West Hempfield Township supervisors on Tuesday voted 4-0 to allow a proposed cold-storage warehouse expansion near Mountville to be up to 150 feet high.
The supervisors approved the request from Americold Logistics, 3800 Hempland Road, to permit the height as a conditional use on property zoned I-2 general industrial.
As LNP reported in November, if the addition is the fully allowable 150 feet tall, it would be the third tallest building in the county.
The design of the expansion has yet to be finalized.
At 150 feet, it would trail only the Griest Building and the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, both in downtown Lancaster, LNP research shows. Both are about 210 feet tall.
Americold representatives Caroline Hoffer, an attorney at Barley Snyder, and Brent Detter, a senior project manager at civil engineering firm David Miller/Associates, explained to the supervisors how the expansion would meet the township’s seven criteria for approving such a use.
These include that the building surpasses 100,000 square feet (it would be 246,000 square feet) and that the property is within a half-mile of a major arterial road interchange (a Route 30 interchange is 0.15 mile from the site).
They also include that the portion of the building taller than 75 feet be used solely as an automated high-bay warehouse and contain no offices, meeting rooms or restrooms, and provisions for the building’s setback and landscape buffer.
It’s no surprise that Americold’s expansion would fit the conditional use criteria perfectly — Americold had proposed adding that exact criteria for a height exception to the township’s regulations.
The township approved the changes, submitted as a text amendment, in July.
Americold’s proposal as presented Tuesday had some modifications from a version shown to the supervisors several months ago.
The new proposal eliminates access to the property from Spring Road, which runs along the southwest edge of Americold’s property. That will preserve a row of trees that would shield the project from a residential neighborhood on the other side of Spring Road.
In addition, the 150-foot high-bay portion of the expansion would be shifted to the east side of the new building, further shielding the project from the neighborhood.
Hoffer and Detter did not mention a project cost or employment impact.
Hoffer did say that she expects the plan approval and permitting steps to be completed within a year and construction to take 18 months.
The only comments about the project from people attending the meeting were two positive remarks.
“I support any jobs and manufacturing in our area,” said Michael Steinmetz, a township resident.
Said Lisa Riggs, president of the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, “We’re excited about the growth that they’re proposing.”