Jan. 18, 2024

HARRISBURG – Rep. Joe Emrick (R-Upper Nazareth) announced today he has introduced legislation that would give voters the final say over whether new high-impact warehouses and distribution centers should be approved in their community.

“These high-impact warehouses and distribution centers have had a devastating impact on our region. The loss of open space and farmland coupled with a lack of adequate infrastructure magnified by increased truck traffic and higher amounts of air, sound and light pollution are just some of the negative effects warehouses and distribution centers have had on our area,” Emrick said. “While high-impact warehouses and distribution centers are approved by local governments, the people who are most affected—the community—have no say in whether they should become part of the fabric of our region.”

According to House Bill 1960, approval by voter referendum would be required for a warehouse or distribution center that is a development of regional significance at least 100,000 square feet in size and on three acres of land or more. Current law states that a “development of regional significance” is any land development that, because of its character, magnitude or location, will have substantial effect upon the health, safety or welfare of citizens in more than one municipality.

This designation ensures smaller businesses open for retail sales would not be impacted by the referendum requirement. 

“I have heard loud and clear from local officials about the need for more local control in the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code,” Emrick added. “That is why I introduced House Bill 1960: To maximize local control by giving the people a voice at the ballot box in the final approval of these high-impact warehouses. This way the community can say with one voice when and how this kind of growth should continue.”

Representative Joe Emrick
137th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Huntre Keip
RepEmrick.com / Facebook.com/RepEmrick