Upper Macungie supervisors approve conditions for Route 100 warehouse
UPPER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. — A proposed warehouse along Route 100 has moved one step closer to approval.
The Upper Macungie Board of Supervisors voted 2-1 to approve a set of conditions for a warehouse planned at 110 PA Route 100. Board Chairman Sunny Ghai cast the dissenting vote.
The 150,000-square-foot warehouse project, proposed by Prologis, an industrial real estate company, faced initial opposition from township staff who deemed it inconsistent with local land-use laws. Prologis appealed this decision.
The Upper Macungie Zoning Hearing Board, an independent quasi-judicial body, conducted two hearings on the appeal.
Both Upper Macungie Township and Star Hospitality Group Inc., owners of Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Allentown West adjacent to the property, raised objections during the hearings.
But at the Oct. 11 Upper Macungie Zoning Hearing Board meeting, representatives from all sides said they were nearing a compromise.
They agreed on a set of conditions of approval for the project, which includes funds for noise abatement, a limit on allowed truck trips and improvements to the shared driveway.
The agreement will now go before the township Zoning Hearing Board for final approval on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
If the board approves it, the project would then have to go before supervisors again for plan approval through the land development process before construction can begin.
The dissenting vote
Ghai said he voted against approving the conditions because he was concerned about the safety of the truck trips made from the facility, especially because of its location next to Fairfield Inn & Suites.
The conditions state that the warehouse would be limited to 90 truck trips per day.
“I just didn't see enough of a safety plan there for how you're going to handle that."Board Chairman Sunny Ghai
But Ghai argued that because there is no specified per hour rate the truck trips would happen, many of them could happen at the same time.
“I just didn't see enough of a safety plan there for how you're going to handle that,” Ghai said.
“I think it should be noted that a lot of that will be addressed at the land development level,” Supervisor Kathy Rader replied.
“I understand, but I can only vote on what I have,” Ghai said.
Ghai commended Prologis for agreeing to give $250,000 to the hotel to use for noise abatement, which will include window inserts and a sound wall.
“This could be an example of what we could do in the future with other developments,” Ghai said.
The Board of Supervisors will next meet on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in the township building. It will be Rader's last meeting after she decided not to run for re-election.
Supervisor-elect Jeff Fleischaker is poised to join the board in January.