Welcome to our little New England town. We have a beautiful aqueduct bridge and the steeples of 200-year-old churches rising over a town common. We have ponds, trails, endangered blue-spotted salamanders, and warehouses.
We're busy, productive New Englanders. We like to have lots going on. We're happy to share our space with companies that provide fair-wage jobs, as long as we all treat the environment with respect, neighbors treat each other with respect, and as long as our town roads are safe.
Right now, we have a problem.
Bartlett Street in Northborough, MA is a good example of how things are changing in suburban communities. Large distribution companies like Amazon and Federal Express are moving their distribution centers into the suburbs. One half of Bartlett Street is zoned residential and home to trailheads, a peaceful pond, several antique homes and two schools, Algonquin Regional High School and St. Bernadette's Catholic school (K-8). The other half is zoned industrial.
Currently, proposed warehouses include:
1) 0 Bartlett St. - this site directly abuts Algonquin Regional High School. The applicant, The Gutierrez Company, seeks to build a 150,000 sq. ft. warehouse on the parcel, which is the perfect size and location (close to Route 495) for an Amazon last mile distribution facility. Last mile facilities are where vans leave in droves to deliver packages to your door. While both Amazon and Gutierrez deny that this is the intention for the warehouse, Gutierrez was the developer and contractor for the Amazon warehouse at 330/350 Bartlett Street and this plan would fit squarely within both companies' strategic goals. Gutierrez also has a history of conservation violations on their 330/350 Bartlett St properties (see 3/9/20 Conservation Commission minutes, pg. 5 and 5/13/19 Conservation Commission minutes, pg. 4)
2) 1 Lyman St. (at the intersection of Bartlett and Lyman St.) - the applicant for this site, Cable Matters Inc., has already gotten approval from the ZBA for a Land Use Variance (meeting linked here starting at the 2:05 mark ) even though their site plan sits atop Groundwater Protection Overlay 1, the most important area of influence as it is closest to the aquifers, our backup water system. The lot also contains and abuts wetlands. The plans consist of a 148'x128' building plus loading dock including a 17,000 sq. ft. warehouse and 6,000 sq. ft. of office space. The site is currently used for residential purposes with an historically significant colonial home and barns (circa 1830), all of which will be torn down. This area of Lyman St. was identified by the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission as very precarious and is already a dangerous intersection without an additional warehouse. Even though the ZBA's Land Use Variance decision is being challenged by abutters via appeal in Land Court, CMI is currently seeking site plan advice from the Design Review Committee and site plan/special permit approval from the Planning Board. They will also separately need a new demolition permit to raze the existing historic home/barns (historically registered) and approval from the Conservation Committee. We encourage any resident who opposes this plan to email the Planning Board with their questions and concerns (PlanningBoard@town.northborough.ma.us).
HOW IT STARTED
HOW IT'S GOING
Car Collides with Fed Ex Truck at 300 Bartlett St.
Truck Jackknifed on Bartlett St.
Trucks using tiny cul-de-sac streets as a turnaround
School bus forced to the side of the road due to an Amazon truck heading into oncoming traffic.
Truck on Ridge Road
Truck on wrong side of the road during St. Bernadette dismissal
Truck making a right from the left hand lane
Truck pulled over on Bartlett St. while other trucks are forced to go around it