NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD
MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE
NEWTOWN, PA 18940
THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2001
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE MARCH 1, 2001 MEETING: Mr. Ragan made the following amendments and/or changes to the
March 1, 2001 minutes:1
Page 1, AGENDA and Page 3 (title): Application of Pleasant Point Associates changed to "pheasant."
Page 4, last paragraph, second line: ...to make a record on the issued of economic... change to read: ...to make a record on the "issue" of economic...
Page 5, last Paragraph: ...the attorney representing Newtown Racket Associates changed to read: ...the attorney representing Newtown "Raquet" Associates.
Mr. Lionetti asked if the Board if they had any further amendments and/or changes to the minutes. The Board had no further comments.
Motion was made by Franklin Carver to approve the minutes as amended. John Lenihan seconded motion.
Motion granted unanimously.
1Amendments and/or changes are made in the "italic" print.
The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday March 1, 2001, in the Newtown Township Municipal Building. In attendance and voting are: Mario Lionetti, Chairman, Thomas Ragan, Vice-Chairman, John Lenihan, Secretary, Michael Leone, Member and Franklin Carver, Member. Also in attendance is James J. Auchinleck, JR., Solicitor.
CALL TO ORDER
Mario Lionetti, Chairman calls the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
THE AGENDA WAS REVIEWED
Approval of Minutes Thursday, February 19, 2001
Application of Pleasant Point Associates
Application of Sun Company, Inc.
Application of David H. Platt
Application of JAM Enterprises
Application of Debra Sparks Allison t/a Debra Sparks Dance Works
Application of Brandywine Realty Trust
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY 19, 2001 MEETING
Mr. Lionetti made the following amendments and/or changes to the February 19, 2001 minutes:1
Page 2, Paragraph 1:
Due to a defective notice in the last hearing, the board is returning to this case to determine whether there is a public comment on this application. Change to read:
"Due to the hearing notice being posted late, the Board continued the hearing to allow for public comment."
Page 2, Paragraph 2:
The applicant, Andrew Speaker was present to represent this application. Also present was Dominic Bentivoglio, representing the builder. Change to read:
The applicant Andrew Speaker was present. Also present was Dominic Bentivoglio, "the builder".
Page 2, last Paragraph:
Mr. Auchinleck advised that once the board renders its decision on the set back, should the Speakers or new owner decide in the future to enclosed this porch, they would have to seek a permit to enclose the porch.
Mr. Auchinleck advised that once the board renders its decision on the set back, should the Speakers or "any future" owners decide to enclose "the" porch they would have to seek a permit to enclose the porch.
Page 3, 2nd Paragraph:
Mr. Bentivoglio advised the flooring to the porch would consist of continuous concrete footing and brick. Change to read:
Mr. Bentivoglio advised that the flooring to the porch would "be brick covered concrete with a" continuance "concrete footing."
Page 3, Paragraph 7:
Mr. Auchinleck advised that this application was originally scheduled to be heard by the Zoning Board at its February 1, 2001 hearing; however, due to a defective notice, this application could not be opened for hearing. This application was then rescheduled for tonight's meeting.
Mr. Auchinleck advised that this application was originally scheduled to be heard by the Zoning Board at its February 1, 2001 hearing; however, due "the late posting of the public notice" this application could not be opened for hearing. This application was then rescheduled for "March 1, 2001."
Page 3, Paragraph 8:
Motion was made by Thomas Ragan to adjourn Sun Company Inc.'s application to the March 1, 2001 Zoning Board Meeting, which was seconded by John Lenihan.
Motion was made by Thomas Ragan to "continue" Sun Company Inc.'s application to the March 1, 2001 Zoning Board Meeting, which was seconded by John Lenihan.
Motion was made by John Lenihan to approve the minutes as amended, which was seconded by Thomas Ragan.
Motion carried unanimously.
1Amendments and/or changes are made in the "italic" print.
