Say NO to Medford Warehouse Pollution, Noise & Traffic Nightmare

Say NO to Medford Warehouse Pollution, Noise & Traffic Nightmare

Started
October 7, 2022
Signatures: 244Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Natalie Amaro

Please save our community! Keep Medford a place where families want to live. Warehouses bring many negative consequences and tend to be subsidized by the taxpayers. Please sign the petition to protect our town.

Dear Fellow Medford Residents:

Currently, there are several approved warehouse projects in Suffolk County. One of them is a project on North Service Rd at exit 66 in Yaphank which plans to build 3 warehouses totaling 550,000 sqft. In addition to the many acres of woods that will be destroyed, the traffic burden is expected to be significant. The traffic study done for that site estimates that the trip generation rate for ‘weekday morning peak hour’ will be a total of 93 (representing a combination of vehicles entering and exiting). Extrapolating this observed rate to our warehouse (73% smaller) will give the Medford warehouse a 68-vehicle trip rate during peak morning hours. This can vary tremendously based on the actual warehouse use, which we do not even know yet!

This petition addresses the warehouse proposal for South Service Rd between exits 64 and 65 in Medford. Specifically, Lincoln (Medford) Logistics LLC is planning to build a 390,000 sqft warehouse that will be 55 ft tall (and thus require a variance). Most warehouses are 36 to 40 feet high. The Town has already voted to change the zoning to Industrial, even though this property abuts a residential area and will be within 125 ft of the nearest constructed residential property line and within 50 feet of currently vacant residential land. Additionally, although there will be impacts to the environment, the Town has waived the need for any environmental impact studies (e.g., diesel exhaust and particulate matter impact to residential properties, noise impact, impact of removing 70% of existing wooded area, threats to natural habitat of wildlife including the inevitable relocation into residential areas of these animals, air quality issues for residents living near the warehouse and concomitant effects on compromised/fragile populations with asthma and COPD).

 Signing this petition will give us a voice and a fighting chance against a developer with deep pockets. All we are asking is for Lincoln Logistics LLC to work with the residents of Medford so this can be a mutually beneficial endeavor. Unfortunately, during the hearing for a change of zone at the Town meeting, Medford Logistics LLC rejected many of the requests/suggestions by residents and the Town Board members. Warehouses are a tremendously lucrative and growing opportunity for developers. If this developer refuses to acknowledge its neighbors’ concerns, then surely there are other developers that would gladly take their place.

We, as a community, will not necessarily see a benefit. We will have more pollution, more road traffic and damage due to the tractor trailers, and some of us will be constantly bombarded by the noise of beeping trucks (even during overnight hours). This company (Lincoln Logistics LLC) has been approved (in upstate NY Valley Cottage) for almost $3 million in tax breaks and they are negotiating with the town, county, and school districts to make a payment in lieu of taxes! So, basically, we may foot the tax bill as well! As for jobs, those may come from out of town with whomever they decide to lease these spaces to. The developer claims in their paperwork that the warehouse will create 300 full-time jobs. This is in stark contrast to a report that their warehouse upstate (which is slightly smaller) will create 15 full-time jobs? Regardless, most will likely be minimum wage. They are also hiring non-union workers using an out-of-state contractor at their upstate Valley Cottage site. Warehouses get millions in tax breaks, and economic analyses have indicated that it is the community who subsidizes these warehouses when it comes to taxes. Our community may be the overall loser here. I urge you to sign this petition because we deserve to be heard and our concerns deserve to be addressed. Thank you.

(Below you will find the specific points of the petition)

To: Town of Brookhaven Division of Planning, Environmental, and Land Management

James M. Tullo, Commissioner

Tara McLaughlin, Deputy Commissioner

Steven J. Wilutis, Esq., Chairperson

Karen L. Dunne, Esq., Deputy Chairperson

Patricia Kelly

John Rose

Richard Smith

Joseph M. Donnelly

 

From: Residents of Medford

Re: Medford Logistics LLC proposed warehouse site at 440 Express Drive South, Medford, NY 11763

SCTM: 0200-736.00-01.00-002.002

We, the undersigned, are concerned residents living in the area adjoining said property, as well as residents living in surrounding neighborhoods which will be impacted by the operations of the warehouse project ‘as is’ proposed.

