4M toes of latest warehouses dominate Lehigh Valley Planning Fee assembly

Greater than 4 million sq. toes of latest warehouses, together with three on the web site of the previous Air Merchandise and Chemical substances Inc. campus, was reviewed by the Lehigh Valley Planning Fee on Thursday. 

Commissioners expressed frustration about growth of huge packing containers and the lack of open house, however the situation stays the identical: If personal property is zoned for warehouses, warehouses may be constructed on the land. 

“We have to begin advocating various kinds of growth, issues that may deliver good jobs for folks,” LVPC Vice Chairman Chris Amato mentioned throughout the digital assembly. He mentioned the State of Pennsylvania must step in for that to occur.  

The fee doesn’t approve or deny plans. Its employees evaluations proposals and makes suggestions, that are then voted upon by appointed commissioners. The evaluations are despatched to native governments, which make remaining land-use choices. All objects mentioned Thursday had been additionally thought of throughout an LVPC committee assembly Tuesday. 

The one-biggest proposal is for the previous Air Merchandise headquarters at 7201 Hamilton Blvd. in Higher Macungie Township: three warehouses masking 2.61 million sq. toes. The land grew to become accessible when Air Merchandise moved its headquarters a mile away final yr. 

That warehouse plan would add to visitors on Cetronia Street, Trexlertown Street, Route 100, Route 222, Schantz Street and Tilghman Avenue, based on the employees assessment. Entry to Interstate 78 is about three miles away by way of Route 222. 

“The size of the proposed growth shouldn’t be appropriate for the situation, which comprises a mixture of residential, industrial and industrial makes use of,” based on the assessment, ready by Senior Neighborhood Planner Jillian Seitz.

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The fee additionally objects to the proposed elimination of photo voltaic panels from the positioning. 

The second-largest growth mentioned Thursday is for 5 warehouses masking 1.14 million complete sq. toes in Palmer Township. That’s deliberate for 1571 Van Buren Street within the Chrin Commerce Centre close to Route 33. 

That proposal “typically reveals consistency” with the fee’s regional plan as a result of the situation close to Route 33 can deal with truck visitors. The employees assessment mentioned the 5 warehouses would generate 1,996 automobile journeys every day, 686 of them by vans. 

The 5 massive packing containers would go up in two phases, and a stone farmhouse on the web site can be moved. 

In one other mission, two warehouses off Route 100 in Lowhill Township, Lehigh County, would cowl a bit greater than 600,000 sq. toes complete. One can be at 2951 Betz Courtroom, the opposite at 2766 Route 100, about 3.4 miles north of Interstate 78. 

Stephen Lear, co-chairman of Lowhill’s planning fee, mentioned the developments would make visitors congestion, significantly on the intersection of Route 100 and Kernsville Street, a lot worse.  

The fee voted in all circumstances to ship employees feedback on to the townships the place growth is deliberate.  

LVPC Government Director Becky Bradley mentioned in some circumstances, native officers need the tax income from growth even when it means extra long-run prices for roads, bridges and different “infrastructure” sooner or later. 

“There is no such thing as a technique on the native stage by any municipal authorities to have the ability to deal with the price of the infrastructure upkeep they’ve now, not to mention into the long run,” she mentioned.

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Bradley mentioned the result’s “an infrastructure funding and upkeep disaster” on the native and state ranges. 

The LVPC additionally bid farewell to Geoff Reese, a 42-year veteran of the fee. Reese, now the director of environmental planning, joined the fee in 1980. His specialty has been in dealing with stormwater points. 

“It has been an important experience,” Reese mentioned. He plans to spend extra time together with his grandchildren.  

“You have had an amazing influence on this area,” Vice Chairman Amato advised Reese.