HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A controversial warehouse project planned along Route 322 in Swatara Township was rejected unanimously Monday by commissioners.
CRG Integrated Real Estate Solutions, a developer based near Philadelphia, was asking the board of commissioners to grant a conditional use permit in order to build four large warehouses on 165 acres of land, totaling more than one-million square feet of space.
But after months of testimony at public hearings from residents and weighing input from their planning commission, commissioners voted 5-0 to deny CRG’s request.
“We were hoping for three, but amazingly we have five,” said Marlena Seguin, a member of the Swatara Action Team. “Just to know that we were being listened to and that our needs were also being met and not overlooked.”
For months, grassroots groups like Swatara Action Team have fiercely opposed CRG’s proposal to build those warehouses. The plot of land is bordered by Route 322 to the north and several residential neighborhoods directly on the south, along Chambers Hill Road.
“We don’t want warehouses 35 feet from our house and trucks idling in our backyard, and trucks driving past our school children going to school every morning,” said Monica Lyons. “The commissioners listened to us, they did their job and we just couldn’t be happier.”
In a rare showing of thanks, residents walked up to the commissioner’s desk to shake hands and show their gratitude. Even though the project could mean thousands of dollars in tax revenue and 400 jobs, commissioners said CRG’s application was incomplete and didn’t satisfy the township’s zoning ordinance.
“A lot of things around the application didn’t seem to have detailed answers,” said President Tom Connolly.
Connolly said the application was vague in certain areas, and that questions still remain about truck traffic volumes, what exactly the warehouses would store, as well as what impact the complex would have on the environment.
“It just seemed like this [application] here didn’t have everything that we would expect at this phase and that’s all we voted on,” Connolly said.
Both commissioners and residents agreed that while development is good, this specific plan did not fit in their township.
CRG representatives were asked to comment following the vote but declined to speak with ABC27 and promptly left the meeting.
The company has 30 days from official written notice of the township’s denial to appeal the commissioners’ decision.
Two weeks ago, State Rep. Tom Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) formally voiced his opposition to the warehouse project, citing safety and traffic concerns from both residents and the Central Dauphin School District.