ROXBURY, NJ — Concerned about impacts to Roxbury’s quality of life, particularly when it comes to truck traffic, township officials are close to limiting the size of warehouses in industrial districts.
An ordinance that imposes the size restrictions was introduced several weeks ago. It is scheduled for a public hearing, and potential adoption, on April 13.
The proposed ordinance cites “the growing demand for warehouse development” in Roxbury. It asserts that regulating the size and location of warehouses is necessary “to avoid excessive truck traffic on local roads and adverse effects on existing stressed intersections as well as on residential neighborhoods and the residential character of the township.”
Roxbury Township Manager John Shepherd, in an email, said the new ordinance was recommended by the township Master Plan Committee.
“In particular, the amendment is designed to address the potential impacts of massive warehouse and distribution centers,” Shepherd said. “Such facilities, if not properly regulated, will have a significant negative impact on the township with respect to traffic, noise, pollution and visual impacts.”
Shepherd noted warehousing “will still be permitted in the industrial districts.”
However, the proposed ordinance, among other things, limits the floor area of warehouses to 50,000 square feet per building and their height to 35 feet. Warehouse buildings must be separated by at least 90 feet, according to the proposed ordinance.
It notes that, “in recent years, warehouse uses have evolved in the direction of high-volume e-commerce fulfillment and distribution centers which generate significantly greater truck traffic as well as visual and noise impacts …”
The proposed ordinance also contends that “greater warehouse building heights can accommodate multiple mezzanine levels, with attendant expansion of floor area, and also involve potentially greater visual impacts.”
Shepherd said the ordinance is not in reaction to any particular proposal. “The Planning Board has not received any applications for development of any large warehouses other than some work around the existing warehouse building accessed from Route 46 (near Kingtown Diesel),” he said.
That parcel is commonly known as “the Phillips site,” since it was once occupied by Phillips, and is now home to Farren International. Warehouse buildings on the site cover 400,581 square feet.
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