FedEx Site Plan Accepted by Town Planning Board

A subdivision plan for a proposed FedEx Ground warehouse facility to be built at the end of Industrial Drive, near the proposed Pettengill Road extension project, has received unanimous conditional approval from the Planning Board.

Attorney Morgan Hollis of Gottesman & Hollis P.A. told the Planning Board at its meeting Wednesday, March 5, “the project is now beginning to develop as an industrial park and is certainly one of the lead lots going forward. The client (Ballinger Properties) has reached an agreement with FedEx for development of the site, and it’s necessary to perform a subdivision and consolidation in order to create a stand-alone lot for the facility.”

Hollis termed that a fairly straightforward “cut and paste” job.

“We are cutting off a piece of the existing lot, consolidating it with a smaller abutting lot, then that all gets consolidated with another existing lot to create the FedEx property,” Hollis said.

Hollis said the property doesn’t have frontage now and will not have frontage when complete, necessitating a variance. The developer is scheduled to meet with the Zoning Board of Adjustment on that request.

Hollis said the applicant requested a waiver from the town’s ordinance regarding underground electrical utilities, saying the applicant wanted the electrical utility above ground.

“We have identified a series of reasons why we do not want to do this,” he said of undergrounding lines. “Currently on this site there are a number of overhead poles and all the properties adjacent to this site are overhead poles.

Hollis said the intent is to extend the road down Industrial Drive to end in a cul-de-sac, with the road extension crossing a wildlife corridor about 250 feet wide. Putting utilities underground would be “problematic,” he said, with the solution being to use poles instead.

He also noted that as technology changes, buried lines must be dug up for upgrades. “That’s an expensive process to start and an expensive process to go through to dig up and re-pave roadways,” Hollis said.

Board member Tom Freda asked the staff position on the matter, and Assistant Director of Public Works and Engineering John Trottier said staff did not support the overhead electrical plan.

The board voted 8-1 to grant the waiver, with Mary Wing Soares the only no vote.

Jim Petropulos of Hayner/Swanson, representing Scannell properties, also addressed the board. Scannell is hoping to “purchase the property, build the building and lease it to FedEx,” Petropulos said, and as a result, was seeking site plan approval that evening.

He said that from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., tractor trailer trucks would deliver boxes to the new facility. From 4 to 8 a.m., the boxes would be sorted. Delivery vehicle drivers would arrive at 8 a.m., and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., deliveries would be made. The delivery vehicles would return at 4 p.m. Work would take place weekdays and Sundays but not Saturdays.

Petropulos said there would be landscaping around the perimeter of the building as well as a chain link fence and barbed wire, with a security checkpoint at the east rear of the lot.

He added that the construction schedule shows work beginning this spring and completed in the summer of 2015.

Petropulos said about 600 parking places are planned, and Tim Elam of Scannell Properties said about 100 jobs would be created.

Board member Leitha Reilly asked if workers at the FedEx facility at Kitty Hawk Landing would move into the new building and Elam said they would.

Conservation Commission alternate Mike Speltz cited an agreement between the state department of Fish and Game and the town, which the Conservation Commission did not know about when the proposed development was before the commission.

“We were made aware of a 2009 agreement that the town entered into with Fish and Game that addressed the Pettengill Road project,” he said. “It was based on an Alteration of Terrain permit that the state issued to the town in order for us to build Pettengill Road. We haven’t built it yet and nobody thought we’d be here five years later and we haven’t built it and we now have a project.”

Speltz noted that Fish and Game had concerns for endangered species that are near or in this property and within the 1,000 acres of undeveloped property in the area.

Trottier said the agreement was for building Pettengill Road, but this project was not part of the Pettengill Road project.

The subdivision was conditionally approved by unanimous vote, and the Conditional Use Permit was granted unanimously as well.

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