Northampton Press

Monday, May 20, 2019

East Allen hears warehouse plan

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Developer seeks to divide property at Airport Road, Route 329 for project

Imperial Realty Property Group, LLC came before the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors May 8 to present preliminary plans for a proposed new warehouse on its existing property.

The developer owns property on the southwest corner of Airport Road and Route 329 (Franks Corner) across from the Vertek warehouse presently under construction. The first part of the proposal is to divide the property into four separate parcels. One parcel would have the existing strip mall and its associated septic system, and two other parcels would have a small warehouse building on each parcel. These lots would be along the perimeter of the property. The fourth parcel would be in the center of the 26-acre property and would be the largest parcel. On the fourth parcel, Imperial will erect a new 250,000-square-foot warehouse.

All property would be rezoned to be consistent. The present zoning is a mix of two commercial types, both of which allow warehouses. The existing 16 buildings in the complex will be demolished.

The company does not have a tenant for the building.

A key factor in making the decision is failing septic systems for the individual warehouse properties. The system for the strip mall and the two perimeter buildings are functioning to acceptable standards. Mark Bahnick, the engineer for this site, presented a commitment from Bath Authority for water and sewer facilities to serve the new warehouse.

Highway plans approved for the Vertek project include right-turn-only lanes from Airport Road into Vertek, left and right turning lanes at the intersection with Route 329 and two dedicated left-turn lanes for Imperial Realty’s properties.

According to the traffic study prepared by Bahnick, traffic into the revamped site will be less than the traffic presently at the site. Total vehicle trips would decrease from 781 trips today to 636 trips at build-out. The traffic is based on computer modeling not on a specific tenant. The new access plan allows trucks from the warehouse to turn left out of the complex to go north on Route 329. Chairman Roger Unangst asked the developer to review an option to force trucks to go southbound on Route 512.

The plan calls for a 100-foot berm to surround the new project.

The public hearing is a conditional use hearing. The hearing allows the public and the township to propose conditions to be included in the site plans. The conditions asked for during the public hearing are off-street truck parking that would prevent any truck queuing onto public roadways; truck access to arterial highways; no separate outside storage; and provisions for trash and restroom facilities that can be accessed by truck drivers while waiting for loading/unloading.

The township has 45 days to act on the request.

If approved, the project will move into the land development phase of the project. Land development presents the specific construction plans for the project. The public and the township will have input into the plans.

Residents in attendance at the hearing are concerned with safety issues including perimeter and interior sidewalks; air pollution concerns; and vehicle safety with cars and trucks competing for highway access.