Metal recycling company appears to be doing business despite order

Jan 10, 2012
Courtesy of: John and Deborah McGonnell Cease and Desist Order

To the Editor:

Following is a copy of a letter we sent to the Wareham Board of Selectmen on January 1 regarding the enforcement of a Cease and Desist Order issued on November 30, 2011 to Atlantic Metal Recycling at 3127 Cranberry Highway.

As of January 10, it appears the company is still doing business at this location.

There is a Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing on Wednesday, January 11, regarding the Atlantic Metal Recycling expansion. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall cafeteria.

Dear Selectmen:

On March 21, 2011, the Town of Wareham issued a business certificate to Atlantic Recycling (copy attached). Please note the conspicuous absence of the word “metal” in the name of the business. Please also note there is nothing on this form to indicate the type of work to be performed at this location.

In a letter dated June 15, 2011 (copy attached), Myles Burke of Inspectional Services denied the request of Atlantic Metal Recycling to construct “an outdoor recycling area with a drive on scale” and advised Atlantic Metal Recycling that “this type of activity requires a special permit” from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

By notice dated November 16, 2011 (copy attached), the Town of Wareham notified the abutters of 3127 Cranberry Highway of Atlantic Metal Recycling‘s petition (# 34-11) for special permit or variance so it could enlarge its on-going business operation at 3127 Cranberry Highway.

A metal recycling business is an industrial use and should never have been allowed to open and begin operation in a strip commercial zone without first obtaining a special permit or variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. It was not until Atlantic Metal Recycling wished to substantially expand its operation by adding a 45-long truck scale, six loading lanes and six large bins encased in concrete blocks that it applied to the ZBA for a public hearing.

On November 29, 2011, we e-mailed a letter to the ZBA outlining the reasons we object to this industrial business operating illegally in a strip commercial zone (copy attached). In addition to the fact that the lot size falls far short of the requirements stated in the Wareham Zoning Bylaws, this type of industrial use is simply inappropriate for this strip commercial zone location which abuts several residential neighborhoods and is a gateway to our community.

On November 30, 2011, Myles Burke issued a Cease and Desist Order (copy attached) which states in part, “All persons are hereby ordered to CEASE and DESIST any and all use or occupancy and to not do any further work on this land or structure.”

In the more than 30 days since the issuance of this order, however, Atlantic Metal Recycling has shown a blatant disregard of this order, and work at 3127 Cranberry Highway continues six days a week.

On several occasions, Mr. Burke personally informed us he was going to visit the business location. He also informed us the owner of the business advised him he was seeking another location in Wareham and needed “a few days” to clear out. [At the request of Atlantic Metal Recycling, the ZBA postponed to January 11, 2012 its hearing on Atlantic’s petition to enlarge its operation. This hearing pertains to an expansion of what is there now – the proposed construction of “an outdoor recycling area with a drive-on scale” – and does not address the fact that this business has been operating for months without the required special permit or variance.]

According to the Wareham Zoning Bylaws, Section 1432, Prosecution of Violation (copy attached), if a Cease and Desist order is ignored, it is up to the Selectmen to “institute the appropriate action” to ensure compliance (see paragraph 1432.1). Further, paragraph 1432.2 addresses the fine for non-compliance (not more than $300.00 for each violation) and clearly states that each day a violation continues is a separate offense.

We respectfully request that the Selectmen look into this matter and instruct the Zoning Enforcement Officer to enforce the Cease and Desist Order he issued on November 30, 2011. We further ask that the Selectmen advise us whether or not the applicable fines have been levied against Atlantic Metal Recycling in the face of non-compliance with the Cease and Desist Order.


John and Deborah McGonnell



Comments (5)
Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Jan 11, 2012 15:41

I had the BOS meeting on in the background last night at home.  Did I hear correctly that Myles Burke essentially confirmed the concerns expressed here recently on this issue by September McCarthy, BigBrother, and the McGonnell's etc?


Mike F.

Posted by: September McCarthy | Jan 11, 2012 18:03

Maybe I missed it but I did watch most of the BOS meeting last night and only heard Mr. Andrews talk about the task force he is setting up focused on code enforcement (the "dirty dozen" as he said). There was no discussion of this issue of Atlantic Metal Recycling despite the fact the McGonnell's letter (above) was sent to each of the selectmen. There was no indication that this task force is going to address this particular problem. It is, in fact, up to the selectmen to assist in enforcing Burke's cease and desist, and to impose the penalties for ignoring it. I'm interested to see if they show up for the ZBA Hearing tonight on their request for expansion, and given the circumstances, what the ZBA will say.

Posted by: P-SPAN | Jan 11, 2012 18:32
Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Jan 11, 2012 21:49

Dave, in case I haven't said it lately, YOUDAMAN!  Thanks for doing what you do so that we can all be informed on our own time whenever we wish.

September, if you start at about 3:40 of the meeting video that Dave just posted, there is a discussion about Atlantic Metal Recycling. 


It was impromptu, and I thank Mike Schneider for bringing it up.

Posted by: September McCarthy | Jan 12, 2012 06:07

The ZBA met last night and opened the hearing for Atlantic Metal Recycling whose attorney spoke at length. The ZBA asked AMR to decide if they were applying for a special permit and if so, then the ZBA is going to require a full site plan review due to the fact that AMR's request is a change of use and they are also an accessory use to the primary use and owner of the property, Thomas Michael Kitchens. A full site plan review is very costly and includes landscaping, wastewater management, and other aspects. The hearing is continued until February 8. Of course the issue of the cease and desist was not addressed (it is not the responsibility of the ZBA), so it still is in force and the Selectmen and the Director of Inspectional Services need to enforce it.

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