Approximately 75 Perry Township residents met with a team of developers from Key Development Group of Chester County at the Perry Township Municipal Building for more information on the proposed Hamburg Logistics Park on April 16.
What was meant to be an informal meeting allowing residents to approach the developers with questions became a group question and answer session. Frustrated residents expressed that many of them had the same questions and wanted the meeting to be similar to the one held the previous week.
The proposed project would turn Perry Golf Course and two adjacent properties into an industrial park made up of three warehouse distribution centers on Route 61 and Zion Church Road.
Often times the questioning turned into shouting and confusion as questions were being asked by multiple residents at the same time with very little time for the developers to provide desired answers.
“We’re here because we want to hear from the neighbors,” said Jim Clymer a Key Development partner. “We want to work with neighbors about noise and pollution.”
The main concern to residents is the use of Zion Church Road which is the proposed entrance to the park and traffic on Route 61.
“Those trucks can’t use that road. Period,” said one resident multiple times. He added that the noise of trucks going up the road is a “deal breaker” and told the team “you’re ruining our lives is what you’re doing.”
That resident along with a few others throughout the night left the meeting in frustration while those who stayed could be heard around the room sharing their thoughts on the answers being given by the development team with their fellow residents.
“Zion Church Road will be ruined because of this project,” said Rosa Lentz who lives along the road and mentioned concern for her driveway being blocked if two trucks get backed up.
Many residents along the same road as Lentz expressed similar concerns as well as fear for the safety of children waiting for the bus and getting mail from their mailboxes.
Changing the entrance of the park from Zion Church Road to Zweizig Road was suggested by residents, but the development team responded that the change is not an option based on decisions by the Perry Township and PennDOT.
Anger and frustration could be heard from a number of residents as they shared their concerns over the impact that this project will have on their neighborhood if built.
“The way the information came to me, this is going to happen. If you want to be our neighbor, be our neighbor and work with us,” said Tom DeAngelo. He explained that so far the information has not been presented to the residents which is one of the reasons that so many are upset.
According to the development team, the park is projected to bring 650 jobs to the area and there are expected to by approximately 70 trucks during peak hours. Clymer said that the warehouses are expected to be occupied by consumer product companies which typically run clean operations. The team also assured residents that federal standards and specific regulations are used to reduce emission issues.
After the question and answer session came to an end, residents had the chance to ask the development team questions one on one and look at the planning displays. Groups of residents gathered together to discuss what to do next.
“Come to all the meeting and hound PennDOT,” said Pegeen Kline a resident of the neighborhood.
The planning committee meeting is May 1 during which time the planning commission will review the land development plan.