Warehouse to replace 16 buildings on Route 329
The transformation of an industrial park into a single warehouse in East Allen Township has been approved by the Board of Supervisors.
The board Thursday granted conditional use approval to Imperial Realty Group LLC to subdivide the property at Airport Road and Route 329 into four lots, with Lot 1 consolidated into one 26.6-acre parcel that will feature a warehouse totaling 245,000 square feet.
Sixteen office and manufacturing buildings will be demolished in order to make way for the single warehouse.
The strip plaza on Lot 2 will be retained, with the total area of Lots 2 and 3 increased from 1.9 to 2.3 acres in order to put four septic systems on Lot 2.
A new primary and secondary septic system will be provided by Imperial Realty for the warehouse, through either a sand mound or drip irrigation.
Lot 3 will feature a small warehouse on little more than an acre, and Lot 4 will remain unchanged, with an existing building on that site retained.
“I’m worried about the two existing properties and that they have an adequate [septic] system,” supervisor Mark Schwartz said before the board’s 4-0 vote approving the conditional use.
The township retains the right to conduct property inspections to ensure adequacy, township manager Brent Green said.
The warehouse would be served water by Bethlehem, with a booster pumping station designed to supplement the water supply for fire protection, if needed.
The property is primarily in the light industrial business park zone, where warehousing is permitted, with a portion zoned limited planned commercial. It is directly across the 41-acre site being developed as The Cubes at Lehigh Valley-Airport Road by Clayco Inc. and Vertek Construction Management.
Two driveways leading from the proposed Lot 1 to Airport Road will be retained.
There are no conditions in the agreement limiting trucks solely to right-hand turns southbound onto Airport Road when leaving Lot 1, said Jim Milot, township engineer.
Approval was conditioned upon sufficient room being provided to stack up to 12 trucks on the property without affecting Airport Road traffic, in accordance with testimony provided by Mark Bahnick, Imperial’s engineering consultant, during a conditional use hearing held in May.
The site is expected to generate 636 trips per day, cars and trucks, at full buildout, Bahnick previously said, representing a reduction from the 781 trips the property now produces.
The plan also calls for two parking areas, with one to the north consisting of 125 parking spaces for cars, and 52 truck loading spaces and 52 trailer parking spaces in the parking area to the south.
Both will be connected by a driveway wrapping around the rear of the warehouse, with no parking, queuing, staging or loading permitted on Airport Road or Route 329.
Imperial is also required to construct a 100-foot wide berm of equivalent height along the western perimeter from Route 329 to the southern property line to mitigate sight, sound and light from exiting the property, as well as street trees and landscape buffering along the frontage of Airport Road and Route 329.