PALMER TWP., Pa. — The Palmer Township Planning Commission has determined that a proposed plan for four new distribution warehouses is acceptable for recommendation for approval to the township board of supervisors.
FR Newlins Logistics Park LLC was back before the Palmer Township Planning Commission on Tuesday evening to present its refined “First Park 33” preliminary development plan and seek conditional use approval under the zoning ordinance.
The preliminary plan proposes four buildings with limited distribution, which range from 151,000 to 210,000 square feet on a 66.4-acre lot, on the west side of Tatamy Road, between Newlins Mill and Corriere Roads.
The site is currently unimproved agricultural land and located within the Planned Office/Industrial Park zoning district. FR Newlins Logistics Park is applying for a conditional use permit under the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance, “Limited Distribution Centers in the PO/IP District,” which includes five criteria that must be met.
According to the provisions of this zoning ordinance, the distribution center must not exceed 200,000 square feet. Shaun Haas of Langan Engineering said the larger building, at 210,600 square feet, still meets this criteria because 10,600 square feet of the building is office space, which is separate from the distribution center designation in the prescription.
Haas said the proposed plan meets additional zoning criteria, some of which include docking bays on only one side of the building and locating the building on a parcel that is not next to and does not share a common border. with land zoned residential.
The areas surrounding the proposed site are already under development for industrial purposes. Properties to the west and north across Newlins Mill Road are either developed or in the process of being developed for industrial use. Properties to the east along Tatamy Road and to the south across Corriere Road are being developed with a mix of residential and light industrial uses.
Haas responded to the concerns of members of the Planning Commission regarding improvements to the Corriere Road frontage and the need for some protection for residents who live across the street from the proposed property. He said the southeast end of the site sits higher than Corriere Road by about 8ft. In addition, evergreen trees and deciduous trees will be built into the berm for site separation.
A representative from FR Newlins Logistics Park said the company’s intention was for the four buildings – which total 781,000 square feet – to operate as distribution warehouses. Its head office consists of environmental staff who will review all tenants and building uses. No manufacturing is planned on site. The goal is to lease the buildings and keep them for the long term, according to the representative.
The developer plans to split the proposed project into two phases, with the hope that phase one – two buildings located on the north side near Newlins Mill Road – will start in the spring of next year. Phase two, which includes two buildings on the south side near Corriere Road, will depend on feedback from Met-Ed.
In the original plan, FR Newlins Logistics Park proposed unfavorably to move Corriere Road away from a Met-Ed transmission tower to carry out road improvements.
At Tuesday’s meeting, township attorney Charles Bruno clarified that while the developer had originally asked to redesign the road, he would now have the road installed “to township specifications” and request the relocation of the road. a Met-Ed transmission tower.
Haas said that while they’ve heard Met-Ed’s comments regarding existing pole maintenance regulations and what can and can’t happen in their easements, they’re still awaiting feedback on relocating the transmission tower.
However, the developer was confident that his team would know the answer by the time they returned to the commission for final approval of the first phase of the plan.
Supervisors now have a July 31 deadline to hold a conditional use hearing and make a decision on the preliminary plan.
Also at Tuesday evening’s meeting, the planning commission recommended approval of a conditional use application for a proposed 30,092 square foot aged care facility on the south side of Corriere Road.