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Resident fight is on regarding warehouse project

Concerns range from noise to any environmental effects

Courtesy of Clint Guest. A proposed 2-million-square-foot warehouse project in the township continues to be met with fierce opposition by residents who have concerns about potential problems it may cause in the community.

Mullica Hill is a town that prides itself on its humble rural roots, so many of its residents feel that spirit is endangered by plans for a 2-million-square-foot warehouse project – equal to 38 White Houses – planned at Route 322 and Tomlin Station Road, on the township’s border with Woolwich.

Residents are concerned that the proposed warehouses from Russo Development will invite problems, including environmental concerns, excessive noise and even crime in an extreme scenario. So, they have formed a Facebook group called People Against Warehouses in Mullica Hill. It has more than 900 members.

“There hasn’t been any updated traffic or studies on environmental impacts from trucks,” said group member Clint Guest. “It’s a 24/7 operation that has no limitations on what can be in there and the place will be phenomenal in size. I’m disappointed that local officials haven’t done any studies into this, at least to my knowledge.

“It’s not ideal,” he added. “There’s no ability to absorb the sound generated from all this.  Additional traffic will be added, most roads are only two lanes, and the infrastructure is not here to support this.”

Guest also alleged that only one of his neighbors received notice the project was even happening.

“The given (time) was 10 calendar days of notice, but only he (the neighbor) was notified,” he said. “I saw something on (Route) 42 Freeway, and then all of a sudden, a neighbor got that certified letter. And then things rolled on from there.”

The Facebook group now has a petition with more than 1,000 signatures, according to Guest. Members also went to a Nov. 17 Harrison Township Land Use Board meeting to make their concerns known.

The project is currently in the planning phase and construction has yet to begin. Woolwich Township – which holds part of the land where the warehouse is planned – has already approved it. Mullica Hill has yet to make a decision, but Mayor Louis Manzo addressed the issue at the Nov. 14 Harrison Township Commission meeting.

“Certain assumptions are that the town, or the town leadership is out there standing on the street corner trying to get any warehousing company that we can, like, ‘Hey come on over here! We have all sorts of land that you can build on!’ That’s not the case,” Manzo said at the meeting. 

“We’ve never courted a particular warehousing interest; however, we have been repeatedly approached going back pre-COVID.”

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