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Residents to Hilltown: Pump brakes on auto parts business plan


Max Performance, a Hatfield Township-based business that specializes in wholesaling parts for American muscle cars and trucks, is eyeing a new Hilltown facility for its operations, but some residents oppose the plan.

Representatives for Max Performance appeared before the Hilltown Board of Supervisors on Monday to take feedback from the three-person board on the project’s preliminary sketch plan.

The business is considering applying formally to Hilltown to build what initially could be a 16,000-to 18,000-square-foot facility at Bethlehem Pike and Keystone Drive.

Representatives for Max Performance indicated the envisioned project could call for adding square footage up to 20,000 square feet.

The business would likely house 15 employees, working more or less 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with little need for the public to visit, as it’s not a retail operation, it was explained.

Max Performance wholesales parts to distributors around the country that sell to end-users, according to representatives.

FedEx/UPS trucks would be coming and going at times, and a tractor trailer could visit a couple times a month to once a week, according to details shared at the meeting.

“It’s a very low-volume use,” the project engineer said.

Max Performance officials said they’d comply with stormwater control regulations, and keep lot lighting to a minimum so as not to be intrusive on nearby properties. There are reportedly no oils or explosives handled at the site.

Eric Casperson, of Max Performance, said the move to Hilltown would enable the business to have the space to adequately meet its growing needs.

“We’re restricted in terms of square footage and the height we can go up,” said Casperson of the current location in Hatfield Township.

Still, residents who live on Keystone Drive and other nearby streets spoke out at the meeting to say they’re opposed to Max Performance moving in. They’re worried about everything from disruption and safety issues from increased truck traffic to decreased property values if the company sets up shop.

“We do not want this building,” said Keystone Drive resident Azlyn Beck. “Let’s do what we need to do to bring a halt to this permanently.”

Beck and others suggested that supervisors consider purchasing the property and turning it into a park or green space.

Township professionals noted that supervisors legally can’t just dismiss a project out of hand. There are mandated procedures they must follow if an applicant formally applies to build upon property. Supervisors also can’t just simply reject such an application without giving it due consideration; they have to make decisions that are backed up by zoning and land use laws. They risk getting the township sued if they don’t.

Representatives for Max Performance asserted the project, as envisioned, will comply with local zoning and planning requirements.

If Max Performance decides to file a formal land development plan for approval, the public will have a chance to attend and offer comment at meetings that would be held before the Hilltown Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission, officials said. No formal meeting dates are scheduled as a fully engineered land development plan hadn’t been filed as of this writing.

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