We request the planning board members to consider the following regarding this project:

1.       Reconsider the SEQRA Negative Declaration, because we are concerned that there will be an environmental impact due to the removal of the wooded areas and the exposure of residents to diesel fumes and particulate matter. This problem will be exacerbated by the idling of trucks at all hours of the day and night. Due to the proximity to the residential area, the uncertainty of the contents to be stored at this facility (e.g., hazardous chemicals) is also of great concern.

2.       Keep the wooded area to preserve the buffer to the residential area and protect the wildlife habitat. The Division of Environmental Protection recommended, “… efforts should be made to preserve as much of the existing 9-acres of pitch-pine oak forest as possible to provide separation between the proposed development and the adjacent residential community”. We insist this recommendation be enforced. Currently, the plans include removing 7 of the 9 acres.

3.       Medford Logistics LLC should perform a noise impact study done by an independent 3rd party.  However, the wooded buffer should be maintained regardless of the need for a sound attenuation wall. Limited hours of operation must be considered, since trucks backing-up will be easily heard in the middle of the night against the backdrop of silence. These back-up beepers emit sounds at 97-112 decibels and are audible from 200 to 400 feet away. Many jurisdictions “…limit nighttime noise emissions to an average level of 40 or 45 dBA at residential property lines, and daytime average levels to between 50 and 60 dBA. They also consider existing ambient sound levels in the residential community”. Please note that noise emitting from the Gershow Plant (which only operates during the day when ambient noise is higher) can be heard at distances of 1,000 feet and more into the residential homes on Robinson Avenue.

4.       A traffic impact study should also be performed to better determine trip generation rates, and any potential traffic flow and safety issues at exits 64 and 65, including their intersections at Route 112 and Horseblock Road. If this warehouse is used as a last-mile distribution center, these potential problems will be escalated. Due to premature road degradation from frequent tractor trailer traffic, perhaps establishing a fund for future repairs should be considered? If this is not done, the taxpayers will assume this cost.

5.       Air Quality testing - before (as a baseline) and after the project is fully operational - should be done by an independent 3rd party. Air quality officials recommend keeping these warehouses at least 1,000 feet from residential areas since at this distance the pollution exposure is reduced by 80%. Currently, there are at least 15 houses within this recommended minimum distance, thus well within the exposure zone. Additionally, this area is already heavily impacted by pollution from the highway and the Gershow Recycling Plant. Compounded health risks could result in negative health consequences (e.g., increased respiratory illnesses, cancers) once a critical exposure threshold is surpassed. Proactive attention to the prevention of idling trucks on the South Service Road (residential homes and apartments) and inside the complex itself (which is within 125 ft of residences) is imperative.

6.       Reconfiguring the building size and the loading dock locations to face the LIE and the industrial areas of Long Island Ave (i.e., face them North and South on the building, instead of towards the residential areas as in the plans - East and West) would allow for retention of the wooded area, and reduce the noise impacts (reverberations) to the residential area. The project is calling for a variance so that the warehouse can surpass the 50-foot restrictions in the code to 55 feet. This, however, will be visible to the residential area on the east end of Robinson Avenue. Most warehouses (including the Yaphank warehouse project and a Lincoln Logistics project upstate) are just 36 to 40 feet high. There are no other buildings of this height in the immediate area.

7.       Every house on the east end of Robinson Avenue has a bedroom that faces east and with the elevation of being on the second story, these bedrooms will be disturbed by tractor trailers’ and other operational vehicles’ beeping sounds throughout the night. This is an established residential neighborhood, and we have the right to continued quiet enjoyment (during the evening and overnight hours) of our homes. This will also impact our quality of life as we will suffer noise and pollution intrusions on a daily (and nightly) basis – unable to enjoy our backyards, unable to sleep, and unable to leave our windows open. Limited hours of operation must be considered.

8.       As already mentioned, the DEP recommended the preservation of as much of the 9-acre wooded area as possible in order to protect the residential areas adjacent to this site. Additionally, the Suffolk County Division of Planning and Environment in their staff report dated July 6th, 2022, advise the developer to “…avoid unnecessary disturbance to CO2 absorbing vegetation”. They further state that, “In order to mitigate potential noise impacts to residential properties to the west, premises should be encumbered by appropriate operational restrictions to adequately protect nearby residences (i.e., shielded lighting, hours of operation, truck deliveries, garbage pick-up, truck idling, outdoor speaker systems, building alarms, trash compaction, etc.). Any onsite recycling operations should be conducted at the furthest point from sensitive residential development.” It seems the only recommendation the developer has addressed is the lighting.

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Signatures: 244Next Goal: 500
Support now