Lingering questions delay Planning Board decision on Westborough e-commerce distribution center project


Lingering questions delay Planning Board decision on Westborough e-commerce distribution center projectBy Susan Gonsalves, Contributing Writer

WESTBOROUGH – The Planning Board may vote July 6 on a proposed 221,256 square foot, single story e-commerce distribution center at 4400 Computer Drive. But first, members must be satisfied that outstanding concerns are addressed.

During a June 15 meeting, Robert Butler, representing the applicant Atlantic Management, noted that the board and abutters would have the opportunity to look at a sound accentuation study as soon as it is done.

In addition, he said he is prepared to come back next month with a set minimum number of vehicles that will be registered in and pay excise taxes to Westborough.

Thirdly, a work session will be held to discuss the possibility of linking this development project to Westborough’s Charm Bracelet trail system, which already winds though a number of properties in town. Representatives from the Land Trust and Conservation Commission would be present at that session.

“I’m not really psyched about closing the public hearing until abutters have the chance to see [the sound study] and comment on it,” said Planning Board Chair Mark Silverberg.

The developers intend to build a minimum 12-foot sound wall and fencing to alleviate the effects of noise on site and lights from vehicles. Butler said the wall would be constructed as early as possible during the expected 18-month project duration.

According to developers’ plans, the redevelopment of the site consists of demolition of existing structures and constructing the new building. The work will be done in phases. Following demolition, these include site grading, building pad construction, building construction, stormwater and utility installation, paving and landscaping and final stabilization zoning analysis for compliance with zoning by-laws.

The proposed center is located within the general industrial and industrial overlay zoning districts.

Butler gave the assurance that the sound study would encompass conditions during several times of year, taking into consideration changing traffic and vegetation patterns.

As a condition, the sound measures will be re-evaluated in 18 months.

Silverberg said there is “no guarantee” a final decision will be made on July 6.

“That Charm Bracelet is an important project to the town, decades in the making,” Silverberg said. “I don’t want to give up hope we can come up with an agreement on that.”


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