I respectfully request that you consider a YES vote for Article 35 at the Hudson May Town Meeting. During a recent proposal to build a warehouse in Hudson our neighborhood became aware of a number of deficiencies in our current town Zoning By-Laws.
E-commerce has greatly expanded the variety and function of what in the 20th century was known as a “warehouse”. When warehouses are not sized correctly for their location that becomes a liability for the Town. The Institute of Traffic Engineers (ITE) has established multiple designations called Land Use Codes (LUC) for these specialized warehouses. With Article 35 the following definitions will be added to the By-Laws: Cold Storage Warehouse (LUC-157), Parcel Hub (LUC-156), Fulfillment Center (LUC-155), Transload Warehouse (LUC-154) and Standard Warehouse (LUC-150). Also included are the definitions of Warehouse Crossdocking Types. These definitions are important because the ITC has also established guidelines for the traffic generated based upon the size of the facility. A warehouse known as a parcel-hub will generate 2.6 times the traffic of “just a warehouse”. For a fulfillment center the traffic is 3.7 times as much. When developers are approved for “just a warehouse” they avoid the financial responsibility for wear and tear on our roads and traffic controls which are needed to moderate the congestion which accompanies these higher levels of traffic.
Article 35 will only define what would be built; it does NOT prevent a landowner from building what they wish on their land subject to the usual Planning Board approvals. The Article does not change the definition of “warehouse” because there is no definition in the By-Laws and it makes no change to the specific allowed uses in the By-Laws.
With the passing of Article 35 and the addition of these important definitions to the Zoning By-Laws; the Planning Board will have an important tool to use when doing Site Plan approvals in the future.