APPLICATION OF PLEASANT POINT ASSOCIATES
Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Pleasant Point Associates, L.P. requesting an appeal from the interpretation of the Zoning Officer as to the maximum impervious surface area, and in the alternative a variance from section 404B of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 for relief to permit applicant to construct a 42 lot residential subdivision exceeding the maximum permitted impervious surface ration permitted by the Ordinance. The subject property is located on the west side of Eagle Road approximately 2,200 feet south of Wrights Road in Newtown, in the CM (Conservation Management) and R-1 (Residential) Zoning Districts, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-3-27, 29-3-28.1 and 29-3-28.1 and 29-4-33.
Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Auchinleck if he had any information to discuss before the Board with regard to this application. Mr. Auchinleck advised that he received correspondence from Robert Gundlack, Esquire concerning this application and he spoke with his office today. Mr. Gundlack requested additional time to meet with the Board of Supervisors to discuss their opposition to this application prior to representing this case to this Board and requested that we continue this application to the April 5, 2001 hearing.
Mr. Leone motioned to continue the application of Pheasant Point Association to the April 5, 2001, 7:30 p.m. hearing, which was seconded by Mr. Lenihan.
Mr. Lionetti asked if there was any further discussion by the Board members. There was none.
Motion carried unanimously.
CONTINUED APPLICATION OF SUN COMPANY, INC.
Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Auchinleck if he had any information to discuss before the Board with regard to this application. Mr. Auchinleck discussed that this application was opened for hearing at the February 19, 2001 meeting. At that time, it was requested that the application be continued to the March 1, 2001 hearing. The applicant advised that they are still attempting to meet and discuss this application with interested parties to attempt to reach some resolution. Mr. Auchinleck believes they are preparing plans that would reduce the relief being requested, but these plans are not ready. The applicant has requested this application be continued to the April 5, 2001 hearing, however, Newtown Borough would like to attend this hearing and already has a meeting scheduled on April 5, 2001. The applicant has agreed to extend this period to the April 12, 2001 hearing. Mr. Auchinleck has confirmed that this date is convenient for all interested parties.
Mr. Lionetti made a motion that the application of Sun Company, Inc. be continued to a special meeting on April 12, 2001, at 7:30 p.m., which was seconded by Thomas Ragan.
Mr. Lionetti asked if there was any further discussion by the Board Members. There was none.
Motion carried unanimously.
APPLICATION DAVID H. PLATT
Mr. Auchinleck gave a summary of this application. He indicated that this is an application, which the Newtown Swim Club originally filed in 1999. At that time, this Board granted the applicant relief and entered a decision to that effect. Following the decision, an interested party to this application filed an appeal in the Court of Common Pleas. The Court of Common Pleas held a Rule 27 Conference and as a result of that conference the Judge Scott ordered the case be remanded back to this Board for additional testimony. It is Mr. Auchinleck's opinion that as a result of the taking of additional testimony, a new decision will be prepared.
Mr. John A. VanLuvanee, the attorney representing David H. Platt, indicated that it is his position that the remand order indicated that the limitation of the testimony would be with respect to economic hardship.
Mr. Leone asked if it is a common practice for a Judge to ask the Board to hear the additional testimony rather than have the two parties providing this testimony directly to her? Mr. VanLuvanee indicated that if the Judge takes the additional testimony, it becomes incumbent upon her to make new Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. It is the Judge's preference that if the Board determines there is a reason to take additional testimony, the case be remanded rather than substitute the Board's judgment with respect to findings that are not at issue or to a subject matter that is not a specific concern.
Mr. Auchinleck indicated that the remand order states that the matter is remanded to the Zoning Hearing Board to make a record on the issued of economic hardship of applicant/intervenor David H. Platt. Following additional testimony the Board will have to make another decision, which will be followed by additional Findings of Fact, based on any additional evidence.
Mr. VanLuvanee recommended an alternative could be that the Board not issue a new decision, but issue supplemental findings in support of the original decision, if the Board choose to affirm it. The Judge was interested in hearing additional evidence on the question of the economic impact. The impact may not impact the decision, but it may just determine or reaffirm the Board's original decision and issue supplemental findings.
Mr. Leone asked to see the prior application. The Board did not have the prior application before them.
