Planning Board Member: Let’s Look At Placement Of Warehouses In Township

The Planning Board approved this 100,000-square-foot warehouse on Cottontail Lane in May. (File photo).

The Planning Board in the next few months will brainstorm over where warehouses are being built in the township.

The discussion was the suggestion of Board member Robert Thomas, who is also Chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Thomas said he was concerned about the increase in large trucks that service the warehouses.

There has been a raft of warehouse approvals over the past several years, mainly in the Cottontail Lane/Schoolhouse Road/Randolph Road area, although others have been built elsewhere.

“As a body, we have approved a dozen over the last eight to 10 months,” he said of warehouse applications. “This entire area is being inundated with tractor trailers.”

“I’m not saying they’re bad, I think we might need to look at where they’re being placed,” Thomas said.

“This is becoming a problem that is being universally recognized and maybe it’s valuable to look at it in terms of Franklin,” he said.

Board Chairman Michael Orsini agreed.

“That’s a very reasonable request,” he said.

“We’re only dealing with the township, and other townships near us that are going to have an impact on us are going to do what they are going to do,” he said.

“I don’t see us returning, Covid or no, to the pre-pandemic lifestyle,” Orsini said. “We get stuff from Amazon, we order it online … we don’t have to shop anymore. Of course, the supply chain to address this is obviously challenged.”

“We want to consider that holistically, we don’t want to rule out good ratables, but we also don’t want to make … it that we’re inundated with 18-wheelers,” Orsini said.

Orsini said he would gather data on the issue with Mark Healey, the township’s principal planner, and schedule a work session within the next one or two meetings.

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