About a dozen residents picketed outside the Perry Township municipal office to show their opposition to a proposed industrial park Wednesday night. A packed room of roughly 60 people expressed relief after the planning commission voted unanimously to reject preliminary plans to build large warehouses on the Perry Township Golf Course.
Chairman Gene Buck said the board's vote came after concerns about the proposed entrance and water quality issues were raised. The proposed plan included two entrances off of Zion's Church Road. Several houses are located next to the road and residents worried about the amount of heavy truck traffic and a potential widening of the road. An alternative to the Zion's Church Road entrance would be construction of an intersection off Zweizig Road just further south.
"Why do they want to put an intersection and entrance on Zion's Church road? Why don't they use Zweizig Road?" asked Shoemakersville resident Pegeen Kline adding, "nobody lives on Zweizig Road, think about your citizens."
Another issue was that of water quality and runoff. While developers said Shoemakersville Township could supply the additional 8,000 gallons a day the park would need, many in attendance wondered how a large industrial park would affect water quality and if there were enough retention ponds planned to handle runoff. Resident Tom Deangelo read a list of concerns complied through a resident's meeting, asking "will changes to the water table cause basements to flood?"
When board members denied the plan, the room erupted in applause. Buck noted that although preliminary plans were denied, the project as a whole is not dead.
"Once our issues with the developers are resolved they can come back and resubmit a plan for approval," Buck said.
Developer's were not well received during a update to the project plans two weeks ago. One after another, residents spoke about their disapproval of the plans calling the project an eyesore.
"Why would they want to build three large warehouses without naming any tenants?" asked Bud Bucheit of Shoemakersville.
The 165-acre Hamburg Logistical Park project developed by Key Development Group of West Chester would include the construction of three warehouses totaling over two million square feet to be build on the Perry Golf Course and two adjacent properties. The group says the warehouses would be occupied by consumer product companies and noted that the properties in question are already zoned for industrial use. they say the project could create nearly 650 jobs in the area.