Neighbors speak out against proposed Master Millwork expansion

Aug 24, 2020

At least seven neighbors gathered at Monday night’s Planning Board meeting to express concern about the proposed expansion at Master Millwork.

Master Millwork, a company that produces custom cabinetry and other woodwork, is located at 55 Charlotte Furnace Road -- right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The business owners are seeking permission to build another 43,400 square foot building on the site to expand their production capacity.

Although the lot is zoned residential, it is part of the town’s Business Development Overlay District. The Master Millwork facility was originally approved by the town in February 2016.

Neighbors said that the company hasn’t always kept its word: taking down more trees than promised, bringing in many tractor-trailers when the company initially said only box trucks would be visiting the site, and creating excessive noise. Additionally, neighbors were told when the plant was first built that the lights would not be on at night, but now, one man said the lights are so bright at night that they shine through the blinds in his home. 

One woman who lives across the street from the building said that she is plagued by noise at all hours of the night from idling tractor trailers, a truck emptying dumpsters between 2 and 4 a.m., and the beeping from trucks backing up.

Other neighbors were concerned about the increased light and noise from an expansion, especially as more trees and vegetation is removed.

Another neighbor said that the road has become very dangerous for neighbors who walk and ride their bikes on Charlotte Furnace Road, and said that increased traffic would make the situation even worse.

Planning Board member George Barrett said that some of the issues, including loud traffic in the middle of the night, were likely code violations that could be rectified by the town. 

The engineer representing the company suggested inspections to ensure that the company is true to its word. He also said that a new service entrance should alleviate some of the issues mentioned by neighbors.

Board member Michael King said that he thought the board should mandate some conditions like limited lighting and trash pick-up, and that the company should accommodate as many requests as it reasonably can in service of being “a good neighbor.”