Carlisle-area residents voice concern over warehouse plans - abc27 WHTM

Carlisle-area residents voice concern over warehouse plans

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After a failed attempt in Fairview Township, York County, property developer Goodman Birtcher now has its sights set on Cumberland County.

The company wants to build a three-million square foot distribution center on a parcel of farm land between I-81 and Ritner Highway. The property sits on the border of four municipalities -- Carlisle Borough, Dickinson Township, South Middletown Township and West Pennsboro Township.

Monday night, residents attended a public hearing before the Dickinson Township Board of Supervisors on a proposal to re-zone the land to allow for industrial development. Many cited concerns about truck idling and air pollution in an already highly-congested area.

Michelle Line's family farm is situated directly next to the site.

"I have two young children. As a mother, it's my job to protect them," she said, fighting back tears. "How can you protect them from something they can't even see?"

Goodman Birtcher public affairs director Tom Ahern said air quality is actually improving in the Carlisle area, and residents should be excited for the "900-plus" new jobs the facility would generate.

"The jobs are not just about $12/hour warehouse jobs -- they're management jobs, they're accounting jobs and there are actually a lot of IT jobs that are a part of this as well," Ahern said.

Ahern said additionally, the Carlisle School District would receive approximately $600,000 a year in tax revenue.

Some residents still weren't convinced this would be advantageous for their small rural community.

"It's just ridiculous that they're allowed to ruin the quality of people's lives who have been there their whole life," said Gary Graham, who lives within 1/4 mile of the proposed site.

Supervisors were supposed to vote on the re-zoning Monday night, but instead amended the proposal and sent it back to the planning commission, which now has 30 days to make new recommendations.

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