Prior to proceeding, Mr. Lionetti asked if there was anyone else who wished to be a party to this hearing. There was no response at that time. However, Mr. Auchinleck believed there were other parties who wished to be a part of the application.
Mr. VanLuvanee provided a summary that at the last hearing, they introduced evidenced and Mr. Platt testified for an additional use of the land to be developed at the Newtown Swim Club property for a golf course. Mr. Platt proposed to construct a 68,000 plus square foot Olympic training facility. It was established that under the prior application for the golf course, the Board of Supervisors approved a total of 389 parking spaces and approved a land development plan that proposed an additional 241 spaces over the 148 that existed. Mr. Platt requested a variance to permit him to develop in lieu of the golf course, an Olympic training facility consisting of the same number of parking spaces shown on the land development plan. Mr. Platt offered testimony from David Spadacino, who operates a similar facility in Feasterville, that the parking was adequate should Mr. Platt construct the 389 spaces. Mr. Worthington had also been called to testify and was cross-examined. Based upon the above, the Board rendered an additional decision and Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, stating that the 389 parking spaces shown on the land development plan that had been previously been approved by the Board, marked Exhibit A3, were adequate and granted a variance. There was a revision and second hearing, where at the suggestion of the Board, Tri-State Engineers developed a plan to reduce certain parking spaces that increased the total number of parking spaces. The testimony at that time was based on just one parking space per 50 square feet, without regard to the number of employees, for 775 parking spaces for the Olympic training facility.
Albert J. Cepparulo, the attorney representing Newtown Racket Associates appeared. Mr. Cepparulo discussed that he was brought in the case at the end. Prior to the hearing before Judge Scott, he did not participate in the 1998 proceedings when the applicant had expanded his facility. In preparation for this evening, Mr. Cepparulo raised a preliminary point that he believes there has to be some clarification as to the use of this facility. Mr. VanLuvanee made a number of statements at the last hearing before the Board, that this case was proceeding under a C8 private club use. This is not what this club had been granted by the townships as a use. In 1998, Steve Harris, on behalf of the Township, wrote the approval on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, regarding the four additions that were made to this property. In this approval, he indicated that this was a C6 athletic facility, which is a non-conforming use. Therefore, Mr. Cepparulo does not understand how the applicant can now be here telling the Board that this is no longer a C6 athletic facility, but rather a new C8 private club. Testimony was given as if the facility was already a private club; however, there was no testimony to establish that it was a private club. In the decision in this case, which was written and signed by the Board, the Board refers to the variance having been granted in various cases under both the C8 private club designation and C6 athletic facility designations. Therefore, there was some confusion within the decision. There has been no determination that this is anything but a C6 athletic facility. If the club were a C6 athletic facility, it would be granted multiple uses on one parcel. Therefore, Mr. Cepparulo believes that this application is out of order. This application must proceed under the prior approved C6 athletic facility to comply with the Board's requirement for expansion of a non-conforming use or it may not proceed at all. Mr. Harris' letter is dates April 17, 1998, which granted Mr. Platt land development. In the second paragraph of this letter, it indicates that the use of the site continues to be use C6 athletic facility, which is a non-conforming use.
Mr. Auchinleck indicated that prior to this application, this was a C6 athletic facility. It was Mr. Auchinleck's understanding that with this application, there was a proposal for a C8 private club. Mr. Auchinleck does not believe there is anything in the ordinance that prohibits either of the uses on the property.
Mr. VanLuvanee indicated that they made it very clear that the application dealt strictly with the parking requirements. Under the ordinance, regardless of whether it was a C6 athletic facility or C8 private club, the parking requirement under the ordinance was identical. The application only was asking for parking relief. If in its subsequent land development application, the Board of Supervisors should determine there is a use issue, that is an application that he stipulates is not in front of the Board right know.
