Tunkhannock Township Supervisors made one small change via a zoning amendment but expect to see big results
in the form of up to four 60’ tall warehouses and potentially a manufacturing facility on commercially (C2) zoned lands in Long Pond. Approximately 30 residents attended a Public Hearing on January 13, most toprotest the supervisors’ proposed ordinance amendment that will allow commercial buildings in the C2 zone tobe 60’ tall
rather than the current 35’ limit. The Supervisors also received 37 letters and emails from residents opposed tothe change.Board Chairman Fran DePiano
stated that the proposed change will make the area more attractive to commercial businesses. Two warehouse developers have provided sketch plans for four warehouses in the township, one just south of Routes 115 & 903, the other three warehouses are being proposed along Route115 opposite the Dixon Miller Recreation Area.
DePiano pointed out that the township has a lot of protected land that does not provide tax revenue. He said one warehouse would provide an estimated $50,000 in tax revenue yearly, and that Tunkhannock Township supervisors have not raised local taxes in years.In November, the township’s Zoning Hearing Board unanimously denied the request
from one of the warehouse developers for a height variance to enable them to build a 58’ warehouse. The minutes indicate the primary reason given for the increased height was to make the project more economically beneficial tothe developer.In December, after the Zoning Hearing Board rejected the height variance, Township Supervisors Fran DePiano, George Ewald and Steve Malaico, overruled the Board’s recommendation
and proposed an amendment to raise the C2 building height limit to 60’.All residents who spoke at the Public Hearing were against the proposed heightchange.
Most were particularly worried about adding to the truck traffic on Routes 903 and 115, the township’s main thoroughfares. Residents of Brier Crest, located just off of the intersection, showed concern for the estimated 250 trucks per day, every day, 24 hours a day, from just one warehouse addition. Their onlyaccess point, directly on Route 903, has
already become more hazardous with the opening of the turnpike interchange, and additional trucks wouldonly add to their risk.Another resident reminded the Supervisors that the Township’s Volunteer Fire Company does not have a ladder truck
to handle emergencies at 60’ buildings. Others pointed out that they moved to the LongPond area for its beauty, wildlife and natural lands.
A woman who grew up in Long Pond and recently returned to raise her children urged the supervisors not to raise the height limit, a move that would attract warehouses and other businesses that are inconsistentwith the township’s rural nature.Several residents pointed out a connection between the Routes 115 & 903 warehouse to Pocono Raceway, which is located down the road
. The Township Supervisors stated that the project was not affiliated with the Raceway, however late in the meeting, Raceway CEO Nick Igdalsky spoke via Zoom, saying that the land being sold for the warehouse was owned by a shell corporation of the Raceway.After listening to nearly 75 minutes of township residents’ urging them to not raise the height ceiling for C2 businesses
, the supervisors closed the Public Hearing and unanimously voted to approve the ordinance, changing the permitted height in C2 zones to 60’. This will affect all C2-zoned land in Tunkhannock Township, of which Pocono Raceway owns more than 1,000 acres.FOR MORE INFORMATION
contact Tunkhannock Township Residents Committee by emailTTRC570@gmail.com
; or call 570-243-1763.