Unsent documents and keeping secrets

Public conversation continues on mega-warehouse 

Posted 8/3/22

MILFORD, PA — The discussion over a proposed mega-warehouse in Milford grew heated at a July 18 Milford Township Board of Supervisors meeting and at a July 26 Milford Township Planning …

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Unsent documents and keeping secrets

Public conversation continues on mega-warehouse 


MILFORD, PA — The discussion over a proposed mega-warehouse in Milford grew heated at a July 18 Milford Township Board of Supervisors meeting and at a July 26 Milford Township Planning Commission meeting.

The township is in the throes of discussion about a potential mega-warehouse alongside Interstate Route 84.

First, a public hearing on July 5 will continue on Monday, October 3, as the developers of the project, LVL Engineering Group and National Land Development LLC, did not submit their development presentation to the planning commission.

LVL and its team were directed to send over any missing documents and present the project to the planning commission.

On July 18, the board of supervisors convened a regularly scheduled meeting and discussed a second conditional use application from LVL.

A conditional use application is the use of property “which is permitted as long as the applicant can meet the explicit criteria contained in the zoning ordinance for that particular use,” according to townofmccandless.org.

The board also discussed letters received from the engineer on the project, Mike Gable, and John A. VanLuvanee, an attorney with Eastburn & Gray, P.C, who is representing LVL. The letters were sent between July 15 and July 16, and asked to hold a planning commission meeting on July 26 to evaluate the proposal, even though there was already a planning commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 23.

Board and planning commission members at the July 18 meeting responded.

“We were sent a letter by their [LVL] engineer, I believe, stating basically a mail threat that we should not speak of anything in how they [LVL] appear,” said Kevin Stroyan, vice chairman of the planning commission.

A conversation broke out about the lack of communication and documentation of studies from LVL and its legal team. It was discussed that LVL has documentation of the first conditional use application and now a second application, but had not sent the “corroborated documents that were present at the meeting on July 5.”

Solicitor Anthony Magnotta is to reply to the letters and request all documentation from all parties to review in advance for the upcoming meetings. It was also requested that Gable should be present at the forthcoming meetings.

Following the meeting on July 18, the planning commission convened a forum on July 26 in which LVL could present their proposal.

Gable started the presentation by going over traffic studies. It had earlier been designated that the project, under PENNDOT regulations, would have low-volume criteria—meaning it would, on average, have around 750 car visitations a day with about 1500 trips. However, the new proposal included a medium-volume driveway, as it was found that making a left turn out of the driveway would be difficult and cause a “queue of cars.” Gable then designed an additional lane to make a left-turn lane, creating a road with a right-turn lane, a left turn and a straight lane.

The board requested that Gable address how the plan complies with the conditions of the conditional use application. There were no objections to Gable’s answers until a conversation about groundwater occurred.

“The township may require a plan to be submitted for rebuttal approval and may require security of ensured contamination response, moditive wells and water qualities tests may also be required by the township,” said a member of the commission in a recording of the meeting. “You didn’t do any of that.”

The board member had stated he could not mark off conditions, unless there were studies that proved LVL met the underground water conditions as the application stated. Gable argued that would be a part of land development that is not needed for the conditional use application.

“The use conditions, based on your premise, I can’t put conditions on groundwater until [you have your site plan], and that’s not the way it works. The purpose of conditional use is the conditions on the groundwater,” disputed the board member. “How you’re gonna protect it, how you’re [going to] preserve it, how you’re gonna do the stormwater—that’s not once you get your site plan.”

Gable and the board argued over the urgency of needing a groundwater test. Gable had argued that the only potential negative effect that could occur with the aquifer is the runoff of surface-level and stormwater.

Following this debate, Gable will follow up with a series of tests after the meeting.

The meeting went on to discuss a proposed 233-space parking lot in front of the building. There was conversation about a variance needed to appeal the conditions of the conditional use application, as Gable stated the project exceeded certain conditions due to its different use.

The board questioned the location, traffic and position of the proposed parking. Gable said that traffic was expected, and a study will be conducted by a traffic engineer and presented to PENNDOT. The planning commission was invited to attend.

The meeting once again continued the discussion of stormwater, snow removal and weather-related circumstances. Gable answered questions about these circumstances.

The meeting opened up to the public to ask questions pertaining to the conditions discussed, such as clarification on conditions, air pollution or the function of the project.

The next planning commission meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 23. It could include information on additional studies pertaining to unanswered questions about the unfilled conditions.

Milford, mega-warehouse, LVL Engineering Group, supervisors, planning commission, development


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