Noise Impacts

At nearly every Millbury Planning Board public hearing for the proposed Rice Pond Village project, increased noise concerns have been raised by the neighborhood due to the proposed development plans to basically clearcut the natural undeveloped property containing mature trees and vegetation and then manipulating the existing grade to accommodate the proposed plans to build 52 condominiums at 17 Rice Road in Millbury, Massachusetts, which directly abuts an active Providence & Worcester Railroad and traffic noise from Providence Street (Route 122A). The Providence & Worcester Railroad is an active set of railroad tracks that operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, with trains operating throughout daylight hours, late into the evening hours between 9:00 – 10:00 PM, and in the early morning hours between 2:00 – 4:00 AM and between 5:00 – 6:00 AM. The train horns can be heard blaring in an expansive geographical points in Millbury, at Rice Road, Curve Street, South Main Street and the private railroad crossing off Providence Street (Route 122A) at 86 Providence Street in Millbury, Massachusetts; and those neighbors close to the railroad tracks can feel the vibrations from passing trains.

Common sense should dictate to people that clearcutting the natural noise buffer of existing trees, vegetation, and manipulating the natural terrain will most certainty increase noise levels to further extents than is currently experienced. The developer, Steven F. Venincasa of Whitney Street Home Builders, LLC, and his project engineer, James Tetreault of Azimuth Land Design, LLC, have attempted to minimize the concerns of the neighborhood, claiming there will be no increase in noise impacts, that the proposed condominiums will act as a noise barrier to the neighborhood, and that noise mitigation would be impractical, the translation being that noise mitigation is expensive. One neighbor asked the developer, Steven F. Venincasa of Whitney Street Home Builders, LLC, if this was going to be the developer’s marketing plan, that the condominiums themselves will act as a noise barrier for the well established and preexisting neighborhood.

It is a little hard to comprehend that perspective buyers would ever consider purchasing a condominium just feet off of an active set of railroad tracks at a premium price point of $400,000±. Hopefully, perspective buyers do their own due diligence and fully understand what they are purchasing and what is just feet away.

The developer, Steven F. Venincasa of Whitney Street Home Builders, LLC, has outright rejected retaining a noise engineer to determine existing and future noise levels. However, at the August 9, 2021, Millbury Planning Board public hearing, Richard F. Gosselin, Jr., chairperson of the Millbury Planning Board, told the developer to retain a noise engineer and perform a noise study to determine current noise levels and any future potential impacts.

UN1F1ED2 Global Packaging Group has purchased a large tract of land just over the Millbury Sutton town line with the intention of building a 1,000,000 – 1,500,000 square foot production warehouse which is rumored to increase railroad usage to bring in raw materials and ship out finished goods, and road traffic on Providence Street (Route 122A) will be increased by an estimated 1,000± employees.