By Alberto Gilman
Town of Newburgh residents attended the final public hearing of the project known as Unity Place Warehouse, last week, still bringing forth concerns about the traffic and neighborhood impacts.
The proposed warehouse project under the direction of Brooker Engineering PLLC seeks the construction of a new 154,700 warehouse. The warehouse is proposed to be built on the northwest corner of Old Little Britain Road and Unity Place in the town. Within the town’s zoning map, the proposed warehouse was a permitted use as the land was zoned interchange businesses (IB).
Several changes to the plans from the applicant have included a left turn lane onto Unity Place. The applicant has received numerous comments about the traffic impacts as trucks do travel along Little Britain Road, there are numerous businesses that receive truck deliveries and the Route 17K and Old Little Britain Road traffic has also seen high volumes over the years.
Addressing idling trucks, the applicant has included heat blocks on the plan for the trucks to use when waiting so as to reduce emissions. The applicant has also made the planning board aware that no tractor trailers would be on Old Little Britain Road; however, no tenant has still yet been identified by the applicant to reside in the warehouse. With the Kingdom Hall site on the opposite side of Unity Place, an additional concern of one community member was the queuing of cars from their events that make it difficult to travel along the road and the backup of cars using the gas pumps at the BJs site has also contributed to the traffic volume.
The proposed project features loading docks for trucks that would be to the rear of the facility so as to not be visible from the road and to not impact the adjacent neighborhood. With the bays to the far side of the building, this would also limit sound pollution from vehicles. The applicant has also purchased land adjacent to the parcel that helps with the addition of the turning lane. An additional post construction noise study has also been considered from the applicant to be reviewed by the planning board. As of now, no definite timeline has been established for construction of the project, and awaiting several documents from the city has stalled the process for granting approvals for the project.