PLYMPTON/CARVER– At a dramatic meeting of the Carver Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday, July 18, Carver Town Planner Marlene McCollem informed the authority that it would take just a simple vote to redraw the lines of the area targeted for “redevelopment” in Carver around parcels that straddle the border, in order to get them off a list of properties slated to be taken by eminent domain.
They did just that in a shocking reversal, seemingly unaware of the ongoing discussions residents from Plympton had been having since January 2015, when they were told that they were abutters to an “urban renewal” project. Residents say they have been attending meetings for months to oppose the project, but the Plympton opposition seemed shocking to one member of the board.
Route 44 Development, the self-described “bullish” developer stated they never wanted anything to do with the Plympton parcels that showed up on a list of properties slated for possible seizure by eminent domain.
“65% of your property is in Carver, and you bought the property knowing that?” a board member asked Richard Jackson of Heather’s Path, Plympton, only to be chastised by the Carver Town Planner who noted that it, “is very common along our borders…” to have parcels in Carver and another town.
The Plympton residents have been bolstered by the support of Plympton Selectmen, and present were Christine Joy and John Traynor, who both spoke in support of Plympton residents who will be affected by the proposed large, mixed use development behind Montello Street in the north-west corner of Carver. Montello Street runs through both towns. Traynor spoke of protecting Plympton residents and Joy challenged planners to stop relying so heavily on Montello Street for their concept.
Although several residents of both towns expressed relief about the vote, many continued to express displeasure with the project in general.
One resident, from Carver, is fighting cancer right now as the developer is trying to reach a deal to buy their home. Two other residents from Carver have apparently reached settlements.
A Plympton couple from Montello Street say their mortgage is “underwater” because of the uncertainty with the project, which townspeople have said has always seemed somewhat half-baked to begin with, showing hotels on rivers that don’t exist, and so on.
Residents of Heather’s Path, all with Plympton addresses, don’t believe that any of them could sell their homes right now due to the situation and many have voiced their opposition based on the fear that their home values will plummet should the project move forward.