Mr. Cepparulo agrees with Mr. VanLuvanee that the parking requirements are exactly the same under C6 or C8. However, he does not believe that the applicant has a right to determine a use and then request a variance under that use without this Board first making a determination. In fact, he doesn't believe that the determination of the use is within the purview of the government body. It is the Board's decision because it is the Board's decision because it under the zoning ordinance; therefore, it is a zoning board matter and not a governing body matter. In addition, Mr. Cepparulo argued that he couldn't come before the Board if his property was in R-1 zone and tell you essentially that he wanted you to make a decision as if it were a R2 zone.
Mr. VanLuvanee indicated that the remand is for a limited purpose. Mr. Cepparulo goes back to paragraph 16 of the decision, where a Finding of Fact was issued, which states that the parking requirement for a C6 athletic facility is unreasonable. Mr. Cepparulo questioned how this decision was rendered when this was not before you.
Mr. Lionetti indicated that it is a fact that the facility presently is a C6 use. Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Auchinleck if there is a procedure to change the use of a facility and what would that entail? Mr. Auchinleck indicated that if the applicant felt that the use was permitted, he could just apply for an occupancy permit that would specify the use. If it was denied, the applicant could appeal to the Zoning Board. If the applicant already knows it is not a permitted use, he could apply direct to the Zoning Board without going to the Code Enforcement Office and request a variance. If the applicant want to change the zoning, he could go before the Board of Supervisors and request that the ordinance be changed. The one thing the Zoning Board can not do is to add on something that is not before the Zoning Board. Mr. Lionetti stated that both uses are permitted on this property. Mr. Cepparulo stated he does not believe they are. The C8 is a permitted use. The C6 is not.
Mr. Lionetti believes that the issue of parking spaces is the issue being heard, regardless of whether this is a C6 or C8 facility, the standards are one in the same. Hearing the additional testimony does not give Mr. Platt any right to use the facility as a C8, if he must go through an official procedure to make this use change.
Mr. Auchinleck would like to proceed with the testimony, as directed by the court, and upon hearing this testimony, the Board will render its decision.
Mr. Cepparulo makes his objection to proceeding for the record.
Mr. Platt was sworn in.
Issue: The applicant is to supply more information about the economic hardship of asking for more parking.
Mr. VanLuvanee confirms with Mr. Platt that at the previous hearing we had marked as Exhibit A3, a land development plan, which was approved by the Board of Supervisors. On that plan Mr. Platt proposed to supply additional 231 parking spaces. In the center of the lower part of this plan there is a proposed impervious surface calculation. The plan states that he wants to construct 241 new parking spaces on 2 acres. The Olympic training facility is 68,331 square feet of floor area. The zoning ordinance requires one parking space per 60 square feet, plus with employees, it would require 1375 spaces. In order to meet this requirement, Mr. Platt would need 11.45 acres. Mr. Platt requested the preparation of the land development contract and for the township engineer to prepare an estimate of the site improvement cost associated with this plan. This site improvement cost prepared by the township engineer was marked AR1, which showed the costs to be an estimate of $184,000.00. With these figures to build the extra 9 acres to comply with the ordinance would cost $800,000.00 or more. The impervious surface would be 35%. The impervious surface in the R2 district is 35%. In order to construct the additional 9 acres for additional impervious, would be 25 acres. Mr. VanLuvanee asked Mr. Platt if he formed an opinion as to whether or not the requirement that he construct 9 additional acres of parking and 25 acres of land, have an impact on economic viability to pursue this project.
Mr. Cepparulo objected, stating this question called for an opinion of a non-expert. Mr. VanLuvanee replied that the owner of a facility is able to give an opinion as to the weight of the opinion not the admissibility. Mr. Lionetti allowed the question. Mr. Cepparulo indicated under 702 of the Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence in order for this to be accepted as expert opinion first, he must be able to testify to some type of methodology, which is generally accepted in the community of the economist. Mr. Auchinleck indicated that this is not being offered as expert testimony. Mr. VanLuvanee indicated that this opinion is being given as the owner of the property, giving weight on the economic feasibility of the project. Mr. Lionetti again indicated the testimony is allowed.
