Jaindl warehouse development gets approval for first phase
Unable to add a turn lane at a busy Route 329 intersection, a developer now is willing to instead extend an Allen Township road to deal with traffic concerns related to his proposed 2.5 million square feet of warehouses.
David Jaindl, of JW Development Partners, told township supervisors Tuesday that he is agreeable to extending Savage Road across Route 329 to connect to Howertown Road to reduce traffic congestion at the intersection.
The board voted 4-1 in favor of final approval for the first development phase of Northampton Business Center, planned for five warehouses totaling 2.5 million square feet between Seemsville and Howertown roads.
Jaindl initially agreed to provide a right turn southbound on Howertown Road onto Route 329 alongside the Shell gas station there, but the township was not able to acquire the right-ofway from the property owner for the lane.
As a condition of approval, he then agreed to construct the turn lane should the township get the land in the future.
Tuesday, Supervisor Gary Behler suggested an alternative — having Jaindl extend Savage Road alongside the Ace Hardware store to eventually meet Howertown Road, with the township’s contributing money toward the project should the cost exceed that of the right turn lane he originally agreed to provide.
As part of the arrangement previously agreed upon between Jaindl and the township, JW Development has 18 months from the completion of the traffic study required by the township and PennDOT to do the work, whether it is the right-turn lane from Howertown Road to Route 329 or the Savage Road extension.
The dollar value of the work would be hashed out between the developer’s engineer and the township.
A sixth warehouse spanning 186,000 square feet to be built on nearly 14 acres just west of Howertown Road is now planned for the second phase.
AnnMarie Vigilante of Langan Engineering, Jaindl’s traffic consultant, submitted a traffic impact study in December 2017 that estimated 4,263 two-way vehicle trips per day, broken down as 1,319 cars going back and forth per day and 812 trucks.
Langan’s revised study, submitted in April, now projects 4,095 trips back and forth per day, with 780 trucks and 1,267 cars.
The reduction is because one of the buildings, Warehouse 4, is being reduced from 400,000 to 300,000 square feet, Vigilante said.
The board also agreed to Jaindl’s contribution of roughly 41 acres to the township in the northeast portion of the property in lieu of $55,000 in recreation fees.
As part of that arrangement, Jaindl agreed to seek permission from the township if he wants to install stormwater infrastructure within the easement.
Supervisor Dale Hassler, who voted no, said he couldn’t support warehouses on the nearly 300 acres of land, despite the zoning in place allowing for them.
“Morally it doesn’t belong there, I’ve always said that from Day 1,” he said.
Behler said voting against them would land the township in court, where he believes it would lose.
“If there was a legal way around this, I’d vote no,” he said.
Richard Novak, of Bally Drive, asked the board to reconsider given PennDOT’s recent decision to cut funding for major road improvements in the Lehigh Valley that would have accommodated increased truck traffic.
“Jaindl will add a burden to the road system,” he said.
Kevin Duffy is a freelance writer for The Morning Call.