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Dickinson Township residents file court appeal to stop warehouse plan

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A group of residents who oppose the Goodman Birtcher warehouse project in Dickinson Township filed a land-use appeal Wednesday in the state Supreme Court.

The appeal was filed on behalf of 60 appellants against the Dickinson Township Board of Supervisors, who voted March 17 to rezone 86 acres in the township's business recreation district along Allen Road to business industrial.

The filing claims that the board broke state law when it did not post adequate prior notice of public hearings on the project.

"The public was denied the opportunity to engage in the formal legislative process that the MPC (Municipalities Planning Code) is designed to encourage," the appeal reads.

Appellants make several other claims in the filing, alleging that Supervisor Bob Wrightstone has a conflict of interest due to his job with Geodis, a worldwide logistics firm. In February, Wrightstone said he started working for Geodis Supply Side Optimization in January 2012 in an IT role and eventually transitioned to a project manager.

Wrightstone later recused himself from voting on the plan. Dickinson Township supervisors could not be reached for comment this morning.

Tom Ahern, spokesman for Goodman Birtcher, did not return an email and phone message seeking comment.

Goodman Birtcher says its 2-million-square-foot 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 in 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 appeal asks the court to reverse the March 17 rezoning decision. Carlisle lawyer Nathan Wolf is handling the appeal.

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