That is the question many residents of Churchill are asking Amazon.
Hillwood Development plans to build an Amazon distribution center on the former Westinghouse site in Churchill. The footprint will be over 600,000 square feet, the total square footage over 2.9 million square feet.
The proposed distribution center belongs in an industrial area, not a residential neighborhood like Churchill. It will be necessary to drastically alter the topography of this 150-acre site, destroying a great deal of green space and negatively impacting the Turtle Creek watershed. Approximately 1,000 mature trees, many over 70 years old, will be cut down, threatening to worsen stormwater issues. During the spring of 2020, consultants advised Churchill Borough that whoever develops the site should not “mess with Mother Nature”; any development should work with the topography, not against it.
We can expect increased traffic on many borough streets, and bad intersections will become worse. There are other significant issues, such as stormwater runoff and resulting flooding; air, noise and light pollution; and a 65-foot wall along Beulah Road.
As Amazon increases automation, we can expect the number of jobs to decrease. And those jobs will be just as beneficial if they are in another location that can provide a large area of vacant land in an industrial zone, not a residential neighborhood like Churchill.
I’ve heard this is the only offer on the table. But to look at that site and say this is the only thing that can go there, and generate more tax revenue, is wrong. The site has incredible potential. It can be marketed to the right potential buyers.
Please, Amazon, don’t be my neighbor. Don’t expose your new neighbors to worsened traffic, stormwater runoff and flooding, and air, noise and light pollution as you sit in your fortress on the plateau.