Lehigh Valley Planner: Warehouses Should Use Green Technology

Sourced from WFMZ

Warehouses in the Lehigh Valley not only put a burden on roads, they add a strain on the environment, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission's Greg Zebrowski said at Thursday night’s commission meeting.

The warehouse proposals that come before the LVPC for review consistently lack green roofs and solar panels, he said. A green roof is planted with vegetation, which can reduce a building's energy consumption and reduce outdoor temperatures, particularly in urban areas, according to the National Park Service.

Other parts of the country are embracing the technology, Zebrowki said, but not the Lehigh Valley. He said developers have cited the upfront cost of green roofs and solar panels, but not the long-term benefits.

"Hopefully, we will get a proposal before us that recognizes'' the value of green technology, he said.

In other business, the planning commission, which serves Lehigh and Northampton counties, adopted its FutureLV plan as the regional plan for the Lehigh Valley. The Lehigh County Commissioners and Northampton County Council must also approve the proposal.

Northampton County Council members William McGee and Kevin Lott thanked the LVPC for revisions to the plan that will trigger more review of warehouse proposals. The revisions, requested by County Executive Lamont McClure and the council, would subject plans to additional scrutiny if they were for 250,000 or more square feet, are more than a quarter mile from "a major roadway," or outside of designated areas.

Zebrowski, a former Northampton County Council member who is now vice chairman of the LVPC, also promoted those limits.

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