January 10, 2019 – Planning Commission
It was standing room only for Upper Nazareth residents concerned about a proposed trucking facility to be built at Gun Club Road and Route 248. The facility will be 1 million square feet with 100 bay doors and will rise to a height of 65 feet. It will have LED lighting which will be dimmed at night but will still likely affect nearby residential properties. The representatives of JVI LLC present at the meeting refused to say if the property will run 24 hours a day.
JVI LLC representatives presented documents to the Planning Commission promising to add improvements to Gun Club Road by widening it and to the intersection at Route 248. They have made arrangements to hook up their sewer to Nazareth Municipal and get their water from Easton Public Water. At the property now, they are working on grading. They plan to put a guard shack on the main driveway as well as an area to store up to 17 trucks at a time.
Rick Roseberry spoke about property-line adjustments. The company has acquired land to the south for irrigation storage.
The Engineer talked about designs to discourage parking and standing on the road. He said there’s no room to divert or make the road windier which would be needed to calm the traffic.
The Planning Commission approved to relax the width requirements to allow 24 feet on the driveway.
The Engineer expressed an interest in doing baseline testing of well water. That way there would be something to compare to in case the development causes contamination.
Most people were in attendance to see if the project would be classified as a warehouse or a trucking facility. The Zoning Officer, Sloe, said he would not be able to make a determination by the next meeting. He said he’ll need 5-6 weeks.
- The use or permitted use of this property will be determined by the Zoning officer
One of the commissioners asked if the development planned to mix the cement on site or haul it in? Mixing it on site might decrease levels in local wells.
- The developer said they plan to use pre-cast panels and ship them in.
Another commissioner pointed out that cement trucks will damage the road.
Gary Asteak, said that this project will be under the rules of the new Monocacy Storm water plan developed by LVPC. The developer has submitted an 18 page review letter and will have to address concerns about grading, lighting and noise
A Resident said he sees truck weight violations all the time on Newburg Road near Gun Club Road. Truckers have continually knocked over a telephone pole on Silver Crest and Township line roads and their GPS regularly takes them through residential neighborhoods. The issue would be of enforcement and who is going to do that?
- A suggestion to station a Police Car at intersections to write $1,000 tickets got a round of applause
An attorney who says he’s representing several residents, asked about berms to cut down on the noise, blind access on one of the roads and child safety at school bus stops. He suggested that Gun Club Road be kept only for residential traffic and all trucks should be limited to entrances on Route 248. This statement caused cheers to erupt throughout the room.
- The berms currently planned for will only be 7 feet high for a building which will rise 65 feet into the air.
A resident said that the developer is claiming that 750 trucks will be in and out of the facility a day but calculations she’s done on line suggest it would be almost double that amount.
- One of the commissioners pointed out that the traffic study is available via a right-to-know request
A resident told the commissioners that a building this size has no place in the proposed area. It should be built on Route 33 or 22. She also wanted to know if the owner can’t get renters, will he have to pay taxes?
- Scott Sylvanius said that everyone has to pay taxes which made several people laugh
When asked about trucking routes the developers said the trucks plan to use Route 33 to 512 to 946 to 248. This prompted several people to recount commuting horror stories and complaints about trucks which can’t go faster than 40 mph up a hill. Another attendee expressed concern about being able to get first responders to the site in event of an emergency.
A resident pointed out that commissioners will have no control over who the tenants will be. And, if traffic and accidents dramatically increase, who will be held responsible?
This project will likely be back on the agenda at the March 14th meeting.
Becky Bartlett covers these meetings because citizens have a right to know what their government is doing.