MULLICA HILL, N.J. (CBS) -- A proposal to build a 2 million square foot warehouse over pristine farmland in Mullica Hill is pitting residents against developers. Community members say they had no idea the transformation was in the works at Route 322 and Tomlin Station Road.
Mullica Hill, Gloucester County, was farm country with roadside fruit and vegetable stands and acres and acres of open fields.
Recently, industrial growth has exploded, and major retailers are attracted by sprawling warehouses.
"We found out a little over a week ago," Dan Marsella said. "We got a letter in the mail."
Marsella and other neighbors off Tomlin Station Road suddenly got a shock.
"From what we were told, a 2 million square foot warehouse," he said, "with at least 30 tractor-trailers in and out every hour."
Filed with Harrison Township's Joint Land Use Board, a plan from WH Development out of North Jersey calls for a complex of four buildings totaling more than 2 million square feet of space and 1,400 parking spaces.
The proposal is called the Kings Landing Redevelopment Plan.
In a lengthy statement, a representative for Russo Development wrote the proposal is "fully compliant with the zoning and redevelopment plan within the Township of Harrison."
"Nobody said anything to us about it when it's going to affect our lives the most," Alyssa Marcella said.
Alyssa Marsella's concerns are possible noise, traffic and environmental-related issues.
Dan and Alyssa Marsella are not the only community members upset.
Social media and yard sign campaigns launched within less than a week, and their message is no warehouse here.
Before CBS Philadelphia's interview, one man stopped to say he didn't think it was a big deal.
Stephanie Wallen-Fort runs a child care center in town.
"We butt right up against," Wallen-Fort said. "It touches our property."
Wallen-Fort says she is angry and frustrated and concerned for the 130 children in her care.
"Parents are going to be leery of coming," Wallen-Fort said. "I am concerned, I am very concerned."
Russo Development's full statement reads:
WH Development Urban Renewal, LLC (an affiliate of Russo Development) has submitted a complete application for a plan to develop the property for warehousing and distribution that is fully compliant with the zoning and redevelopment plan within the Township of Harrison. This plan is as of right and fully consistent with the requirements of the redevelopment plan such that no variances or waivers are required. The developer has received various other agency approvals for the project including preliminary and final site plan approval for the portion of the property within Woolwich along with other approvals from NJDOT and NJDEP required for this development.
The developer, which is also the owner of the property, agrees with the Township and its vision for a logistics development that is appropriately located directly on a full interchange of the New Jersey Turnpike. The project is on the border of both municipalities fronting a State Highway with all traffic to and from the development from US Route 322. Great care has been taken in the development of the plan such that the buildings and site have been designed to have a minimal profile that includes significant screening and buffer areas with heavy vegetation and landscaping with sound walls where appropriate. The project meets all State requirements for noise mitigation when adjacent to residential areas.
The developer is a multigenerational owner and developer of real estate in New Jersey and is currently active building a number of projects including logistics and mixed-use residential projects in various parts of the State. Significant effort and attention to detail is considered from the top of the organization to ensure each project meets the high standards set by the company that will be beneficial for the community and region.
for more features.