Stop the Warehouse in East Longmeadow
Our peaceful town of East Longmeadow is about to be invaded with hundreds of tractor trailer trucks everyday! We need to STOP THE WAREHOUSE! A developer is proposing to take over our residential community by building a 562,860 square foot warehouse on the grounds of the old Package Machinery at 330 Chestnut Street, across from Lenox. This warehouse will contain 100 docking bays for tractor trailer trucks as well as 150 parking spaces for 18-wheelers. It is proposed to be 8 feet above grade and 3 stories high.
Having this warehouse in our quiet town will cause a traffic nightmare, specifically at the intersections of Shaker Road and Chestnut Street, as well as Chestnut Street and Dwight Rd. In addition, the constant flow of big trailor trucks traveling through our town and idling at the warehouse will cause unhealthy air pollution, never-ending engine noise, light pollution at night, and road damage from overuse.
Currently there are no limits on hours of operation, traffic volume, truck routes, noise levels, lighting,
type of warehouse operation, housing of hazardous materials, etc.
PLEASE JOIN US in letting the East Longmeadow Conservation Commission and Planning Board know that we don't want it to be built and we think there are better uses for the property. We must stand together and save our community and environment!
East Longmeadow Conservation Commission
East Longmeadow High School Auditorium
180 Maple Street
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
East Longmeadow Planning Board
COA Auditorium at the Pleasant View Senior Center
328 North Main Street
Tuesday, September 20, 2022
The building on 330 Chestnut Street building was built in the early 40’s to expand the manufacturing capacity of Hamilton Standard to support the War effort. The Interstate highway system had not yet been built or even contemplated and the main means of industrial transportation of goods and materials in the United States was the railroad. The facility was serviced by its own rail siding. That year, the population of East Longmeadow was 3,403 and Longmeadow was 5,790*. After the end of WWII, the war plant was no longer needed and production was shut down. In 1947, Package Machinery purchased the property and expanded into the East Longmeadow building, where it designed and built precision wrapping machines, bagging machines, flow wrappers, bundlers, carton formers, scales, and case packers -- essentially light manufacturing.
At that time, Interstate 91 did not exist and the main road north and south was Route 5 in Longmeadow. The heavy trucking industry was in its infancy and most goods and materials traveled by rail. There were almost no houses in the area of Chestnut Street and the dense development of houses stretching from Laurel Street in Longmeadow to East Longmeadow center did not exist. It was basically waste land and sand dunes all the way. In 1950 the East Longmeadow population had grown to 4,881 and Longmeadow to 6,508*. The road from Longmeadow to East Longmeadow was a country road with very little traffic, and truck traffic on that road resulting from the manufacturing activity on Chestnut Street as negligible. Light manufacturing does not result in heavy trucking activity.
In the late ‘50s, the sand from the dunes was trucked off to build I91 and the open land from Laurel Street in Longmeadow to East Longmeadow center began to fill with new homes and schools for families moving out from the city. The country roads became crowded streets with busy intersections requiring traffic lights to control the volume.
In 1986 Package Machinery closed up the plant and it was pretty much unoccupied until HalMar, a local distributor of small household appliances from Holyoke purchased the building to relocate sometime in the mid ‘90s. They immediately encountered major software problems that prevented them from picking orders, and they closed their doors and went out of business without ever becoming operational. At that time, the Fields at Chestnut and the many houses in the area had not yet been built, and the challenges with increase truck traffic did not exist. There has been no significant use of the facility contemplated from then until now.
When the warehouse at 330 Chestnut Street was first built and when a new zoning map was published in 1943 and revised in November 1946 to extend the Industrial District to include the Pratt & Whitney aircraft plant that was built early in World War II, those good folks of East Longmeadow had no idea that the population would grow so rapidly and the area would develop into primarily suburban homes. The town fathers certainly could not foresee the advent of heavy trailer trucks serving a gigantic modern distribution industry.
The current population East Longmeadow was 16,420 in 2020*. The population of Longmeadow was 15,853*. Homes surround Chestnut Street, and the idea of traffic that would bring in hundreds of large trailer trucks during peak hours would cripple the community and drive down the value of homes, the principle source of tax revenue for the town.
Access to the Interstate, the main conduit for moving goods and materials, is poor, requiring driving big trailer trucks on heavily traveled roads through the centers of Longmeadow or East Longmeadow. One must question the sustainability of a distribution center located that far from the Interstate. We do not need a development that will fail and eventually be again empty and unused.
*Population figures from the US Census records.
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Don't let our town be jammed by big trailor trucks