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Former textile facility granted special exception for warehouse

Published January 29. 2013 05:02PM

A former textile manufacturing facility in Palmerton may be transformed into a warehousing use.

The borough's Zoning Hearing Board unanimously agreed on Monday to grant a special exception to Hager Holdings, LLC, Palmerton, to change the use of the facility at the corner of Fifth and Franklin

Jeff Hager, owner of Hager Furniture Company Inc., 242-48 Delaware Avenue, Palmerton, explained his intentions for the property, located at 620 Fifth Street, in an R-2 (Residential-Medium Density) zoning district.

Hager said he believes the operation will result in less of a traffic hazard, and be less intrusive to the community, than that of the former OTD Manufacturing, which had previously occupied the building.

He said there will be several employees who will utilize the warehouse between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., though not continuously.

In all, there will be about 10 trucks per week at the site, said Hager, who added it would take them about 10 minutes, on average, to unload.

"There will be almost no traffic generation from us working there," Hager said. "We will simply be storing it."

Zoning board Chairman Gary Curran asked Hager whether he planned to make any changes, to which Hager said they plan to install a garage door at the main entrance at Fifth Street, as well as some chimney renovations.

Zoner Michael Bloomfield noted there is currently a set of double doors on the Fifth Street side, to which Hager said they could use a bigger access for floor covering.

Hager said the outfit would utilize a forklift for skids of tile, on occasion. Bloomfield then asked if the forklift would ever be out in the alley, which Hager said it briefly would at times.

Zoner Andrew Jordan then suggested Hager talk to the Palmerton Community Ambulance to see if they have a preference as to the area where the tractor trailers would be unloaded.

In his rejection letter, dated Dec. 14, borough zoning officer Duane Dellecker noted the former textile manufacturing facility, not being a permitted use in the R-2 zoning district (Section 306.B.6 of the borough zoning ordinance) is a nonconforming use.

However, Section 306.B.6 of the zoning ordinance does not allow warehousing as a permitted use; making warehousing a conforming use also, Dellecker stated in his letter.

Dellecker also stated that Section 808.H.2 of the zoning ordinance deals with changing from one nonconforming use to another by requiring special exception action of the zoners.

Earlier this month, the borough's Planning Commission agreed to make a recommendation to the zoners to grant the special exception.

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