Lehigh Valley

Major fence distributor seeks Easton relocation

EASTON, Pa. - SimTek Fence, a large fencing distributor that services over 2,100 Home Depot stores throughout the country, wants to create a shipping base in Easton.

The company was unanimously granted a use variance from the city's planning commission Wednesday that will allow it to lease a portion of a 30,000-square-foot building located on 1 Adamson Street in spite zoning regulations that otherwise prevented the move.

The location, currently in a 100-year flood plain district, requires certain applicants to seek council approval before developing or relocating.

Easton officials, though, were convinced that the project would not pose an environmental risk to the area.

"No hazardous materials of any kind will be stored on this site," said planner Michael Handzo. "The applicant has described clear procedures for flood management and evacuation."

If a flood emergency occurs, the applicant says they will be twelve feet above the flood plain elevation, which the board said was to its satisfaction.

According to Hanzo, the proposed 3-year lease is also in accordance with rules and regulations set forth by the city's comprehensive plan and also matched the design density, function and spirit of the district, which is comprised of both manufacturing as well as residential parcels.

The application will now be heard by the City of Easton council, with the planning commission's recommendation, where it will receive its final decision.

SimTek Vice President of Operations says his crew is ready for the subsequent steps.

"We are ready to flip the switch as soon as [we get final approval]," he said.

The Easton Planning Commission also raised concerns over parking and shared space, since SimTek will only occupy 8,000 square feet of the River Corridor property, but representatives assured them that the company would receive only 16 daily truck trips and that the space is large enough to be split between two companies.

SimTek is based out of Oren, Utah, where up until this point it has conducted its manufacturing operations.

Haddock says the move to Easton will allow the company to better service its East Coast customers, extending from Maine down to Virginia.

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