NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD

MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA 18940

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2001

7:30 PM


APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY 1, 2001 MEETING: Mr. Lionetti made the following amendments and/or changes to the February 1, 2001 minutes:1
Page 4, paragraph 5: Similarly, with respect to the application of Pheasant Point, Mr. Auchinleck spoke to Mr. "Gundlack", the attorney representing the applicants in this case, who also forwarded a letter requesting that this hearing be continued to March 1, 2001 and agreed to extend the deadline to this date.
Page 3, last paragraph: The system utilized to generate these addresses does not generate the addresses for "residents" who borders this municipality.
Page 3, paragraph 1: Also attached and made part of application is Exhibit A-2, which is a photoboard of a "drawing", dated January 3, 2001, of the proposed elevation of the building.
Page 5, 2nd paragraph to the last paragraph:
Mr. Harwood was asked if a front porch that has five posts and a roof requires continuous footing around the perimeter of the porch? Mr. Harwood said yes, this would "be" required regardless of if the porch was to be enclosed.
Mr. Lionetti asked if the Board if they had any further amendments and/or changes to the February 1, 2001 minutes. The Board had no further comments.
Motion was made by Mario Lionetti to approve the February 1, minutes, as amended, which was seconded by Franklin Carver.
Motion granted unanimously.
1Amendments and/or changes are made in the "italic" print.


The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, February 1, 2001 in the Newtown Township Municipal Building. In attendance and voting are: Mario Lionetti, Chairman, Thomas Ragan, Vice-Chairman, John Lenihan, Secretary, Franklin Carver, Member and Michael Leone, Member. Also in attendance is James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Solicitor.

CALL TO ORDER

Mario Lionetti, Chairman calls the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

THE AGENDA WAS REVIEWED

Annual Board Reorganization

Approval of Minutes Thursday, January 4, 2001

Application of Andrew and Margaret Speaker

Application of Brandywine Realty Trust

Application of Pheasant Point Associates, L.P.

Application of Sun Company, Inc.

Adjournment

ANNUAL BOARD REORGANIZATION

The election of the officers for the Zoning Board took place. The nomination of Mario Lionetti for Chairman was motioned by Franklin Carver and seconded by Michael Leone.

Motion granted unanimously.

A motion was made by Michael Leone to nominate Tom Ragan as Vice Chairman. John Lenihan seconded this motion.

Motion granted unanimously.

A motion was made by Tom Ragan to nominate John Lenihan as Secretary, which was seconded by Michael Leone.

Motion granted unanimously.

Mr. Lionetti's first action of the new board was to make a motion to appoint James J. Auchinleck as solicitor, which was seconded by John Lenihan.

Motion granted unanimously.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE JANUARY 4, 2001 MEETING

Mr. Lionetti made the following amendments and/or changes to the January 4, 2001 minutes:1

Page 5, paragraph 5:

Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Harwood if there was any difficulty with the building being separated for three uses in structure. Changed to read:

Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Harwood if there was any difficulty with the building being separated for three "separated" uses in "the" structure.

Page 6, paragraph 3:

There was not response. Changed to read:

There was "no" response.

Mr. Ragan made the following amendments and/or changes to the January 4, 2001 minutes:

Page 5, 4th paragraph from the bottom of the page:

Mr. Newhard resides to the left of Walnut and looks directly over the property. Changed to read:

Mr. Newhard resides to the left "of the Tanner property on" Walnut "Street" and looks directly over the property.

Page 5, 3rd paragraph from the bottom of the page:

Mr. Lionetti inquired if this is a new entrance has been constructed. Change to read:

Mr. Lionetti inquired if "the" new entrance has been constructed.

Page 7, paragraph 3, first sentence:

There presently are not buffers on this property. Changed to read:

There presently are "no" buffers on this property.

Page 4, paragraph 8:

Also attached and made part of application is Exhibit A-2, which is a photoboard of a drawling dated January 3, 2001 of the proposed elevation of the building. Changed to read:

Also attached and made part of application is Exhibit A-2, which is a photoboard of a drawling "s", dated January 3, 2001, of the proposed elevation of the building.

