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Dickinson Township OKs zoning change for Goodman Birtcher warehouses

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Dickinson Township supervisors granted Goodman Birtcher the rezoning it needs Monday night to construct more than 2 million square feet of warehouses.

The 2-0 vote changes 86 acres in the township's business recreation district along Allen Road to business industrial. Supervisors J.R. Barrett and Jonathan Reisinger voted for the plan. Supervisor Bob Wrightstone was absent but had said he would abstain.

Goodman Birtcher says its logistics center plan will create 900 jobs, 80 percent of which will be permanent positions.

The plan also is in South Middleton Township, where rezoning is not required, and Carlisle. Goodman Birtcher is asking the borough to permit warehousing in its I-C zoning district so it can construct a road to the facility that would allow trucks access from Allen Road.

If the company can't gain access to Allen Road, trucks will be forced to use a longer route to and from Interstate 81 via Route 11 (Ritner Highway).

The initial Goodman Birtcher plan was larger and included a portion of West Pennsboro Township as well. The company recently reduced the plan, eliminating that portion.

The warehouse plan is opposed by a group of residents, led by Carlisle lawyer Nathan Wolf. He said this morning they are "evaluating all the bases for an appeal."

"Obviously, we're disappointed to see the supervisors of Dickinson Township have failed to listen to the concerns of their constituents, and to even follow through with ... their own expressed desire to ensure that truck access would not occur from Ritner Highway," Wolf added.

Tom Ahern, spokesman for Goodman Birtcher, said, “The vote by the Dickinson Township supervisors confirms that the site is perfectly situated for this type of use. With logistics use, rather than the current allowable uses like a large shopping center, there will be better paying jobs for a wide variety of citizens, there will be less traffic from cars and trucks, and more tax revenue generated for the schools and the township. As we move forward with our land development process, we hope that Carlisle Borough will join in the project and allow its citizens to benefit as well.”

Carlisle Borough Council directed its solicitor Thursday to draft an ordinance that could forbid roads from being built across property not zoned for the use the road would service.

Borough council voted 4-2 to draft the proposed ordinance and will hold a public hearing on the amendment at 6:30 p.m. May 8.

John Hilton

John Hilton

John Hilton covers Cumberland County, manufacturing, distribution, transportation and logistics. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at johnh@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JHilton32. Circle John Hilton on .

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