Mr. Platt indicated that they came to the Zoning Hearing Board asking for a variance in the beginning because it did not make sense economically and from an ecstatic standpoint to put in a parking lot for 1300 cars, when if you look at existing facilities down the street and in Oxford Valley, that are very similar to this facility, their parking lot sizes are the approximate same size as the one they are asking for. To put in a parking lot for 1300 cars that would never get used is a liability.
Mr. Cepparulo asked that the answer be stricken. Mr. Auchinleck overruled.
Mr. Leone asked Mr. Platt be more specific as to the economic impact and feasibility of the additional parking. Mr. Platt indicated to spend $800,000.00 for a parking lot that is not going to be used does not make sense. Looking at similar facilities, i.e. Newtown Racquet Club, LA Fitness or B & R Racquet Club, they do not have parking facilities of this grand size.
Mr. Auchinleck asked Mr. Platt if he explored the cost of the service compared this to physical revenues. Mr. Platt indicated that while this has been on appeal, they have put a lot of the economic issues and cost estimates on hold.
Mr. Auchinleck asked Mr. Platt how much land is available for parking facility, not required. Mr. Platt indicated that he has 21 acres available for parking. Mr. Leone asked how much land does the club presently occupy. Mr. Platt said 16 acres. Mr. Lionetti inquired as to the total parcel. Mr. Platt indicated there are 41 acres on this parcel.
Mr. Cepparulo asked Mr. Platt what cost does AR1 reference. Mr. Platt indicated this is for creating the retention area and for additional parking. Mr. Cepparulo stated that Mr. Platt has decided to subdivide the 21 acres on which the parking could be provided to develop this property. He stated in a letter dated January 15, 2001, marked IR1, addressed to Newtown Racquetball Associates at 209 Penns Trail, which signed by Mr. Tanbarrino, who is Mr. Platt's engineer, referring Wilkshire Walk, giving notice that pursuant to Newtown regulations they are required to inform you that they are currently seeking approval to subdivide tax map parcel, totaling 54.0578 acres, the property being located on the north side of Newtown Yardley Road, opposite Penns Trail and frontage on Upper Silver Lake Road, and this will be subdivided into 149 dwelling units, 49 single family homes and 100 town homes. Mr. VanLuvanee indicated that this property is still under agreement and there has been no settlement yet. As the Board can take note, a property owner has the right to add one or more inconsistent applications at any one time. This letter was written on behalf of Orleans Corporation. Orleans Corporation was under agreement of sale with Mr. Platt to purchase the other 21 acres of the site. Mr. VanLuvanee agrees that this is the case. Mr. Auchlineck indicated that this notice is to adjoining property owners notifying them of a pending hearing before the Board of Supervisor and/or Planning Commission, considering this application. Mr. Cepparulo is using this document for purposes of the economic feasibility of this project.
Mr. Cepparulo asked Mr. Platt when he purchased this property. Mr. Platt indicated he purchased this property in 1982. Mr. Cepparulo then asked what was the purchase price was for this property. Mr. VanLuvanee objected as irrelevant. Mr. Cepparulo indicated that whether or not it is economically feasible goes to how much money is going to made with regard to this subdivision and how much money is going to made with regard to the building of this track. Further, Mr. Cepparulo indicated his intent to ask questions about the price of membership, the anticipated membership and how much is going to be spent. Obviously, that relates to whether or not this is economically feasible. In front of Judge Scott, Mr. VanLuvanee argued that case law in Pennsylvania now allows the duty to consider the economic feasibility as complying with the ordinance. Therefore, whether or not Mr. Platt has to spend 1% on the additional parking is relevant, which is the reason this case has been remanded back. Mr. Platt indicated he believes he purchased this property for $680,000.00 in 1982. Prior to expanding in 1988, they had about 1000 families holding membership. After the expansion, Mr. Platt indicated that membership expanded additional 100 families. The cost of membership varies on the family size. As an estimate, a family of four would cost approximately $600.00. Mr. Cepparulo inquired if there were additionally costs obtained in additional to these membership fees. Mr. Platt indicated that they rent tables at additional cost.
