To the Editor,
Old Dominion Trucking has resubmitted their application to build a truck terminal on Medieros Way off of Southampton Road in the north end of Westfield. They previously withdrew their application without prejudice when faced with the possibility of their application either being rejected by the city council or approved with the ZPD’s conditions.
In their review a year ago, the Zoning, Planning & Development Subcommittee found the Truck Terminal would negatively impact the neighborhood & ”Timberswamp area” if the lot was clear cut and the terminal built. In addition, the minutes of October 3, 2019 show that the ZPD subcommittee recommended that if approved, the application be subject to a variety of conditions to protect the aquifer and mitigate traffic on Root Road and surrounding neighborhoods. Specifically, the committee chose to disallow future expansion without an amendment, recommended a daily limit of 40 trucks validated by quarterly reports, maintenance inspections by the City Storm Water Coordinator, a “no right turn” sign to be posted on the exit of the terminal to eliminate traffic on Root Road, an exclusion of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides to protect the nearby aquifer, including limitations on the use of salt, and disallowing queuing of trucks on Medieros way.
The recent reapplication by Old Dominion has not changed their site plan nor proposed usage. They did add over 150 complicated pages of traffic studies, technical detail and charts I assume somehow demonstrate the project complies with zoning requirements. There is a new ZPD committee, and some new members are very supportive of logistics business development in Westfield.
However, none of the conditions have changed since the original application was made and all the same objections remain – most importantly that this terminal will increase traffic in Westfield’s beautiful neighborhoods adjacent to Root Road. The new traffic analysis focused only on Southampton Road/Route 10 – it didn’t even look at the traffic on Root Rd and adjacent neighborhoods which is steadily increasing and impacting the quality of life of all who live here. Bigger question: Why does Westfield continue to pursue logistics industries? Why can’t Westfield pursue green industry with a light footprint? The last thing Westfield needs is another truck terminal in addition to the almost 30 existing logistics companies using BIG trucks on Westfield roads.
Some City Councilors say these businesses supply needed revenue. I want to know if they have done a cost benefit analysis of the cost to Westfield’s roads and infrastructure of this truck terminal, not to mention impacts on air and water quality in the remaining clean section of the aquifer. How much do trucks contribute to Westfield’s pot-hole problem and at what cost?
I ask Westfield citizens to contact their city councilors about not allowing another trucking business into Westfield. I believe there should be a moratorium on any new trucking companies in Westfield and hope you will encourage your city councilors to vote against the Old Dominion Truck Terminal.