The Palmer Township Board of Supervisors approved zoning amendments to the land around the upcoming Route 33 interchange.
Tuesday's decision opens up land for various types of development -- from stores and restaurants to distribution warehouses to what one township official hoped would become a "shopping destination."
"I consider this to be one of the biggest pieces of legislation in quite some time for Palmer Township," Solicitor Charles Bruno said.
The rezoning of the land from its agricultural designation will help promote industry and business, Bruno said.
Planning Director Cyndie Carman said the land, mainly owned by the Charles Chrin Companies, is broken down into four different zoning classifications:
- Retail/Commercial -- Will allow for a wide variety of stores, restaurants and hotels. This area right around the interchange might possibly be developed for a "destination shopping area."
- Business -- Zoned for office and light industrial with distribution center space limited to 200,000 square feet.
- Transportation/Industrial -- The biggest stretch of land in the north end is zoned for distribution warehouses up to 1 million square feet.
- Transportation/Industrial -- Zoned for more transportation uses like truck traffic and to connect with existing rail line. Distribution center space of up to 400,000 square feet allowed.
Supervisors Chairman Dave Colver said 91 acres would remain zoned as farmland, serving as a buffer for the rail line and a nearby school.
"This zoning is crucial for Palmer Township," Supervisor Robert Smith said.
"This is the future of Palmer Township," Supervisor Anne-Marie Panella said. "The growth of this area affects our children and grandchildren."
The Route 33 interchange is expected to begin construction in October with completion set for December 2013.