Lower Nazareth Supervisors Table Decision on Warehouse Plan

Dual-warehouse project proposed for a 58-acre parcel off Route 248 in Lower Nazareth Township will be considered at next Board of Supervisors meeting on July 11.

The on Wednesday tabled a decision on a conditional-use application for First Park 33, a warehouse project , opposite ProLogis Parkway.

Supervisors decided to wait until at least their next meeting on July 11 to rule on the application, following a 100-minute hearing in which neighbors of the proposed warehouse complex complained the project could harm their quality of life and property values.

The neighbors, most of whom live on Country Club Road, said they worry they will be affected by noise and fumes from whatever company leases the two proposed warehouses that First Industrial Realty Trust Inc., the company that owns the property, plans to construct.

They also did not like the idea of looking out their windows and seeing large industrial buildings, despite project developers' plans to build a 5-foot-high, tree-lined berm and a 6-foot-high fence to separate the warehouses from neighboring homes.

“We're doing the best we can to disguise the building from Country Club Road,” said project engineer Paul Szewczak. At other points in the hearing, project developers noted there is no way to completely “hide” the proposed 40-foot-high warehouses from neighbors.

One woman, a resident of Country Club Road, said the plan -- in particular the proposed wall -- brings back unpleasant memories of growing up in Germany.

“Growing up next to the wall in Berlin ... I'm going to face that again,” she said. “I'm going backwards in time.”

One resident suggested the height of the berm or the fence could be increased. Raising the berm higher than 5 feet would require a variance from the , since that is as high as the berm can be built, based on a formula in the township zoning code, said township Solicitor Gary Asteak.

First Industrial Realty Trust does not yet have tenants committed for either proposed warehouse building, but the site could attract a wide range of industrial and commercial clients, said Jeff Thomas, a First Industry official.

A traffic study conducted by project developers indicates a maximum of 2,250 vehicles -- both cars and trucks -- would enter or leave the property in a 24-hour time frame once both buildings are fully operational.

The approved , but the final decision rests with the township supervisors. They have 45 days to approve or deny the conditional-use application. That clock chimes on Aug. 11.

Supervisors tabled a vote on the application on Wednesday partly because of the amount of material they need to consider and partly since two supervisors -- Robert Kucsan and Martin Boucher -- did not attend Wednesday's meeting, said Supervisor Chairman Eric Nagle.


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