HANSON — Redevelopment of the 1057 Main St. site where a former Ocean Spray building was demolished in June 2011 has been stalled ever since due to environmental concerns at the site.
Property owner Joseph Marangiello of Pembroke has now developed a pared-down plan for building on the footprint of the razed buildings, but has had difficulty negotiating the permitting process. He met with the Conservation Commission Tuesday, July 14 to determine the next step — filing a revised or new notice of intent for the project, as the present one dealt only with demolition.
Marangiello has spent more than $1 million on the site since he bought it, including the demolition work. He said that he had, in fact, “given up” on the property for three and a half years, but changed his mind when someone offered to buy the property.
“If he can do it, I can do, too,” Marangiello said.
Selectman James McGahan, who has been working with Marangiello, and former Conservation Commission member Mark Vess have indicated their willingness to assist in the new notice of intent process.
“I just want something done with the property,” McGahan said after the Conservation Commission meeting. “It’s been too long this way. It looks run down. It looks awful and I’d like to see some progress.”
Several town officials have pointed to the site along the busy Route 27 corridor as a priority for economic development. Marangiello has three businesses he wants to build for on the site.
“I know something needs to be done with it,” McGahan said. “I’m also going to recommend strongly that he has an architect speak to him … he can’t do these things himself.”
Marangiello, a woodworker originally from Italy, has also been dealing with a language barrier and unfamiliarity with the zoning process. He pledged to obtain a copy of the NOI on Wednesday, July 15 and to obtain the assistance he needs.
The new project Marangiello is proposing will be a 23,000-square-foot building on the foundation left from the 2011 demolition — down from the 60,000 square-foot plan he proposed in the past. The larger building would have encroached on nearby wetlands.
“What he’s proposing is a little different from what he received approval for,” Town Planner Laurie Muncy told commission members. “I had him come in to talk to you before he gets any deeper in drawing up plans and kind of get some feedback from you.”
Conservation Chairman John Kemmett asked if Marangiello had complied with all the orders of condition on the original notice of intent covering the demolition work.
Marangiello said he was uncertain about that.
“We should probably figure that out first,” Kemmett said. “The notice of intent that you have with us right now is pretty specific about what was to be done, what you were planning on doing at that time. But now you’ve changed that.”
The original notice of intent has been extended and is good through 2018.
“I’m sure you do plan to rebuild and I hope you do it, but in order to do it, you have to comply with the regulations that we have,” Kemmett said. He added that Marangiello needs to solidify his new proposal in a set of drawings and provide a notice of intent so the commissioners “have a place of discussion.”
Kemmett said the property has been an issue — under different owners — for the entire eight years he has served on the Conservation Commission. Vess indicated there had been issues at the site going back about 35 years.
“You could close the old [NOI],” added Conservation member Frank Schellenger. “It would be more likely that it would be easier to amend the one that exists. … Let’s face it, this site has a lot of issues and there’s a lot of history there and it’s not [Marangiello’s] fault. It’s not an easy site to approve.”
Schellenger also raised the issue of past environmental problems at the site.
Marangiello had admitted in 2011 that there were problems with the first company he hired for demolition. He then brought in Envirotest Inc., of Boston, to draw up a removal plan accepted by MassDEP, and Environment Resources Services in Middleboro to do the abatement and removal work when asbestos was detected at the site. Asbestos was initially confined to a 90-foot pipe, but became mixed into other debris as friable particles during the first phase of demolition.
Water flow into the foundation has also been a problem.