Page 4, paragraph 10:

Ms. Tanner indicated that Charlton William, a Realtor, is very interested in renting the bottom floor of this property.

Ms. Tanner indicated that "William Charlton", a Realtor, is very interested in renting the bottom floor of this property.

Page 6, 1st paragraph:

He asked if the Tanner's would consider resubmitting an application without the parking on the south side of the property or requesting a variance to reduce the parking lot sizes, so the number of parking lots would not be necessary; therefore eliminating this request and the request for buffering all together. Changed to read:

He asked if the Tanner's would consider resubmitting an application without the parking on the south side of the property or requesting a variance to reduce the parking lot sizes, so the number of parking "spaces" would not be necessary; therefore eliminating this request and the request for buffering all together.

Mr. Lionetti asked if the Board if they had any further amendments and/or changes to the January 4, 2001 minutes. The Board had no further comments.

Motion was made by Franklin Carver to approve the January 4, 2001 minutes, as amended. Thomas Ragan seconded motion.

Motion granted unanimously.

1Amendments and/or changes are made in the "italic" print.

ADMINISTRATIVE ITEMS:

Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Auchinleck if he had any administrative items that the Board needed to take care of prior to the meeting beginning.

Mr. Auchinleck advised that there were some technical deficiencies with the notices to the public for this meeting. With respect to the Sun Company, the Board will not be able to proceed this evening due to the fact that the advertisements published in the newspaper had a typographical error. Also, the notices, which are required to be mailed to the neighbors within 500 feet of the property were not sent. The system utilized to generate these addresses does not generate the addresses does not generate the addresses for residences in the borough; therefore, we will have to correct this defect in the future to include the borough residence who borders this municipality. Additionally, the poster, which is required to be posted on the property one week prior to the meeting went up on Monday, rather than last Thursday. As a result of these deficiencies, we can not proceed with the hearing tonight.

Mr. Auchinleck indicated that he was been informed by the Township Office that we have until February 19, 2001 to hold a hearing, within the sixty (60) day requirement. He believes we can correct the advertisement requirements within this time. Further, it was recommended that Sun Company's application be rescheduled to February 19, 2001.

Timothy Jones, a representative for the Sun Company and Mr. Sander, a representative for the township, were present for this application. Mr. Jones stated, for the record, that the application of Sun Company was originally filed on November 3, 2000. He received a telephone call from the Zoning Officer the week of December 3, 2000 and was advised that they did not have time to sufficiently review the application and requested that they request a continuance. Mr. Jones also spoke to Sunoco and Engineering Solutions, Inc. and then forwarded a letter to the Township requesting this continuance on December 11, 2000, whereas this application was then scheduled for tonight's meeting. It is Mr. Jones' understanding that there is notice issues as well as posting issues. He requested that these issued be clarified prior to the February 19, 2001 meeting.

Mr. Auchinleck advised that with regard to the application of Brandywine Realty Trust, except for the mailing requirement, the same situation applies as with the Sun Company. Mr. Auchinleck spoke to Michael Coglin, the representive for Brandywine Realty Trust, who requested that this matter be continued to March 1, 2001. Further, Mr. Coglin advised that he would waive the sixty (60) day requirement to hold the hearing from the date of application.

Similarly, with respect to the application of Pheasant Point, Mr. Auchinleck spoke to Mr. Goodlack, the attorney representing the applicants in this case, who also forwarded a letter requesting that this hearing be continued to March 1, 2001 and agreed to extend the deadline to this date.

Mr. Auchinleck indicated that with respect to the Speaker application, he would recommend to the Board that they accept testimony tonight, but to defer their decision until February 19, 2001. Mr. Lionetti asked the Speakers if they wished to present their testimony tonight or continue it to February 19 or March 1, 2000? Mr. Speaker advised that he wished to present testimony tonight. Therefore, testimony was presented.

APPLICATION OF ANDREW N. AND MARGARET R. SPEAKER

Mr. Lenihan read in the application of Andrew N. and Margaret R. Speaker, of 7 Balsam Court, requesting a variance from the final plan of Newtown Grant for relief to construct a covered front porch addition with a front yard set back of 31 feet instead of the required 35 feet. The subject parcel is located at 7 Balsam Court, Newtown, in the R-2 Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-29-128

The applicant, Andrew Speaker and the contractor, Vic Gallo was present to represent this application.

