Jonathan Greer said he's not against development in Fairview Township.

He just wants the township's board of supervisors to reverse its zoning decision that allows warehouses in the commercial business district, which is adjacent to residences and a school.

Greer said the supervisors' decision - made late last year - opened the door for Goodman Birtcher North American Management to apply for a conditional-use application to build a 1-million-square-foot warehouse distribution center on 83 acres of land at the northwest corner of the Lewisberry Road and Interstate 83 intersection.

The area is part of the commercial business district.

"That's not a good site for a warehouse, not in this district," Greer said. "It's too close where people are living, where children go to school."

Greer is a member of Concerned Citizens of Fairview Township, which is represented by attorney Susan Smith.

Greer and several group members are among eight township residents who submitted a two-part proposal to the board of supervisors to amend the zoning ordinance.

They discussed their proposal during the supervisors' meeting Monday.

The proposal's first part calls for amending the zoning ordinance so that it would prohibit warehousing, distribution and wholesaling in the commercial business district.

The proposal's second part includes requests for language to be changed in various sections of the ordinance, including sections on service equipment, performance standards and requirements for non-residential industrial uses.


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The board agreed to hold a public hearing only on the proposal's first part Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Fairview Township Fire Department, 340 Lewisberry Road in New Cumberland.

"That's what we wanted," said Greer, referring to the hearing. "I'm grateful they're going to give us a chance to be heard."

William Brown, chairman of the board of supervisors, said he's heard from 200 residents who want the zoning decision reversed.

"They're concerned about noise pollution, light pollution, fumes pollution, extra truck traffic on a two-lane road and near an elementary school," he said. "The board has agreed they should be heard."

"The board decided the second part of the proposal would be focused on at a later date. Both Greer and Smith said they accept the decision.

The zoning issue came to a head after Goodman Birtcher North American Management filed its conditional-use application May 31.

The zoning ordinance allows for multiple uses at the proposed warehouse site, but also requires that special conditional uses be approved by the supervisors.

Goodman Birtcher's plan fell under the conditional-uses category because the plan called for building a large-scale warehouse where light-use warehouses exist, Stephen Waller, the township's code administrator/zoning officer has said.

The company withdrew its application in September, indicating it would need to redraw its layout in accordance to requirements from the Capital City Airport Authority, as a portion of the proposed site was within a regulated zone for the airport.

Waller and Brown said the township has not received a notice from Goodman Birtcher on when it will submit another application or whether the company will drop its warehouse plans for the area. The company is based in Irvine, Calif., and has an office in Malvern, Chester County.

Greer said he is satisfied - for now- that Goodman Birtcher's proposed project is at a standstill. He said he's also concerned that the company could restart its efforts or that another business would propose a warehouse in the same site because of the zoning ordinance.

"It's not over," Greer said. "The door remains open. That's what we're trying to address."

The Fairview Township Board of Supervisors will hold its public hearing concerning allowing warehouses in the commercial business district at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Fairview Township Fire Department, 340 Lewisberry Road in New Cumberland.

- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.