Jackson planners approve warehouse on Cedar Swamp Road near I-195

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JACKSON — A 60,000-square-foot, one-story warehouse building is expected to be constructed at the intersection of Cedar Swamp Road and Progress Place following a unanimous approval granted by the members of the Jackson Planning Board.

The site at Cedar Swamp Road and Progress Place where the warehouse is planned is near a ramp that leads to Interstate 195 westbound and is adjacent to the Jackson Park and Ride facility.

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Representatives of Progress Jackson, LLC, appeared before the board on Dec. 5 seeking preliminary and final major site plan approval for the warehouse.

The application was heard by Planning Board Chairman Robert Hudak, Jeffrey Riker, Township Councilman Martin Flemming, Michele Campbell, Township Administrator Terence Wall, Mordechai Burnstein, Tzvi Herman, Noah Canderozzi and Lisa DeMarzo.

Progress Jackson, LLC, was represented by attorney Jeffrey R. Chang, engineer and planner Matthew Sharo, architect Joseph Feltz and traffic engineer Justin Taylor.

In brief remarks prior to the applicant’s testimony, Doug Klee, the board’s engineer, said the application was in substantial compliance with the requirements of Jackson’s commercial, office, light industrial (LM) zone.

Klee said access to the site will be from Progress Place, which is a private road, and the warehouse will be serviced by a well and a septic system.

Ernie Peters, the board’s planner, said a warehouse with a small percentage of office space is a permitted use in the LM zone. He said there will not be any retail sales at the site, all materials will be stored in the building and no hazardous chemicals will be stored in the warehouse.

Testimony indicated two tenants could occupy the building. One tenant is expected to use 16,000 square feet of warehouse space and 1,000 square feet of office space. The second tenant is expected to use 37,500 square feet of warehouse space and 5,250 square feet of office space. The total size of the building is about 60,000 square feet.

Chang said there are no residences near the property.

During his testimony, Sharo said no tenants for the building have been secured at this time. He described the building as “typical of a warehouse use” and said the facility may operate 24 hours a day.

A full movement driveway is proposed off Progress Place. Employees will park at the front of the building (67 parking spaces required; 67 parking spaces provided) and tractor-trailers will park in six loading areas at the rear of the building, said Sharo, who works for Dynamic Engineering, Lake Como.

The applicant proposed the construction of a 190,000-gallon tank to store water that would be used for fire suppression purposes in the event of a fire at the warehouse, according to Sharo.

During his testimony, Feltz described the architectural features of the building and reiterated that the tank will store water for fire suppression purposes only. Water used in the building (i.e., restrooms and sinks) will be provided by a well, he said. At its highest point, the warehouse will be 50 feet tall.

Taylor, of Dynamic Traffic, Lake Como, said he reviewed the traffic impact of the proposed development, which would include tractor-trailers, passenger vehicles and the existing conditions at the site.

The proposal presented by Progress Jackson, LLC, “is a good design to accommodate vehicles; a safe design,” Taylor said, noting the property’s direct access to I-195.

He estimated that during the morning peak hour there would be 30 trips at the location (combination of vehicles entering and leaving the site; including one truck entering the site) and that during the afternoon peak hour there would also be 30 trips at the location (combination of vehicles entering and leaving the site; including three trucks leaving the site).

Other tractor-trailers entering and leaving the site would be spread out during the remaining hours of the day, Taylor said.

“The intersection (of Cedar Swamp Road and Progress Place) will accommodate the traffic added by the warehouse,” he said.

Hudak, the board’s chairman, expressed concern about tractor-trailer drivers making a left turn from Progress Place onto Cedar Swamp Road.

In response, Taylor said he anticipates most of the tractor-trailers that leave the warehouse property will turn right from Progress Place onto Cedar Swamp Road and immediately use the I-195 ramp to merge onto the highway.

When the meeting was opened to public comment, resident Greg Staffordsmith asked questions about various fire suppression issues in and at the proposed building.

In response, Chang, the applicant’s attorney, said the warehouse is an appropriate use for the tract and said his client “is willing to accommodate the board’s concerns, specifically with fire suppression.”

Before a motion regarding the Progress Jackson, LLC, application was made, Wall, Jackson’s township administrator who serves on the board, said, “It is refreshing for an applicant to come in prepared with its professionals. Mop-up work from the dais was not needed.”

Hudak added, “This (area) is a gateway to Jackson and we hope you will make us proud with your landscaping (of the site).”

Chang said the applicant would do that.

A motion was made to grant preliminary and final major site plan approval to the Progress Jackson, LLC, application and unanimously approved by the board members.

A resolution memorializing the board’s approval of the application and outlining the conditions of approval will be voted on during an upcoming meeting.

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