Cornwall Borough Council hears concept plans for Byler Holdings, including one featuring nearly 800,000 square foot warehouse

This article was funded by LebTown donors as part of our draft civic impact report.

More than 100 people showed up for Monday’s Cornwall Borough Council meeting, with nearly all the seats taken and some people standing. Many of them, it seems, learned first hand of the planned development of the land around Cornwall’s old iron banks.

In May, over 400 acres of property in the Borough of Cornwall was purchased by Cornwall Properties, an LLC linked to Byler Holdings, owner of the Iron Valley Golf Course and numerous other businesses in the area.

Google Maps images showing the Cornwall Quarry. Recently, over 400 acres of land surrounding the quarry was purchased by an LLC related to Byler Holdings, owner of Iron Valley Golf Club, seen in the bottom right of the image. The Iron Benches date back to the early 1730s when Peter Grubb discovered that there was iron, and probably lots of iron, in the foothills of the area. The quarry began to take on its current flooded appearance with the downpour of Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972.

At a meeting of the Cornwall Planning Commission on July 5, Byler Holdings presented two potential plans for the land, which had previously been targeted by construction engineering firm Haines and Kibblehouse for a 300 million development dollars that was derailed by a sticking point with PennDOT over securing Route 322 access to the site. At the July 5 meeting, the Cornwall Planning Commission advised the company to present the plans to the Borough Council.

Read more: Byler Holdings LLC seeks to construct warehouse, hotel and residences in quarry

At Monday’s board meeting, Michael Swank, chief operating officer of the real estate arm of Byler Holdings, explained two concept scenarios for the lower right segment of the property, marked “GI” or General Industrial on the zoning map shown. -below. Plans have not been finalized and no approval has been sought at this stage.

Part of the zoning map published by Cornwall containing the lots detailed on the plans. Byler Holdings owns the General Industrial (GI) and Limited Industrial (LI) zoned segments.

The first scenario uses most of the Limited Industrial zoned land for various warehouses (a permitted use in Limited Industry), with a combined area of ​​approximately 700,000 square feet.

Trucks would enter and exit these warehouses via Boyd Street and Route 322.

If the first scenario were chosen, the general industrial zoned area could still be used for a rock crushing plant, asphalt plant, concrete plant or other uses in the future, as guaranteed by law. to promoters.

“We don’t think warehouses around the lake make much sense, so we looked at a second potential scenario that might be possible,” Swank said.

The second scenario, to be implemented, would require the cooperation of the boroughs to rework the permitted uses and the zoning requirements.

Essentially, Byler Holdings is looking to change the area now labeled General Industrial to Limited Industrial, while using the now Limited Industrial area for various forms of housing.

With it, the land now zoned general industrial would be used for an approximately 800,000 square foot warehouse, while the land now zoned industrial limited would be used for a hotel, two apartment buildings, several townhouses, approximately 50 duplexes and approximately 40 single-family residences.

Truck traffic would be directed to Highway 322 using an access road, which would require a permit from PennDOT. However, Swank said PennDOT told Byler Holdings that possibility would likely be considered. If it is not permitted, truck traffic would use the roads of the borough. A failure to secure access to Route 322 from PennDOT had previously thwarted H&K’s plans to build a mega-development on the site, which would have included hundreds of homes, a large hotel, 30,000 square feet of retail space , a water park and a Marina.

Haines and Kibblehouse once planned a $300 million development for the land surrounding the Cornwall Quarry, but ultimately faced insurmountable obstacles from PennDOT in terms of providing direct access to the site via Highway 322. Note the main entrance shown at bottom right.

Under the second scenario, Byler Holdings would also develop a bypass around Miner’s Village connecting at both ends to Boyd St.

“We would like to proceed one way or another in the relatively near future,” Swank said, stating that at this stage, Byler Holdings is seeking board and community feedback on both scenarios.

As no plan was officially proposed, the council did not give much opinion on the proposed projects, needing more time to consider the pros and cons.

After some public comment, Planning Commission Chairman Raymond Fratini pointed out that Byler Holdings has the legal authority to develop this property. The best way forward, he said, is to work closely with Byler Holdings to develop a plan that works for both developers and Cornwall residents.

“I learned what we need to do is we need to cooperate and work together for the betterment of the borough,” he said. “This man has the right to develop his property, so what I’m going to do with the P&Z is work with him, to try to make it work for both of us.”

Raymond Fratini, President of the Planning Commission, addresses the crowd regarding the development.

The meeting lasted over two hours, and much of that time was spent with Cornwall residents voicing their questions and concerns. The overall message, which resonated in the majority of public comments, was disapproval, especially of scenario two.

Several citizens expressed the need for an ad hoc committee similar to the one developed with H&K, which led to the establishment of 50 considerations bound by law with H&K. Essentially, the township worked with H&K to accomplish both of their goals.

Near the end of the meeting, Bruce Conrad introduced a motion to begin setting up an ad hoc committee that reports directly to P&Z. The motion passed with a mixed vote, with some members believing they should wait for a P&Z recommendation.

The committee will be comprised of two board members, two P&Z members, two community members and representatives from Byler Holdings. The board is now looking for letters of interest for the ad hoc committee.

In other news, the advice:

  • Unanimously agreed to authorize Jeff Steckbeck to conduct a study of recreation expenses, to assess what would be a reasonable recreation expense other than the current fee of $1,250.
  • Unanimously agrees to a minor ownership swap between the Cornwall Inn and the police station.
  • Unanimously approves the minutes of their June 13 meeting.
  • Unanimously approved various reports.
  • Heard several complaints of obscene stickers posted at various locations in Springhill Acres and urged residents to report these incidents to police immediately as so far they have only received two reports.
  • Heard concerns about brake speed bump lines and violations.

Cornwall Borough Council meets the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m.

These meetings are open to the public and do not require prior registration.

Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future article on LebTown? Contact our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

Do you support local news?
If you think Lebanon County needs high-quality, independent journalism, consider joining LebTown as a member. Your support will go directly to stories like this, and you’ll help ensure that our community has a trusted source of information for years to come.

Learn more about membership and join now here.

Full disclosure: Steckbeck Engineering & Surveying, Inc. is an advertiser on LebTown. LebTown does not make editorial decisions based on advertising relationships and advertisers do not receive special editorial treatment. Learn more about advertising with LebTown here.