Faced with increasing traffic caused by rapid industrial growth along the Northern Route 130 corridor, Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs today announced that a subcommittee of the County Planning Board took action to reject a proposal to construct more than 560,000 square feet of additional warehouse space along the border of Mansfield and Bordentown Township. Citing serious traffic concerns with the developer’s site plan application, Director Gibbs said the decision is consistent with her plan to immediately improve the quality of life in the region.
“As I travel all across Burlington County, one constant concern I hear from residents is the mounting volume of traffic caused by industrial development, particularly along the Northern Route 130 corridor,” said Director Gibbs, who added the region is home to 6,000 employees and 12 million square feet of warehouse space. “That’s why last month I announced that the County would undertake immediate infrastructure improvements to provide traffic relief, while working with the region’s municipalities to responsibly plan for future development. We must hold developers accountable for their traffic impacts, and that’s what we have done with this proposal.”
During its meeting yesterday evening, the County Planning Board’s subcommittee voted unanimously to deny an application from Old York Business Park to develop two warehouse buildings on Old York Road based on concerns with the purported traffic impacts. According to the site plan application, the facility will generate 43 morning employee trips and 54 in the evening, yet proposes to have 389 parking spaces. Equally as troubling, is the potential impact from tractor trailers. Again, the site plan application says the facility will generate nine morning truck trips and 11 in the evening, yet proposes to have 130 additional parking spaces for those vehicles.
After careful consideration, the subcommittee found no reasonable explanation why there would be considerably more parking than the indicated employee and truck traffic volumes. While the tenant of the two warehouses is not known at this time, the expansive parking would be comparable to e-commerce fulfillment centers in the region.
“I applaud this decision. The discrepancy between the developer’s reported number of cars and trucks impacting our roads and the unusually large number of parking spaces certainly raises troubling questions,” added Director Gibbs. “I share the frustration of residents concerned by the adverse impact warehouse traffic is putting on our roadways and their quality of life, and I plan to continue to actively address it. Job creation and economic investment must be done in a way that doesn’t further deteriorate our roads, and in this case, the undetermined traffic volume could be very significant.”
Director Gibbs previously announced that the County is providing $10 million in funding to jumpstart improvements to Route 130 and Florence-Columbus Road and Route 130 and Cedar Lane intersections in Florence, and Dulty’s Lane in Burlington Township.
The Land Development Review Committee of the Burlington County Planning Board has jurisdiction to approve or deny site plan applications that are along county roads based on proposed traffic impacts and/or stormwater runoff.