The biggest issue at the July 25 Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting was one not on the agenda. During public comments, Eugene Clater, Chairman of the Planning Commission, presented plans for the future Jaindl warehouse complex at Howertown and Seemsville Roads.
Clater asked for the supervisors’ thoughts on how the plan would impact traffic. He explained that roughly 25 percent of employees, representing about 625 trips per day, would be coming to the complex from the north, travelling down Howertown Road, turning onto Route 329, and entering the complex from Seemsville Road.
Clater feared that many of these drivers, in order to save time and get around traffic lights at the Howertown Road intersection, would travel to the complex from nearby Mud Lane. He believes this will ultimately triple the amount of traffic the road currently sees.
Clater asked whether supervisors would support another road being added to the complex, one that would serve as an entrance and exit from Howertown Road. A traffic signal would be installed at this “T” intersection. No trucks would be allowed. Clater feels that this plan may alleviate traffic issues at other intersections in the area, intersections that were planned when warehouses were not even considered a possibility.
“Just because it [the intersection] made sense in 1788, does not mean it makes sense now,” Clater said.
All members of the Board of Supervisors agreed with Clater and will require that a road be added to the plan.
However, traffic is not the only concern surrounding the future warehouse. Township resident and environmental scientist and planner Robert Hosking Jr. asked supervisors about plans for moving a powerline on the Jaindl property closer to a residential property.
Hosking explained his concerns over the “economic, visual, and health” impacts of moving this powerline, which will require wooded wetlands to be cut down. He asked supervisors whether they can look for alternative options.
“I think the township should be more defensive of existing residents,” he said.
Following the meeting, Hosking explained that he believes supervisors are only concerned with how the township can simply get more development. Instead, he would like supervisors to “investigate” ways of “sustainable development.”
When asked by another resident whether supervisors can limit what the township is currently seeing with warehouses, Larry Oberly, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said the new comprehensive plan will be looking into options.
A joint Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission meeting about the comprehensive plan will be held on Tuesday, August 22 at 6 p.m.