In response to resident Linda Aston's written complaint that Day-Timer had a company cutting its grass at 6:30 a.m., Bianco said: "We should mow the grass whenever it's best for the neighbors."

The zoning hearing was like a chemistry class or magic show as Bianco demonstrated how he could make a mold of his own hand in just a few minutes "so everybody can see the nature of what we do."

Observed his lawyer: "Just for the record, while Mr. Bianco is testifying, his right hand is submerged in a bucket of green goo."

The applicant also went to the meeting with huge photos of the Day-Timer property and surrounding neighborhood.

Comparisons with Day-Timer

Smooth-On has an agreement to purchase the 31-acre Day-Timer property from Acco Brands USA LLC.

Day-Timer, which made calendars, day planners and organizers, permanently closed its Lower Macungie operation last July.

Bianco said Smooth-On's operation will be less intense than Day-Timer in many ways.

He said Smooth-On is only one-seventh of the size of Day-Timer. "Our hope is to expand, but we'll never be anywhere near the size that they were."

He said Day-Timer once employed 900-1,100 people in Lower Macungie "depending on who you ask."

Smooth-On has 140 employees in Williams Township. "We'll immediately be adding 20 or 30 new positions to the staff." He said some former Day-Timer employees have been hired by Smooth-On.

"They had a 200-desk call center. We have 10. Maybe one day we'll double that."

He said Day-Timer had dozens of trucks coming and going each day. He expects to have 20.

Some will be tractor-trailers, but more will be common carriers--Fed Ex and UPS. He said those shipping companies make deliveries from 8 a.m. until about 6 p.m. "We don't have any of our own trucks."

Bianco said it's possible the number of trucks could double after a period of years, but still will be "several orders of magnitude less" than when Day-Timer was fully operational.

He said Day-Timer had 20 loading docks. "We're planning on using just six." Trucks will use loading docks near the south end of the plant, away from roads and nearby homes.

"Car traffic is staggered throughout the 24-hour period," said Bianco. The primary employee parking lot will be 150 spaces on the south side of the building.

Like Day-Timer, Smooth-On will operate three shifts. The first will start at 5 a.m., the second at 1 p.m. and the third at 9 p.m. He said each will have fewer workers than the previous shift. "Our third shift is 10 or 15 employees."

An office shift of about 100 people will begin about 8 or 9 a.m.

"Only 12 percent of our workforce is actual manufacturing," he said. "The rest of it is sales, marketing, customer service, accounts receivable, warehousing, packaging."

Occasionally the plant will operate "for a couple of hours on a Saturday" but almost never on Sundays or holidays.

Smooth-On intends to open a retail store in the new plant, in the same place where Day-Timer had a retail outlet.

Bianco said the Day-Timer property actually is a series of buildings and additions constructed over 40 years, with a total of about 360,000 square feet of space. A private home also is on the property.

He told zoners: "I can't imagine ever filling this building; but as soon as you say that...

"Our current facility is 80,000 square feet. We're going into a much larger facility."