NORTH SMITHFIELD – With the town now in litigation over violations on his Victory Highway property, Michael Mongeon, owner of North Smithfield Tree Service, has purchased a small, neighboring plaza.
According to town property records, Mongeon recently purchased 921 Victory Highway, a three-unit building that is home to North Smithfield Animal Hospital, among others, for $400,000 from Simpson Realty, LLC.
A broker directory notes the company is owned by Craig Simpson, who ran a physical therapy practice in the rear unit of the building for may years until it recently closed. The one-story plaza was built in 1973, and Simpson bought the lot from former owner Wallace Dumais, for $500,000 in 2001. It was listed for sale last year for $589,000.
The .69 acre lot includes 25 parking spaces and also holds Lifespan Laboratories and The Juice Box.
Mongeon’s abutting lot at 905 Victory Highway has been the subject of scrutiny in recent months over storage of logs, equipment and other items belonging to his tree business. The owners of around 30 neighboring properties on Homecrest Avenue and Ferrier Street signed a petition last June asking the Town Council to take action to clean up the property, which they said held piles of asphalt, dirt, and dumpsters, in violation of town zoning laws.
Noting that town officials have issued numerous citations over the past four years, councilors said in December that they were considering filing a lawsuit in state Superior Court to compel action on the land. An attorney speaking on Mongeon’s behalf said that he has been unable to find a suitable property in town where he can relocate the business.
Mongeon also owns a second abutting lot at 16 Ferrier St. All three are zoned “business neighborhood.”
Discussion and/or action of a potential suit was among items listed on the Town Council’s agenda for Tuesday, Dec. 16.
Town Solicitor David Igliozzi told councilors this week that an action requesting injunctive relief on the property was granted in Rhode Island Superior Court. The preliminary injunction dictates that oversized logs, machinery and trucks must be removed from the lot within 30 days.
“We qualified for emergency relief. We argued that there was danger from the logs,” Igliozzi said, noting that since then, “Progress has been made.”
“Most of the logs are gone,” agreed Councilor Paul Vadenais. “He is making progress.”
The court is expected to a review cleanup of the property on Friday, March 5.