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Truck Stops Banned at Route 33 Interchange

Palmer Township Planners discuss the zoning map in preparation for the future development around the Route 33 interchange project.

officials continue to plan the 689 undeveloped acres around the proposed at Tatamy Road.

“This is exciting for the township,” said Richard Wilkins, board chairman. “There are no new homes or kids to be enrolled in schools, just business development.”

On Tuesday night, Palmer Planners discussed exactly what that development could be, and decided to exclude truck stops as a possible use of the land. They also discussed if allowing nightclubs would also mean they would have to allow adult entertainment such as a gentlemen's club, but that would not be allowed in the zoning either.

This development, if it occurs, will bring in tax dollars to the township. For that reason, the has been restructuring the zoning map and ordinances to encourage development around the site.

The plan, yet to be finalized, essentially involves three bands of zoning with restaurants and shopping centers closest to the interchange and heavier industry hidden farther back.

On Tuesday night, Palmer planners, with Supervisors David Colver and Robert Lammi, went through a list of possible uses for each zoning district. The commercial area, right around the interchange, could include hotels, movie theaters, gas stations and retail stores. Also on the list were truck stops and nightclubs. But there were questions about those.

“Trucks don’t pay taxes, buildings do,” Lammi said. “Truck stops also use up a lot of land.”

The concern was that a truck stop right off the road would be an eyesore, and there would be better uses for the land. So the board agreed to remove it from the list.

Similarly, member Virginia Rickert had an issue with how “nightclub” was defined.

“I question the nightclub business,” she said, “I think it could bring in trouble.”

The question was whether a nightclub could also include a “gentleman’s club,” or adult entertainment.

Planning Director Cynthia Carman defined “nightclub” as a business that predominantly served alcohol and had a cover charge for music and dancing. Township Solicitor Charles Bruno added that gentleman’s clubs were covered by a separate zoning ordinance that would not apply to the interchange area.

The second band could include such things as industrial parks, distribution centers and warehouses. And the area farthest from the interchange could see more industrial use such as manufacturing. In this zoning area, the board also includeed heavy industry and research laboratories as possible "conditional uses."

Conditional use means the business would also have to comply with additional requirements other than what would normally be required for a particular zoning district.

The plan will continue to be developed and discussed again at the Planning Commission’s next meeting on May 8.

Colver said his board would need to see a final version by June at the latest in order for it to discuss the zoning changes as well.

There is also a public hearing scheduled for April 24 on creating a Neighborhood Improvement District and governing board for the Route 33 project.

Marc Gombosi April 12, 2012 at 01:30 AM
"Trucks don't pay taxes, buildings do."? A truck stop would be "an eyesore"? This is what happens when people who have absolutely no idea what they're talking about form and offer opinions. First of all, trucks use FUEL. Fuel is purchased at TRUCK STOPS. Truck stops pay (business privelege) TAXES, based on what they sell........ergo, TRUCKS PAY TAXES! Secondly, I wonder if one of these simpletons have ever visited.....or even SEEN....a "Flying J" truck stop. They are aestetically-appealing, spotlessly clean and THEY EMPLOY PEOPLE! Get a grip, people. You, the members of the board, are not bigger than the community you serve.
93GEO-Metro April 14, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Truck stop banned? Ever notice how many truckers are parked along side of the road on Route 33 near the interchange with Route 22 early in the morning? Since when did that become a Truck Stop?

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