Developers justify the warehouse building trend as a response to strong market demand, and local officials welcome the creation of jobs and new tax revenue at a time of COVID-19-ravaged budgets. But residents and environmentalists say the giant projects swell truck traffic on local roads, increase the runoff of contaminated stormwater from newly impervious surfaces, and threaten to turn the remaining rural corners of the nation's most densely populated state into industrial parks.


The opponents in Upper Freehold are urging local zoning officials to deny a permit for the warehouse, which they say should instead be built on a previously developed site such as a disused shopping mall or an old industrial site, both of which would have the infrastructure such as roads and access to mass transit to support it. The township's planning board on Monday deferred a hearing on the application until Feb. 15.

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