Noise Ordinance Amendments Aimed At Warehouse-Type Activities Along Scenic Corridors

Amendments to the township’s noise ordinance that elicited applause from some Canal Walk residents opposed to a nearby warehouse application was introduced at the Township Council’s May 23 meeting.

The ordinance restricts the time that industrial-related loading and unloading operations, as well as the use of vehicles with backup beepers, can be used on properties that abut Scenic Corridors which are adjacent to residential developments.

The township’s Scenic Corridors are zoning overlay areas that come with development restrictions above those imposed by a parcel’s underlying zoning.

A New York-based company, Link Logistics, is currently before the Planning Board with a highly controversial proposal to build two warehouses on a tract of land bordered by Schoolhouse and Mettlers roads.

Across Mettlers Road – which has been designated a Scenic Corridor – from the project site is the Canal Walk development. Canal Walk residents opposed to the project have complained to the Council and Planning Board, and other township committees and commissions, that they would be subject to the noise of unloading and loading of tractor trailers, and the safety beeps of the vehicles, at all hours of the night if the warehouses are allowed to operate 24 hours a day.

Under the proposed ordinance, the type of loading and unloading operations common with warehouses would be prohibited on properties abutting Scenic Corridors from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. on weekends.

The operation of vehicles which use backup beepers would be prohibited during the same hours.

Fences and gates would have to be installed and used to prohibit those vehicles from a property during the relevant hours, according to the proposed ordinance.

The proposed ordinance amendments are the latest move by the Council to corral what some critics see as the rampant over-development of warehouses in the township.

Earlier this year, the Council passed an ordinance that effectively bans all new warehouse development in Franklin. That ordinance is currently the subject of a number of lawsuits from developers.

A second reading and public hearing on the proposed noise ordinance amendments is set for the Council’s June 13 meeting.

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