Having received a recommendation for approval from the Allen Township Planning Commission, Jaindl-Watson appeared before the Allen Township Board of Supervisors on Thursday, February 14 to present their development plans and discuss some of the commission’s recommendations.
Plans consist of six warehouses, five between Howertown and Seemsville Roads and one to the south of Howertown Road.
Attorney Erich Schock said developers tried to accommodate residents as best they could. They added berms, increased buffers, and added truck turnaround lanes to keep trucks off Howertown Road. A driveway at Howertown Road for car traffic was added, and developers said an overhang may also be added to prevent trucks from accessing the facility there.
Traffic engineer Anne Marie Vigilante described road improvements Jaindl also proposes, including a southbound left turn lane on Howertown Road, dedicated turning lanes for trucks on Seemsville Road, and the relocation of a widened Seemsville Road to the east, with three lanes for traffic.
However, residents voiced their concerns over the project and pleaded with supervisors to reject the plan. They spoke of poor air quality from truck traffic and other health risks. Residents of Seemsville Road also voiced their concern for physical danger, being unable to leave their driveways with increased truck traffic and decreased visibility.
Supervisor Bruce Frack voiced his concern for resident safety, while supervisor Dale Hassler spoke more critically of the proposed plan.
“Whether it is by right does not, in my book, mean it is right,” he said. “There are places for warehouses. I just cannot see anyone leasing these warehouses out.”
Hassler said they are too far away from the highway.
“I do not see any wisdom,” he added. “[Mr. Jaindl] is it really necessary?”
Hassler said he knows “we more or less have to follow through with this” and that litigation, if they do not, will cost the taxpayers money.
“[But] it all goes down to a two-lane road [eventually] he added,” to applause.
Maintenance of the road was discussed. Allen Township will be responsible for the maintenance of old Seemsville Road and the connector road between the old and new Seemsville Roads. Stormwater infrastructure will be the obligation of Jaindl-Watson, pursuant upon a maintenance agreement with East Allen Township.
Jaindl-Watson is also responsible for improving the intersection of Howertown Road and Route 329. However, they have been unable to acquire a right-of-way from a property owner, preventing them from building a southbound right turn lane. They asked whether the requirement can be forgiven if they are unable to acquire the right-of-way.
Solicitor Lincoln Treadwell said developers would have to “show they made a good faith effort” to obtain the right-of-way. Without it, traffic could potentially build up to 50 cars deep at the intersection, according to Eugene Clater, former chair of the township’s planning commission.
Before the project can move forward, an inter-municipal agreement must still be signed between East Allen and Allen Townships.
Clater said it is time that the townships start talking to each other and working together.
“What the applicant has done is divide and conquer,” he said. “They are talking to all of the townships, but no one is talking to each other.”