Hillsborough residents are raising concerns over the Research Triangle Logistics Park, a proposed development near the intersection of Old N.C. Highway 86 and Davis Road, because of its potential impacts on the environment and community well-being.
The park, proposed by Kentucky-based Barrister Commercial Group, would sit on about 160 acres, and would consist of over 2 million square feet of warehouse fulfillment, industrial research and other service space. The developers said the park would meet the needs of economic development in the community in an Aug. 5 Orange County Planning Board meeting.
Hillsborough residents raised concerns over the park since the Board of County Commissioners first reviewed the project proposal on Aug. 5. Residents have cited concerns over traffic and community safety, and also say they fear it would ruin the character of their community, which is largely a rural residential area.
Sarah Shore, who lives along Old N.C. Highway 86, said her property and livelihood would both be impacted by the development.
“It would be 250 feet from my back porch to this six-story warehouse,” Shore said. “And it would directly impact the safety of my children. I wouldn’t be comfortable having them play outside when semi-trucks are constantly going in and out of the park.”
There is also concern over environmental impacts.
Jessica Sheffield, executive director of the Eno River Association, said in an email that the development would threaten the well-being of species that currently live on the proposed site, including in Cates Creek, which sits on the property and flows into the Eno River.
“With that as our charge, it is our responsibility to say that, based on what we know thus far about the proposed Research Triangle Logistics Park, we are concerned,” Sheffield said in the email. “Substantial, detrimental environmental and health impacts are likely to stem from this project if it proceeds as planned.”
Jon Lorusso, a Hillsborough resident, said he’s concerned about the health impacts that diesel pollution from the semi-trucks could have on the community.