Published in the November 1, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — Last week, the MarketStreet Advisory Committee (MSAC) recommended taking a wait-and-see approach with noise-related issues associated with the outdoor mall for the next year.

MSAC member Anne Mitchell, who serves on the Noise Subcommittee along with MSAC Vice Chairwoman Paula Parziale, gave an overview of the subcommittee’s recommendations on Oct. 26. Mitchell said the subcommittee reviewed noise issues raised by neighbors during a public hearing in September. She also said the subcommittee met with MarketStreet General Manager Nanci Horn and Police Chief David Breen as part of the discovery process.

The noise issues raised by neighbors pertain to snow removal, landscaping, delivery trucks, music and the pending construction of the new Lahey Health building, known as Building 1350. Residents also expressed frustrations about the inability to enforce the nine- decibel volume limit, which is the loudest noise can be at the development’s property line as stated in the development agreement.

The subcommittee also looked into the possibility of developing a noise bylaw.

Snow removal

Mitchell said the subcommittee was informed by MarketStreet management that snow removal equipment is stored at the outdoor mall in order to reduce “noise to the neighborhood with trucks arriving and exiting.” She said MarketStreet works with the snow removal company to have snow piles distributed throughout the complex.

“There is not one good location for dumping snow and there are several issues to consider,” said Mitchell. “Tenants complain that snow piles are too close to their businesses or that there are lost parking spots near their businesses. But, on the other hand, large snow piles in the front of the property are unsightly to residents.”

Mitchell noted MarketStreet officials have requested snowplow blades be oiled in order to reduce the sound of snow removal. She said the main issue with snowplows is “the banging sound is primarily from the gates on the trucks filled with snow when they offload the snow.”

“To alleviate this banging sound, a backhoe is often used to pull snow off the trucks,” said Mitchell. “When there is a lot of heavy snow, it needs to be scraped. They treat with salt before scraping to help alleviate noise.”

According to Mitchell, a possible area was identified to dump snow, but the Conservation Commission put the brakes on that proposal because the site is in close proximity to the Saugus River. She also said the “back-up beeping” sound coming from snowplows is “a safety issue and cannot be avoided” because its required by state law.

After concluding the discovery process, Mitchell said the Noise Subcommittee determined “MarketStreet management has already taken steps to minimize snow removal noise.”

“Due to the timing of storms, it is impossible to plow only at certain times of the day, and therefore evening plowing is a necessity and the snow removal noise is unavoidable,” said Mitchell. “MarketStreet will review with its contracted snow removal company the issue of the banging of trucks’ plows and truck gates each season. MarketStreet management will do all they can to continue its efforts to mitigate noise related to snow removal.”

Mitchell said the subcommittee recommended that the MSAC continue monitoring snow removal noise issues.

MSAC members Sal Yeradi and Philip Doucette both raised the possibility of MarketStreet bringing in snow melters to address snow removal noise issues.

“They are not as loud as the gate of a truck,” said Doucette.

Landscaping and trucks

Mitchell said landscaping crews only work at MarketStreet Monday through Saturday, and the earliest they can begin work is at 7 a.m.

According to Mitchell, MarketStreet allows trucks to make deliveries between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. She said MarketStreet officials and security staff enforce delivery rules.

Mitchell said MarketStreet’s Whole Foods Market is one of the only grocery stores in the chain “that does not have deliveries 24 hours a day” due to the development agreement. She also said complaints about delivery trucks “have been few and far between.”

“Over the past four years, MarketStreet management reported less than five complaints regarding delivery hours and noise,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell said trash pickup takes place between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. She said MarketStreet officials addressed an early complaint of a trash truck arriving before 7 a.m.


In regards to complaints about music, Mitchell said MarketStreet officials have removed speakers from the backs of buildings facing Walnut Street. She also said music is played between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., but said the practice will be “shortened in winter.”

