Sound barrier urged for Peapod as town receives noise report

A sound consulting firm is recommending that Stop & Shop construct a 15-foot high acoustic sound barrier, which absorbs noise, along its southern property line with several neighbors in Glenwood Village and that it also construct a similar acoustic sound barrier south of the loading docks there. 

Stop & Shop operates a regional warehouse for its Peapod delivery system out of the Riverhead story that serves the entire East End.

Some residents of Glenwood Village, who live along the border with Stop & Shop, have said that the Peapod operation has generated noise behind their homes for the past 10 years. 

In January, the Town Board considered taking legal action against Stop & Shop.

“For 10 years, the residents of Glenwood Village have had to suffer with the delivery service of Peapod, which seems to be growing on a daily basis,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said at the time.

She said it had become a major distribution center and they have had noise violations in Justice Court.

But the board ultimately agreed not to take legal action and instead authorized the hiring of a noise consultant to measure decibel levels at Stop & Shop.

That study is now complete.

Sean Harkin of Sound Sense Acoustics (as well as a 2011 Riverhead High School graduate) gave the report at last Thursday’s Town Board work session.

Mr. Harkin said Sound Sense Acoustics took noise samples from Stop & Shop March 13, 2019, between 7:32 am and 3:34 p.m. from the neighboring property. They also reviewed noise studies done by Stop & Shop’s consultant VHB Engineering. There was little wind or outside noises on that day, he said.

Mr. Harkin said there’s a difference between a constant noise and an impulsive noise, and that the latter are of greater disturbance to neighbors.

“In order to really reduce noise further than that, we’d be talking about a canopy to enclose some of the area,” Mr. Harkin said.

That, he said, would reduce the noise significantly.

Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said VHB has seen the town’s report.

A Stop & Shop spokesperson said the company remains committed to finding a resolution to reduce noise levels.

“We’re continuing to work with the Riverhead community on a plan for sound mitigation, which will include the construction of a sound barrier,” said Stefanie Shuman, Stop & Shop’s external communications manager.

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