E-commerce delivery centers are popping up everywhere.
E-commerce is a $750 billion industry that comprises nearly 15% of total retail. A mere 10 years ago, that number was only 4%. The sharp increase in demand for delivering products to doorsteps quicker created the modern gold rush for big developers. Big e-commerce giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Target are desperate and prepared to pay a premium for warehouse and/or distribution space in your town.
Small towns near major highways, like Chelmsford, Massachusetts, are prime meat for big Boston developers like the Davis Companies. We lacked the proper zoning restrictions, and we failed to even have (at the time of their proposal) a proper definition for warehouses in our town bylaws.
Town should be prepared with things like
- Traffic studies
- Preset locations, perhaps near the highway exit only, for warehouse locations
- Maximum sizes for warehouse buildings
- Maximum number of loading docks
- Restriction of hours
- Restriction of vehicles per day
Multimillion dollar developers are looking to cash in on small towns and plop the next mega warehouse near you. Don’t be caught off guard. Look into your town’s zoning bylaws to see what’s allowed, and work NOW to protect your town before big developers swoop in.