Public hearing to discuss rezoning 50-acre plot of land in Manchester Township

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MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. —  Some people in Manchester Township, York County may be getting a new neighbor.  The township is looking at possibly re-zoning a large section of land to an industrial zone. A decision could be made at a public hearing at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday.

While most residents did not want to go on camera, everyone FOX 43 spoke with was against the proposal. FOX 43 couldn’t find anyone who was on board with the plan to re-zone the 50 acre area to an industrial zone.

Back in July, the Board of Supervisors was presented with a petition to re-zone the chunk of land that’s close to the Township building from residential low density (in other words, family homes) to industrial.

“There’s conceptual plans,” Township Manager, Tim James, said. “But the Board in and of itself can’t make a decision based on a conceptual plan. It’s strictly usage. It’s gotta be what can be used in that industry because someone could move in and change it entirely.”

Those conceptual plans include a warehouse or something similar. Residents were upset that only those closest to the patch of land were informed with a letter from the Township.

“We’re required to let residents contiguous to it within 100 feet know,” James said. “So this obviously went beyond that. We posted on our website. We certainly weren’t hiding anything. Obviously we want feedback. That’s part of the process. There’s nothing to hide.”

Gordon Zubrod was one of those neighbors who got the letter, but he said he was first informed when a tiny sign was posted deep in the ground behind his backyard, letting them know about the first meeting back in November. His concerns are light pollution, noise pollution, and increased traffic.

“The trucks from around Susquehanna Trail,” Zubrod said. “They come through here. They come right down Farmbrook and Farmtrail and so on. They come up through here and they make a racket. They estimate that there will be an extra 100 vehicles at all times day and night coming through here.”

There's also the ripple effects, he said, of more industries buying in. Plus economic harm even with the additional tax revenue.

“We chose this place because it is clear, the Township made a commitment to building livable areas and good schools for the families,” Zubrod said. “People will leave.”

And while no decision has been made, the Township is calling this the first step of the process.

“We’re asking for patience right now as the process goes through,” James said. “We certainly empathize. We get it. But we have to allow the process to roll through.”

FOX 43 was able to talk to the developer on the phone to ask him about potential plans for the land. He did not answer any of our questions. The public meeting is Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Manchester Township building on Farmtrail Road.

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