Trailer plan prompts look at zon­ing changes

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt [email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

LIM­ER­ICK >> In the wake of last month’s ap­proval of the pre­lim­i­nary plan for the con­tro­ver­sial TP Trail­ers and Truck Equip­ment plan to build a man­u­fac­tur­ing and ser­vice fa­cil­ity on 10 acres at 181 Lim­er­ick Cen­ter Road, the town­ship is mak­ing some changes.

Town­ship Man­ager Dan Kerr told the su­per­vi­sors dur­ing Tues­day’s meet­ing that the ad­min­is­tra­tion is work­ing on some or­di­nance changes which so the stack­ing of cargo con­tain­ers three high would no longer be al­lowed.

The po­ten­tial stack­ing of con­tain­ers is al­lowed un­der the cur­rent rules and the pos­si­bil­ity of that hap­pen­ing be­came a bar­gain­ing chip while the TP Trail­ers pre­lim­i­nary was un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

The ex­ist­ing zon­ing or­di­nances al­low struc­tures to be as high as 35 feet tall and three stacked ship­ping con­tain­ers are be­low that height. Af­ter hear­ing safety con­cerns raised by neigh­bors op­pos­ing the plan, Town­ship Solic­i­tor Joseph McGrory tried, un­suc­cess­fully, to con­vince prop­erty owner Tom Perkins to agree to stack­ing them no more than two high.

Mark Kaplin, Perkins’ at­tor­ney, had of­fered to have all the con­tain­ers moved to the ex­ist­ing TP Trail­ers busi­ness on Ridge Pike, if the neigh­bors and su­per­vi­sors would sup­port Perkins bid for a zon­ing vari­ance to be able to sell ve­hi­cles at the Lim­er­ick Cen­ter Road site, which they re­fused to do.

All the su­per­vi­sors told the neigh­bors they did not like the plan, but be­cause it con­formed with the zon­ing or­di­nance, they could not op­pose it with­out be­ing sued in court, and los­ing.

Now, said Kerr, staff is work­ing on changes to the zon­ing or­di­nance as it re­lates to “out­door stor­age” that would pre­vent a repeat of that is­sue.

The changes, if adopted, would not ap­ply to the TP Trail­ers project.

“We have to be care­ful in how we tweak it be­cause as it stands, its work­ing for most of the busi­nesses in Lim­er­ick,” said Kerr.

Res­i­dent Amy Walker, an op­po­nent of the plan, pro­vided the town­ship with a generic or­di­nance on out­side stor­age put to­gether by a state-wide lo­cal govern­ment as­so­ci­a­tion.

The su­per­vi­sors were also asked about pos­si­bil­ity of the TP Trail­ers project dis­charg­ing pol­lu­tants into lo­cal streams.

But town­ship En­gi­neer Khaled Has­san said the plans re­quire such fa­cil­i­ties to have tanks to cap­ture chem­i­cal run-off like oil and anti-freeze.

Fur­ther, said Su­per­vi­sors Chair­man Ken Sper­ring, both the fed­eral En­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion Agency and Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion con­duct unan­nounced in­spec­tions.

“I’m very fa­mil­iar with them be­cause they are in my fa­cil­ity all the time,” said Sper­ring, who is the owner of Lim­er­ick Col­li­sion Cen­ter.

Kerr also said that the town­ship is re­quired to in­spect “ev­ery out­fall” of the stormwa­ter sys­tem un­der new fed­eral clean wa­ter rules. He promised to give a pre­sen­ta­tion on that process at a fu­ture board meet­ing.

The su­per­vi­sors also in­formed Walker that signs bar­ring truck traf­fic from nearby West Cherry Lane — an­other con­cern of the op­po­nents was in­creased truck traf­fic — only await per­mis­sion from Pen­nDOT be­fore they will be erected.

This ar­ti­cle first ap­peared as a post in The Dig­i­tal Note­book blog.

PHOTO FROM SCREEN­SHOT

The pro­posed truck man­u­fac­tur­ing and re­pair fa­cil­ity, shown by the red marker, is op­posed by res­i­dents of Bella Rosa Court, Par­nell Lane, Perry Court and West Cherry Lane

MEDIANEWS GROUP FILE PHOTO

The pre­lim­i­nary site plan for TP Trail­ers at 181 Lim­er­ick Cen­ter Road.

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