During movie nights, Mitchell said MarketStreet has placed speakers away from residential areas. She said MarketStreet officials send security personnel to the berm to monitor noise levels.

Mitchell noted, “one resident commented on the unexpected noise of kiosks turning on when walking by,” but said “this does not appear to be a significant noise concern.”

In conclusion, Mitchell said the Noise Subcommittee recommended continuing monitoring noise issues from landscaping, trucks and music.

Lahey building

Mitchell said Building 1350 will begin being constructed in early November.

“Section 3.2 of the development agreement allows for construction between the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a few stated exceptions,” said Mitchell. “The construction contracts will comply with the development agreement, but MarketStreet management states that construction hours typically will be 7 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m.”

Mitchell said the loudest construction noise will be the delivery of steel and steel hammering.

With construction of the Lahey building just around the corner, Mitchell recommended that MarketStreet update its website frequently to keep residents posted about the construction schedule. She also requested Yerardi help LIFE residents stay informed about the project.

Noise bylaw

Mitchell said the Noise Subcommittee looked into the possibility of developing a noise bylaw similar to the one in Brookline. She said the residents who have advocated for this type of bylaw want to enforce the development agreement’s mandate that “noise at the property line cannot be any louder than nine decibels.”

“The implementation of a noise bylaw, however, would not just apply to MarketStreet,” said Mitchell. “Such a bylaw would be a town-wide noise bylaw, and there is a practical issue of how to incorporate the restrictions of the development agreement into a town-wide noise bylaw.”

Mitchell said the subcommittee met with Police Chief David Breen to discuss the possibility of the Board of Selectmen advocating for a noise bylaw. Due to the logistical issues associated with a noise bylaw, coupled with few noise complaints, Mitchell said the subcommittee recommended not moving forward with a bylaw at this point.

“We are not recommending that the selectmen research or consider proposing a noise bylaw at this time,” said Mitchell. “We do recommend that this issue be reviewed again in one year, after determining whether there is an increase in noise complaints over the year and/or if residents complain that MarketStreet management is not addressing their noise concerns and complaints.”

Breen, who serves on the MSAC, said implementing a noise bylaw would be “a logistical nightmare.”

“I think we would be opening up a can of worms,” said Breen. “There would be unintended consequences and I think we need to tread lightly. It’s going to be extremely difficult for the selectmen to come up with anything that is enforceable.”

Mitchell reviewed Brookline’s noise bylaw, which she said is “very detailed.” She said implementing a similar bylaw in Lynnfield “would require a lot of research and a lot more legwork to look and see what other towns are doing.”


MSAC member Wally McKenzie expressed disappointment the Noise Subcommittee did not recommend the selectmen pursue adopting a noise bylaw.

“Asking to delay taking any action for a year is taking a giant step backward and I can’t support that recommendation,” said McKenzie.

In response to a question from Breen, McKenzie said attorneys, government boards and National Development representatives advocated for the noise level requirement in the development agreement.

“I think the town should make sure what was promised in 2007 and 2011 is kept,” said McKenzie. “I live about a half mile away, and when a band is playing on The Green, I shouldn’t be able to hear it.”

Doucette, who works in the music business, said, “nine decibels is barely audible.”

“There is no way you could play a musical instrument at nine decibels,” said Doucette. “I go to a trade show every year for the music industry, and they have noise police that go around and they are checking to see if people are over 200 decibels because everyone wants to play as loud as they can. It can’t be incorporated into a town bylaw.”

McKenzie made an amended motion that would have had the Board of Selectmen create a study committee to evaluate noise issues and potentially adopt a noise bylaw. The motion failed by a 3-9 vote. In addition to McKenzie, MSAC members John Gioioso and Anthony Ferullo supported the motion. Mitchell abstained from voting on the amended motion.

Subsequently, the MSAC voted 10-3 to accept the Noise Subcommittee’s recommendations. McKenzie, Gioioso and Ferullo voted against the recommendation.