Mr. Cepparulo asked Mr. Platt what was the gross revenue in 1999? Mr. VanLuvanee objected noting that they are discussing a new project not an existing facility. The economic feasibility is for the new addition to the facility, not an existing facility.
Mr. Auchinleck believes there may be some relevance to this line of questioning; however, he has some concerns about the information that is about to be elicited and the form that it is being developed in. Mr. Auchinleck's recommended both parties discuss how this information can be developed in the form of documents that can be presented to the Board by stipulation of the parties, but otherwise, remain confidential.
Mr. Auchinleck indicated that the economic feasibility of the parking lot is the issue. Mr. Auchinleck believes the applicant has some rights to maintain the confidentiality of the information being asked, even though it may have some bearing on this issue. Mr. Auchinleck does not want the total/gross revenues of Mr. Platt's facility to be addressed in this forum. This includes financial statements of the operation and how the operation will run.
Mr. Cepparulo suggested that he propound interrogatories, which Mr. VanLuvanee agreed to answer. The parties both agreed to continue this application to the May 3, 2001 and/or July 5, 2001 hearing.
Mr. Lionetti made a motion to continue the Application of David H. Platt to May 3, 2001, 7:30 p.m., which was seconded by Mr. Ragan.
Mr. Lionetti asked if the Board had any further comments. There were none.
Motion carried unanimously.
APPLICATION OF JAM ENTERPRISES, INC.
Mr. Lenihan read the application of JAM Enterprises, Inc. requesting a Special Exception under Section 1208(C)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to construct a single-family detached dwelling on a non-conforming lot and in the alternative a variance from Section 404.B and 404.C to permit the construction of a signal family detached dwelling on a lot which does not meet the 40,000 square foot minimum lot size or the 135 for minimum lot width at the building setback line for a Use B-1 single family detached dwelling. The subject property is a 22,080 square feet vacant lot with a lot width of 113.18 feet being known as Lot 12, Cloverlee Lane in the Windrace subdivision, R-1 (Residential) Zoning District, which is owned by the Estate of Dorothy Hoppock, Vida V. Wilkinson, Executrix and is identifed as Tax Parcel #29-4-28.
John VanLuvanee represented the applicants. Also present and giving testimony was Joseph Marrazzo, the principal owner in the corportation.
Prior to proceeding, Mr. Carver indicated that he resides at 95 Cloverlee Lane. Mr. Auchinleck asked Mr. Carver and Mr. VanLuvanee if either of them had any problems with Mr. Carver hearing this application. Both indicated no.
Mr. Lionetti asked if there was anyone who wished to be a party to this application? There was no response.
Mr. VanLuvanee entered the following exhibits into the record:
Exhibit A-1 is a copy of a Deed dated April 15, 1955, pursuant to which Howard and Dorothy Hoppock purchased the property. This property is immediately next to the property to this application. This is Lot No. 10, on the Windrace subdivision.
Exhibit A-2 is a copy of a Deed dated January 27, 1972, for the property identified as Lot No. 12, in the Windrace subdivision, recorded in Deed Book 2026, page 882. This is the subject property to this application.
Exhibit A-3 is a copy of a plan recorded in the Office of Recorder of Deeds for Bucks County, Plan Book 5, Page 14, for the Windrace subdivision.
Exhibit A-4 is a copy of the totality of Tax Map 29-4. The purpose of this exhibit is to show the lot sizes of the properties that are behind it and in the vicinity of the subject property.
Exhibit A-5 is a copy of a page from the Bucks County Real Estate Assessment Rules for 201, showing that each of the two properties owned by Hoppock's are still separately assessed as individual tax map parcels.
Exhibit A-6 is a copy of the Board of Assessment of the Land Use Codes to aid in identifying the item numbers from Exhibit A-5. Below that is a code number, which refers to the Land Use Codes that are maintained by the Board of Assessment and the key of the Board of Assessment. This shows that the land in question is taxable as a vacant lot between 1/2 and .99 acres.
Exhibit A-7 is a copy of the Zoning Schedule of Newtown Township from the 1959 Zoning Ordinance.
