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Londonderry Township gives final OK to 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse on Route 230

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 11/27/19

The Londonderry Township Board of Supervisors unanimously gave its final approval Nov. 19 for a 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse to be built behind Saturday’s Market.

Core5 Industrial …

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Londonderry Township gives final OK to 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse on Route 230

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The Londonderry Township Board of Supervisors unanimously gave its final approval Nov. 19 for a 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse to be built behind Saturday’s Market.

Core5 Industrial Partners is the developer of the warehouse. The company’s director of development, Brian Reisinger, said he didn’t have an estimate of when they will break ground because other approvals still are needed.

Core5 must receive approvals from agencies including the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Dauphin County Conservation District.

“This is going to have a tremendous impact on our community. It’s going to impact the abutting property owners. As the sewer line comes in, that’s going to impact other property owners. I think that representing the township all of us need to be concerned that nobody is unnecessarily bearing an undue burden. How can the whole township bear the burden, not just those few property owners?” said Bruce Grossman, who is the chairman of the township planning commission.

Core5 is one of two developers who have offered $15 million to bring public sewer to the township, which would also serve the warehouse.

Grossman was one of three people who spoke during a public hearing Nov. 19. About 30 people attended the meeting, including representatives of Core5.

In early September, the supervisors approved two zoning map amendments, one of which expanded the C-2 commercial district and the other which added conditional uses within the zone, including logistics facilities.

At that time, township solicitor Mark Stewart explained that there are specific uses that a property owner has a right to use in a zone, and a conditional use means that the developer would have to file a petition to get approval.

Core5 submitted its conditional use application in October, and the hearing on the application was held Nov. 19.

The supervisors unanimously approved Core5’s land development plan and conditional use application, with a number of conditions.

Traffic concerns

Supervisors and residents have often voiced concerns about traffic during hearings and meetings.

A traffic impact study examined eight nearby intersections, and adding the warehouse showed all levels of service would be acceptable to PennDOT’s criteria, project engineer John Murphy said.

There will be some improvements, including restriping the road near the intersection of Toll House Road and Route 230, he added. Still, many residents and some officials continued to question safety along Route 230.

On Nov. 19, supervisors had questions about buffers around the warehouse, lighting and the impact on the township’s stormwater permit.

Supervisor Mel Hershey said his main concern was traffic mitigation.

“They do come over that hill. It is a dangerous intersection,” Hershey said.

Jessica Lawson lives near Saturday’s Market on Route 230. She said she “had no problem with the township growing,” adding that traffic had to be addressed.

“You can’t have that with tractor trailers and kids. I have two kids. The neighbors have kids. I understand we chose that location. I never would’ve moved there had I known this was a possibility,” Lawson said.

“I can tell you Saturdays are horrible with traffic already with just Saturday’s Market. Three hundred and forty-nine possible tractor trailers along with employees and whatever else is going to make it ten times worse,” Lawson said.

She said she’s seen accidents “all the time at this location.” When vehicles speed over the hill, it makes it worse, she said. Her family has had to turn their surveillance cameras over to the State Police, whose jurisdiction is Londonderry, because of the accidents.

Her neighbor holds yard sales, and Lawson said people will stop their cars in the road to go to the yard sale.

Supervisor Anna Dale echoed the concerns about traffic. She noted that Core5 was proposing to have its entrance to the facility on a hill.

“I think some real due diligence needs to be done for lane marking, turning,” Dale said.

She said some drivers turn right onto Toll House Road from Route 230 despite having a red light, assuming they can beat the trucks at the turn.

Core5 attorney Charles Courtney said Londonderry will be part of Core5’s process to get its highway occupancy permit.

Plan explained

The land behind Saturday’s Market that Core5 will develop is 196.27 acres made up of three tracts, which Core5 wants to combine into one.

Courtney said there could be multiple tenants in the building, but one owner.

The warehouse is proposed to be a total of 1,217,520 square feet and 55 feet tall.

The main access to the site off Route 230 would be a private drive and wrap around the warehouse. There will be an emergency access drive from the warehouse to Beagle Road, which would be paved and gated.

Murphy said the lights would be 25 feet tall, and that light wouldn’t spill offsite.

Ground will be raised around the building and parking lots to provide maximum screening, Murphy said. There will be other raised areas around the border of the property, including along Londonderry Elementary School. Trees would be planted on top.

Core5 walked through what could be seen looking at the warehouse from various points along the border of the property. For example, the elementary school was about 500 feet from the logistic facility, and in between the two buildings will be vegetation, additional landscaping and raised ground.

Truck docks will be on the north and south end of the building with 242 spaces. Plans call for 663 employee parking spaces and 349 truck spaces.

Core5 also proposed an anti-idling policy for tenants of the building. According to Murphy, it required the tenants to implement training, perform daily inspection and record violations and prohibited overnight parking. In addition, the landlord would be authorized to inspect the tenants for compliance.