Imagine that you bought your dream house in a bucolic neighborhood on a tree-lined cul-de-sac called Heather’s Path in Plympton.
Yes, there is a busy street nearby, and some light commercial property, but plenty of vegetation blocking any of that. When you bought the property, you knew there might be a chance of further development, but that was not a primary concern.
And then a certified letter showed up in the mail in January, 2015 showing a giant development to be built behind you. Each iteration gets larger, and stranger. A hotel going up behind Tractor Supply? On a river that doesn’t exist? This couldn’t be real, right?
But it is.
And not only that, one to three residents of Plympton whose property straddle the Carver/Plympton line are having their Carver property threatened to be taken by eminent domain.
This is Melissa Singletary’s nightmare. Her back yard will be nearly eliminated should the project move forward as proposed. Singletary is terrified that she will have to walk away from her home after living their just 2 1/2 years.
“This is my retirement. A lot of sleep has been lost thinking about this,” in the last 18 months, she says. Other neighbors, Nancy and Gordon Massingham of Montello Street may lose their driveway, while other long-time residents cannot imagine the changes to their neighborhood that the development will bring, especially those who live on Montello Street and Heather’s Path.
Jeanne Winslow, of Heather’s Path, said she had received a notice from the Carver Planning Board that up to 30-50 trucks a day would pass through the Plympton section of Montello Street during the construction phase, raising safety issues.
The developer, Route 44 Development, has proposed the project. The latest iteration of the proposal, according to residents, references a U.S. Supreme Court case involving New London, CT granting expansion in the eminent domain powers of governments, allowing private property to be taken for commercial development if it benefits a city or town.
Carver Selectman Alan Dunham has said previously that the project will not include a hotel, and is still in the early stages of planning. But despite his assurances of plans being in the early stage, the Carver Redevelopment Authority just sent the plans to a consultant for further updates. Recently provided plans look quite detailed.
This group of residents has been appealing to the Carver Selectmen and the Carver Redevelopment Authority, but those land-owners or neighbors are not having their voices heard, they say.
“We are being treated like second-class citizens [by the Carver authorities],” said Singletary. “We are nothing to them.”
The group has said that they have come up with multiple solutions that would alleviate their concerns, only to have their fears fall on deaf ears.
The situation continues to be volatile.