuscacant River. The land the current driveway sits on would be split off onto a separate lot under a plan Montgomery proposed in order to consolidate the property’s seven lots into two. Four Conservation Commission members visited the site last month under the impression they had Montgomery’s permission to do so; he later said they didn’t. During that visit one Commission member hit Montgomery on the back of his hand in a “slap on the wrist” type of gesture. Montgomery later told the Board of Selectmen the meeting left him feeling intimidated and harrassed; two of the other Commission members involved strenuously rejected Montgomery’s version of events (wrist slap aside). The fourth member was on a phone call during most of the conversation with Montgomery. The Board of Selectmen voted to dismiss three of the Commission members and suspend a fourth for 15 days. The Commission is currently down to five voting members while Selectmen entertain new applicants.

The official walk through is open only to Commission members and Montgomery’s team. However, Doug Ulwick, whose Dale Street home abuts the site, is offering a concurrent tour of Oakland Road, which is a road that exists only on paper but abuts both Ulwick’s and Montgomery’s property.

Ulwick asked that the tour be non-confrontational. “Please keep in mind that I support the idea of the project, but have concerns with the way it’s being carried out,” he wrote.   

A map of parcels off Dale Street and Oakland Road (a paper road) and owners, prepared by Doug Ulwick

Beaver Brook Playground Committee meets Thursday

The group looking to raze, reimagine, and rebuild the Beaver Brook Playground meets Thursday at 7 p.m., at the DPW Building on Summer Street. The agenda includes updates on past fundraising activities and future fundraising activities being planned. The group is currently selling bricks to help raise money.

Brockton Ave sewer work starts Monday

Be ready for traffic slow downs on Brockton Avenue (Route 123) starting Monday. Crews replacing a major sewer main in town are finishing work on Niles Street this week and will then jump over to Brockton Avenue. The crew working on Summer Street still has a couple more weeks of work, DPW Director John Stone said.

Planning Board results from Monday night meeting

The Planning Board met for nearly three hours Monday night. Here’s what happened:

1437 Bedford Street (cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, retail operation) – Gary Leonard, the company’s president, will be back in October with an updated application that corrects a handful of errors. The board voted no traffic study was needed as it’s an existing commercial facility and previous studies of cannabis shops in Abington have shown they have little impact on traffic. The building will grow cannabis on two floors inside the facility with an 800 square foot retail space up front. Leonard said he hopes to buy the property outright in about five years, at which time the school buses currently stored on site will be relocated.

500 Chestnut Street – The Board said informally they would be open to a design change that relocates the commercial development’s ring road. Project attorney Shawn Reilly said the changes should not result in an increase in paved surfaces, or further impact wetlands – but that they will have hard numbers once engineers draw up plans. Reilly said property owner Peter Fiore didn’t want to spend thousands on engineering plans if the Planning Board wasn’t open to the change. There were no comments from the public.

380 Brockton Avenue – The Board postponed action until November on a proposal to construct a 4-unit rental townhouse building at 380 Brockton Ave. Each unit would be about 10 x 31 and two stories each. The building would be very close to wetlands in multiple spots. Mento, the project applicant, is scheduled to appear before the Zoning Board and Conservation Commission in the coming weeks.

67 Oak Street/262 Adams Street – The ongoing saga surrounding this triangular area of industrial land continues. The Planning Board approved a pair of retroactive fill permits for these properties – a year after the owner of the Adams Street property illegally leveled a hill on his lot and the lot next door. Some of it was pushed onto the lot line dividing the Adams and Oak Street properties. The berm will be lowered, leveled, and landscaped. The Adams Street owner also trucked in about 500 cubic yards of crushed gravel to his property. The town allows 250 cubic yards before a permit is required.

75 Dale Street – The property owner asked the discussion be continued until after the Conservation Commission finishes its review (see above).

267 North Quincy Street – This is the property at the center of a town lawsuit over the owner’s failure to address a number of major health, safety, and zoning code regulations. One of the property’s tenants, Needle Landscaping, who was specifically singled out in town reports as being in compliance, is looking to buy about half of the troubled property. The company asked the Board to subdivide the lot so it can be split off, which the Board approved by a 4-1 vote. [Rick Collins, the publisher of Abington News, was the lone “no” vote, arguing that the Board shouldn’t be subdividing land while the land is subject to an active legal action by the Town.]

[DISCLOSURE: The author of this article is a member of the Planning Board; his wife is chair of AEF and a member of the Beaver Brook Playground Committee.]