Westborough e-commerce project receives conditional approval

974

By Susan Gonsalves, Contributing Writer

A project to build a sprawling e-commerce distribution center at this property at 4400 Computer Drive in Westborough was recently approved by the Westborough Planning Board.
The property at 4400 Computer Drive contains a helipad, among other things. A project to build a sprawling e-commerce distribution center here was recently approved.
Photo/Laura Hayes

WESTBOROUGH – Satisfied that some lingering issues will be resolved, the Planning Board approved site plans for a proposed 221,256-square-foot, single story e-commerce distribution center on 4400 Computer Drive, July 6

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

Attorney Robert Butler, representing the applicant Atlantic Management, noted that a requested sound accentuation study was done and other conditions regarding linking trails, vehicle registrations and other factors would be met.

Butler spoke about plans to build at a minimum a 12-foot sound wall and fence to alleviate the effects of noise on site. He also detailed steps to shield lighting so it will not affect abutters.

The proposed sound barriers are expected to reduce site sound levels to well below the project’s goals based on professional experience, according to Michael Conaway, a consultant from Ostergaard Acoustical Associates. 

“I do not foresee complaints,” Conaway said. “It will blend in easily with the area.” 

Sound emissions from the facility were evaluated against applicable town and state noise codes. 

The site will add steady sound from rooftop HVAC equipment as well as intermittent sound from truck and personal passenger or local delivery vehicles, according to a sound report.

Additionally, trucks will have smart ambiance backing alarms that make more of a “shushing” noise rather than high frequency beeping. 

“It won’t be significantly annoying,” Conaway said.

Idling by vehicles will not be allowed for more than five minutes, noted Town Planner Jim Robbins, citing federal, state and local regulations.

Planning Board Chairman Mark Silverberg said it is important that the applicant be committed to revisiting the sound accentuation wall in 18 months to insure it is “doing its job,” and to make improvements if there is a problem.

Butler said it is clearly in the best interest of the developer to get this work right the first time and not have to make alterations down the line.

“I’m definitely convinced it will be an improvement over what we have now,” Silverberg said.

The developer will also conduct post-occupancy traffic monitoring focusing on the expected peak traffic period between Nov. 1 to Jan. 15 and agreed to make changes if there are any adverse effects. 

Butler said that a minimum of 200 facility vehicles would be attributed and registered to Westborough. Those would be responsible for paying excise taxes.

The applicant also agreed to give the town an easement and $20,000 to construct a trail on this property to link to the existing Charm Bracelet trail network. Those funds can also be used to enhance other public recreation areas, according to the agreement.

Another condition outlined by Robbins was that the owner/applicant obtain the services of a consultant at a cost up to $30,000. The consultant, before the building is occupied, would deliver a report after studying and identifying possible future infrastructure in the northeast quadrant area around the project.

RELATED CONTENT:

Planning board considers permanent restaurant outdoor seating (communityadvocate.com)

Select Board considers pursuing adoption of Community Preservation Act (communityadvocate.com)

Questions delay decision on Westborough e-commerce distribution center (communityadvocate.com)