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Residents sound-off in light of final hearing on proposed warehouse

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 09 2014 04:00:23 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 09 2014 06:36:20 PM CDT

Dozens of people attended a hearing about a proposed warehouse in Lower Nazareth Township that's caused controversy in the community.

LOWER NAZARETH TWP., Pa. -

Dozens of people attended a hearing about a proposed warehouse in Lower Nazareth Township that's caused controversy in the community.

Monday's session at Lower Nazareth Elementary School is expected to be the final session in an ongoing conditional use hearing about a more than 800,000 square foot warehouse Industrial Developments International would like to build near Route 248 and Newburg Road.

Neighbors who are opposed say they're not against development on the land, just this kind of project.

"It will affect our health, our safety, and our welfare," said Ginger Buchser, who lives nearby in Palmer Township.

"Gone are the days of sleeping with the windows open, it'll be gone," said Paul Adolf, another neighbor.

Neighbors have concerns about noise, pollution, and their property values due to the facility that would operate 24/7.

"If people are within 1,500 feet of diesel exhaust, we will get sick," said Buchser.

The hearing has gone on for more than seven months. Experts for IDI have testified the warehouse wouldn't cause property values to go down and would not cause noise to significantly go up. Neighbors like Buchser and Adolf disagree.

"Feeling very hopeful that the board has listened to our expert testimony that we have found legal reasons why they have to not allow this as IDI wants to do it," said Buchser.

These residents don't oppose development on the land, just this kind.

Adolf said, "There's a far better use for this land that's so close to a community and 500 households. It shouldn't be a truck terminal, it should be another kind of multi-layered use, shops, apartments."

He added, "Even some other light industry that operated 9-5 or 6-6, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., would be far preferable to a 24/7 facility."

Township solicitor Gary Asteak said that closing arguments from each side's lawyers will be held August 11.

Check back in with wfmz.com for more on Monday night's hearing.