Mr. Lionetti asked if there was anyone else present who wished to be a party to this application? There was no response.

Mr. Speaker and Mr. Gallo were sworn in.

Mr. Andrew Speaker resides at 7 Balsam Court in Newtown. Mr. Vic Gallo 5157 Peacock Creek Road, New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Speaker discussed that he would like to build a covered front porch to his home. This porch would be constructed of brick. One side of the porch would extend beyond the 35 foot set back to 31 feet.

Mr. Gallo advised that the homeowners' association approved the construction of this porch. Mr. Speaker presented this letter from Pheasant Walk Association's Board of Directors for Newtown Grant to Mr. Auchinleck, who then read it into the record. Mr. Auchinleck also marked as Exhibit A-1 a rendering or sketch of the plans for this porch.

Mr. Auchinleck inquired if the brick was only going to be used for the floor. Mr. Speaker advised that the brick was going to be used on the whole front of the house, the porch floor and stairs leading to the porch. The porch will also have a wood rail around it.

Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Auchinleck if the Board could place a restriction on this application that this porch could not be enclosed. Mr. Auchinleck said they could.

Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Speaker what the distance is between his house and his neighbors. Mr. Speaker replied that looking at his house, to the left of him is about 20 - 25 feet distance and to the right, where the porch would be constructed, is about 30 feet distance. This porch would not be detrimental to his neighbors.

Mr. Ragan asked if the Board grants this request for the variance, would the porch be satisfactorily constructed with the anticipation of enclosing the porch. Mr. Gallo indicted that the brick facing will be a continuous footing, which would allow this to be enclosed in. Mr. Auchinleck indicated that he believes the township requires continuous footing.

Mr. Harwood was asked if a front porch that has five posts and a roof requires continuous footing around the perimeter of the porch? Mr. Harwood said yes, this would required regardless of if the porch was to be enclosed.

Mr. Ragan asked the solicitor if they could stipulate that the porch not be enclosed. Mr. Auchinleck indicated yes, if the porch was to be enclosed they would have to seek an additional variance.

Mr. Ragan as Mr. Speaker what his hardship would be if the variance is not granted. Mr. Speaker stated that if there were not allowed to take the porch out far enough to the set back line, they would not have enough room to walk or place a couple of rocking chairs on it. Mr. Ragan asked if the four feet being requested was going to accommodate this request? Mr. Speaker said yes.

M. Lionetti asked Mr. Harwood if the Board was to grant this application, as requested, and the Board stipulated that the porch could never be enclosed, could his office enforce or monitor it? Mr. Harwood indicated that if a new variance is requested, the person who reviews this decision would see the stipulation and would use it when making a determination for the basis for another permit. Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Harwood if from an administrative point, would he rather the Board not deal with these issues. Mr. Harwood stated that he feels the Zoning Board should do what it judges to be proper.

Mr. Lionetti asked if the Board members had any other questions.

Mr. Lenihan advised that he did a sight inspection of the property this morning and he did not see any problem with the applicant's request for the covered porch. He further indicated that there are several other houses in the same cul-de-sac that have similar types of structures and this requests is in accordance with the other houses.

Mr. Lionetti asked if there were any other comments from the Board members or if Mr. Harwood had any additional comments. There were no other comments. Mr. Lionetti asked if there was anyone wishing to make public comment for or against the application? There were none noted.

Mr. Auchinleck indicated that this matter will be continued to the next hearing scheduled for February 19, 2001 on the basis that the property would be reposted. The record would remain open in the event that any neighbors would care to make any comments or participate in this appeal.

Upon discussion, Mario Lionetti made a motion to continue the application of Andrew N. and Margaret R. Speaker to the February 19, 2001 Zoning Board Meeting. Mr. Lenihan seconded the motion.

Motion granted unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

Motion made by Mr. Lionetti to adjourn meeting, which was seconded by Mr. Leone.

Motion carried unanimously.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

__________________________________
Anita P. Arndt, Recording Secretary