The Story Behind The Story: A Warehouse here; No Warehouse There
Monday, December 26, 2022
By Dorothy Philbin | CNBNews Columnist
Thursday night, December 15, 2022 the Harrison Township Planning and Zoning Commissions listened to their citizens and ruled against a 2 million square foot warehouse and distribution center.The residents of Mullica Hill, within Harrison Township, have been fighting the warehouse since it was first proposed. The last township meeting on the subject had to be postponed because so many people showed up and the building couldn't hold them all. The meeting was rescheduled for Thursday night and the line of people waiting to talk seemed to go on forever. If there was anyone in favor of the new warehouse, he or she kept very quiet.The complaints the residents had included noise, traffic, and pedestrian safety. The building would have been in the area of Route 322 and the NJ Turnpike, an area already congested. In addition, once built, warehouses usually don't provide many permanent jobs and communities often give new building tax breaks for several years. So, everything is in favor of the warehouse company, but the taxpayers get few, if any, benefits.The amazing thing about what happened in Mullica Hill is that the taxpayers had a common goal, they functioned as one entity and they didn't take no for an answer. Gloucester City residents can learn from Mullica Hill. We can tell the Planning and Zoning boards that making additional apartments in Gloucester Catholic's old boys' building (1 South Burlington St) is a bad idea. We can also tell them that the 5-story apartment building planned for 200 - 204 North Broadway is a bad idea.Right now, Gloucester City has more apartments than single-family homes - 64%. With a minimum of 31 new apartments, that percentage grows to 70%, with no announced plans for additional parking. Tenants as well as homeowners need to act as a single entity to tell the town's leaders that there can't be another apartment, no matter where or when. Also, nothing, whether resident, business or warehouse can be built before the parking problem is addressed.Will you be at the next meeting? An announcement/reminder will be posted here.