PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

Lower Swatara beer distribution center plans on hold after being tabled by commissioners

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 5/22/19

Land development plans for a beer distribution center on the corner of Oberlin Road and Longview Drive were tabled during the Lower Swatara Township Board of Commissioners meeting May 15. …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Lower Swatara beer distribution center plans on hold after being tabled by commissioners

Posted

Land development plans for a beer distribution center on the corner of Oberlin Road and Longview Drive were tabled during the Lower Swatara Township Board of Commissioners meeting May 15.

Wilsbach Distributors is proposing to build a 284,260-square-foot warehouse with a 15,050-square-foot, two-story office on about 57 acres zoned as industrial park. There would be 150 parking spots.

Wilsbach has 110 employees, including 88 full-time staff.

Township Planning and Zoning Coordinator Ann Hursh told the Press & Journal that Wilsbach’s engineer asked the plan to be tabled as they work on details for the entrance and an easement off Longview Drive.

Wilsbach attorney David Getz told the Press & Journal that they don’t have a firm date when they may present the plan to the commissioners.

During the meeting, resident Ed Halpern said he was concerned about the traffic, with businesses like UPS already adding trucks to the roads.

“Now you’re going to add more on that road. Is that being taken into consideration?” he asked.

Township engineer Andrew Kenworthy said the land development application required traffic information, which is evaluated against industry standards.

“I would just ask that you take that into consideration. We have a lot of trucks on there right now — FedEx, UPS — and you’re going to add more. I’m just concerned for the safety, pollution, noise, the condition of the road,” Halpern said.

What’s that going to do to the value of my house, asked Halpern, who lives on Nissley Drive. Even if it’s not a township road, township residents like to use it, he said.

We have the same concerns, said Commissioner Ron Paul.

“But you have to understand, there’s rules, regulations, laws and we don’t control them all,” Paul said.

During a township planning commission meeting April 25, Getz said the distributor sends out 30 delivery trucks between 5 and 7 a.m., and 10 to 20 trucks would come into the facility throughout a typical day.

Trucks, he said, would turn left out of the warehouse toward Swatara Township.

The plan was recommended by the township planning commission during its April 25 meeting. However, the planning commission also expressed concerns about speeding and traffic on Oberlin Road.

The entrance to the warehouse would be off Oberlin Road, which is currently two lanes. During the planning commission meeting, project engineer Judd Dayton proposed to widen the road along the entrance to install turn lanes into the facility. The road would then narrow heading toward Longview Drive.

Wilsbach had requested a waiver to not widen parts of Oberlin Road, which the planning commission denied, expressing an interest in extending the right-hand turn lane to Longview Drive unless PennDOT refuses.

They also recommended adding a fence around a basin to manage stormwater runoff, which would be located near the Little Hollywood Park.

The planning commission also recommended adding a buffer over a fiber optic easement along Longview Drive, which wasn’t included in the plan.