Developers received the green light for construction of a large warehouse in Warren County.
The Lopatcong Township Planning Board voted unanimously to approve final land development for the 511,000-square-foot warehouse.
The 66-acre development is across the street from the solar farm located between Route 57 and Route 519.
Stryker Road Associates LLC, which was the applicant, is a joint effort of Peron Development and J.G. Petrucci Co.
The planning board approved several waivers and variances for the project. An approved variance will allow a 56-foot property setback on one corner of the development, where a 75-foot setback is required.
Other variances include the required number of trees and open space provided in parking areas.
While the development will not meet the requirements of trees in the parking spaces, the total number of trees and shrubs on the property—many of which are on its perimeter–will exceed the requirements, according to developers’ engineer Brad Bohler.
The project will include 800 trees and 2,500 shrubs planted on the site, Bohler said. Construction will be limited to the northwest portion of the property along Strykers Road.
About 45% of the land, which lies south of power lines that bisect the property, will be converted to meadow conditions with native species, he said.
The warehouse will be built with 487 parking spaces and 88 truck loading docks.
Plans call for two driveways accessing the property but the driveway just south of a bend on Strykers Road will be the only exit for tractor trailers, which will be required to turn right toward Route 519.
Several residents at Thursday’s planning board meeting expressed concern about traffic in an already busy area.
“The traffic is presently unacceptable,” resident Douglas Batchelder said. “This is hazardous.”
Developers’ engineer John Wichner said his group will be guided by Warren County and New Jersey Department of Transportation requirements. Retiming of traffic lights on Route 57 and Route 519 may be required, he said.
“At peak hours, southbound traffic to (Route) 519 does have some delay issues,” Wichner said.
Planning board member Joseph Pryor asked that development approval include installing sidewalks along the property on Strykers Road but no other board member supported his request.
The board approved the development with the condition the developer agrees to a post-construction traffic study after the warehouse is occupied.
Future traffic studies could potentially lead to speed limit changes, existing traffic light retiming, or installation of a new traffic light at the intersection of Strykers Road and Route 519, which is just a couple hundred feet from a traffic light at the intersection of Route 519 and Dumont Road.