Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Merrimack outlets to shield glare from lights at night

MERRIMACK – Officials with the Merrimack Premium Outlets want to be good neigbors.

That is why General Manager Elaine Devine said they will be installing additional glare shields to tone down some of the unwanted light pollution spilling into local neighborhoods. Town officials recently sent outlets officials a letter regarding complaints from nearby residents.

While they were within the lighting standards brought before the planning board, Devine said they wanted to respond to the concerns from nearby residents.

“In an effort to continue being a good neighbor, Merrimack Premium Outlets has agreed to install additional glare shields onto the lights in the overflow parking lot,” she said.

Merrimack Community Development Director Tim Thompson sent a letter to VHB Consultants, which was hired by Merrimack Premium Outlets to address planning issues in July. He informed Leedy of some of the concerns residents living on the northern side of the property, which is off Exit 10 of the F.E. Everett Turnpike, shared regarding excessive light coming from the shopping center’s fixtures during the night.

In his letter, Thompson noted that the illuminations level measured earlier in July met the standards set forth by the Merrimack Planning Board and that smaller light shields already installed were acceptable. He also pointed out that he couldn’t force MPO to alter the lighting – measured by Lawrence Farrer, of Engineering Advantage Inc. – because the levels were legitimate.

While Thompson hasn’t heard back directly from the company, he welcomed the news of the forthcoming installation of the glare shields.

“I am pleased to hear that MPO is responding to the request that I made regarding the lighting at their site. I am hopeful that the new shields will assist in dealing with the visibility of the fixtures from the nearby neighborhood,” he said. “That MPO has voluntarily acted upon the Town’s request when there was no regulatory requirement to do so is commendable.”

Devine noted that the light shields have been ordered and will be installed when they arrive.

Thompson also suggested in his letter to VHB to turn off a portion of the lights after the stores close, leaving enough illumination for employees safely to travel to their vehicles after work. This was not addressed in the statement provided by Devine.

Whenever the second phase of the MPO comes before the Planning Board, Thompson said he would recommend larger light shields for any future fixtures that would be installed on other portions of the site.

“I continue to look forward to a productive and collaborative relationship with MPO as they move forward with additional phases of the project in the future,” he added.

No comments:

Post a Comment