ELKTON — The folks at Morris & Ritchie Associates, again, were before the Planning Commission asking for preliminary plans for the logistics center at Parcel I — the warehouse piece of the Southfields puzzle.
The Planning Commission voted to move forward with the Southfields development (through Stonewall Capital represented by Morris & Ritchie Associates) preliminary major site plan for the logistics center and a preliminary major subdivision plat at Parcel I for 55 acres located on the west side of Maloney Road, 244 acres on the north side of Frenchtown Road. Trammwell Crow Co. is also a partner in Parcel I.
Morris & Ritchie Associates’ Sean Davis kicked off the May 11 presentation of Southfields’ first stage with a set of phased-in about 3 million square feet of logistics distribution space — with three buildings, parking, trailer spots, etc.
Phase one includes constructing the smallest of the three buildings (about 770,000 square feet) on the north end of the parcel, an entrance road with a signal onto Route 40.
This plan included an increase in buffer yards along Sarah Drive and Maloney Road.
Parcel I is permitted for 4 million square feet of industrial space, though it proposed to used 2.8 million square feet. The space intends to keep 70 percent of existing forest, 90 percent of wetlands and 99.5 percent of streams currently at the site.
The teams behind Southfields were meant to provide human and environmental health assessments and address any outstanding comments from the Town of Elkton, the EPA, the Maryland State Highway Administration and the Singerly Fire Co. — among various other contingencies — prior to preliminary submission. However, “ from here on out” preliminary plans, major site plans and subdivision plans will be presented in sections of the overall planned-use development.
As the Southfields project — a long-contended issue in Elkton — moves forward, developers will need to address comments from the town and its third-party experts when addressing certain studies.
The air quality analysis, conducted by ECS — Mid-Atlantic, was based on a worse-case scenario using EPA methods at the project level. Development of Southfields Parcel I “appears to be below the criteria for further consideration of air quality impacts,” according to the report submitted early April.
Concerns regarding the diesel emissions from the logistics center was a concern for residents and the Planning Commission, among other health issues.
ECS’ report concluded that the particulate concentrations predicted following development were “well below” the EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Therefore, ECS found no reason to conduct further analysis of transportation-related air quality impacts.