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Palmer asks for truck ban out of proposed warehouse

By Joe McDonald, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 09 2013 09:15:00 PM CST
PALMER TWP., Pa. -

Palmer Township residents upset about a proposed warehouse near the border with Lower Nazareth Township received some support from city officials Monday night.

Not all the neighbors' concerns were addressed but several were in a letter the township agreed to send to its neighbors in Lower Nazareth, where township officials are scheduled to discuss the project Thursday at a 4 p.m. meeting.

The letter asks Lower Nazareth to prohibit tractor trailer traffic entering or exiting the proposed facility on Hecktown Road going east into Palmer “for any reason, any time of day or night” with proper sign instructions.

It also states that local police departments “shall have the authority to issue citations” to truckers who ignore the no-truck ban.

On a more technical level, the letter to Lower Nazareth asks the township to send copies of all geotechnical, traffic and storm water management reports to Palmer because, the letter states, it affects residents of both townships.

Palmer’s letter also asked Lower Nazareth to “clarify” the proposed use of the site. The letter, signed  by township solicitor Charles Bruno, said it is unclear if the proposed project is going to be a warehouse or truck terminal, as defined by Lower Nazareth’s zoning ordinance.

Some area residents have raised concerns about air pollution, noise and truck traffic from the proposed 822,000 square-foot warehouse project that Industrial Development International has plans to construct.

The warehouse is proposed for the Brown tract in Lower Nazareth, about 2,200 feet  from homes in Palmer.

Palmer officials turned down requests from residents to ban 24/7 operations at the facility, saying they do not impose those restrictions on facilities in their own township. They also turned down a request for the imposition of “California emissions standards,” which are more stringent than what is now in place, saying that was an Environmental Protection Agency issue.

Also turned down was a request for Palmer to ask for restrictions on the orientation of loading docks, so they would only face west.