A special meeting has been scheduled by the Florence Zoning Board of Adjustment this month to approve a resolution for the approved Foxdale Properties, LLC warehouse sited at the intersection of Delaware and Railroad avenues.
The special meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 prior to a meeting of the Planning Board. The meeting will be held in the municipal complex, 711 Broad St., Florence.
Township solicitor David Frank said the reason for the special meeting is to finish up paperwork involved with preparation of the resolution given the scope of the Foxdale project.
Site plans for the construction of a 300,700-square-foot warehouse were approved by the zoning board on July 1. During that meeting, additional testimony and public comment were continued from a June 6 meeting.
The applicant sought preliminary and final site plan approval with a bulk and height variance to build the 50-foot-tall warehouse.
Professionals representing Foxdale testified that the warehouse is designed to accommodate two tenants with more than 289,000 square feet of warehouse space and additional designated office space.
The applicant’s representatives said the project will include a 354-space parking lot, landscaping, lighting, a storm water management system and several sound walls on the 30-acre lot, which is adjacent to the Ready-Pac processing facility.
Given that the property is in the township’s special manufacturing zone, which allows a maximum building height of 30 feet or two stories, the applicant’s request to build a facility with a height of 50 feet brought the application before the Zoning Board of Adjustment and not the Planning Board.
Although residents at previous meetings expressed concerns about potential traffic, noise and visual issues with the warehouse site, Frank said the board does not have jurisdiction over multiple factors in its decision.
He said when faced with an application for a permitted use that meets all of the standards that are applicable to that application, the zoning and site design standards, the board members have to take that into consideration.
“If an application is for a permitted use, whether it’s at the planning board or zoning board, and they meet the standards of the zone, it must be approved,” Frank said at the July meeting.
When multiple residents raised similar issues and concerns in June, Frank explained that because the zone allows the warehouse use, the latitude of the board with regard to approvals, denials or specific conditions is less than it would be if the board was hearing a use variance application – an application for a use that is not permitted in the special manufacturing zone.
Frank said the township’s professionals reviewed the proposed site for compliance.
Motions were made to grant the Foxdale application preliminary and final site plan approval, and the height variance for the warehouse.
Board members Michael Zekas, Larry Lutz, Brett Buddenbaum, Anthony Drangula, Margo Mattis and Dennis Puccio voted “yes” on each motion.
Board members Lou Sovak and Joseph Cartier voted “no” on each motion.
Sovak said he voted “no” because he believed the additional 20 feet of height on the warehouse would have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of nearby residents.
Cartier did not comment on his reason for voting “no.”