Mr. Joseph Marrazzo is is sworn in. Mr. Marrazzo resides at 242 Stoneybrook Road.
Mr. VanLuvanee confirms that Mr. Marrazzo is the applicant in this request and JAM is a corporation, a LLC. At the present time JAM is the equity owner of the property involved in this application. At the time this property was placed under agreement, Mr. Marrazzo asked the Newtown Bucks County Zoning Municpal Authority to determine whether or not there was any sewer service available to this property and if so, whether there were any laterals in place for this lot, distinguished from the lot next door. Mr. Marrazzo indicated that the Authority informed him that there was sewer service and there was a separate lateral sewage lot.
Mr. VanLuvanee asked if Mr. Marrazzo was in the landscaping business. Mr. Marrazzo indicated that he is and the name of his business is J. Marrazzo Landscaping. The nature of this business is landscaping contracting.
Mr. VanLuvanee asked Mr. Marrazzo if he knows what type of house he would like to construct on this property? Mr. Marrazzo indicated that he would like to build a house similar to one he built 3 or 4 years ago. There is one at the beginning of the street and there is one presently under construction that sits opposite this lot. There are also some newer homes that have built in this neighborhood within ten years or so. Mr. Marrazzo would like to build a single family home, about 2415 square footage with a two-car garage. Mr. VanLuvanee submitted Exhibit A8, which is a proposed floor plan to this application. Also, submitted was a color photograph of the proposed marked Exhibit A9. Mr. Marrazzo indicated that the exterior dimensions (width and depth) in Exhibits A8 and A9 are 34 ft. in depth and overall width is approximately 57 ft. and 9 1/2 inches.
Under the present R1 zoning district, the front yard requirements is 60 ft., which Mr. Marrazzo has no problems complying with. The rear year requirement is 40 ft. which Mr. Marrazzo has no problems complying with. The Ordinance requires a minimum of 30 ft. on one side with an aggregate of 70. This land will only have public sewer, not public water. The lot depth on one side is 192.39 ft. and the other is 202 ft. Mr. Marrazzo will not be able to build the house he proposed if he has to comply with the aggregate of 70. Mr. Marrazzo is requesting the Board to give a variance to build a house not to exceed 58 feet in width with the understanding the it would be located on the lot as to equalize the distance between the houses on both sides of the lot.
Mr. Auchinleck asked Mr. Marrazzo what the sizes of the other houses in the neighborhood are? Mr. Marrazzo indicated that some of the homes are ranchers and there are some two-story homes as well. Mr. Auchinleck further asked if this house was larger than the other homes in the area? Mr. Marrazzo said this home is within scale of the existing homes in the neighborhood, with the exception of the ranchers.
Mr. Leone inquired if this house is in scale with the other homes in its width. Mr. Marrazzo indicated yes, this house is approximately 2400 square foot. The two story homes existing now may be smaller as with the ranchers, but comparing it with the two newer ones, probably smaller. Width wise, the house is similar.
Mr. Auchinleck indicated that the application did not request side yard variances and this was not advertised. In order to grant the rest of the relief request, this would have to be re-advertised. Mr. VanLuvanee indicated he would be happy to have a survey performed on the property to determine the appropriate side yard variances.
Mr. Auchinleck asked if this was a spec house, which Mr. Marrazzo indicated yes. Mr. Auchinleck indicated that Mr. Marrazzo might want to consider building a smaller home to prevent him from going over the impervious surface. Based upon the above, Mr. VanLuvanee advised that he will submit an Amended Applciation.
Motion was made by Mario Lionetti to continue the application JAM Enterprises to continue to April 12, 2001 hearing at 7:30 p.m., which was seconded by Mr. Leone.
Motion carried unanimously.
APPLICATION OF DEBRA SPARKS ALLISON
Mr. Lenihan read the application of Debra Sparks Allison d/b/a Debra Sparks Dance Works requesting a variance from Section 601(a) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983, to permit a commercial school in the CC Zoning District where such use is not permitted and from Section 803(c-2-3-2) from the parking requirements of the ordinance. The subject property which is owned by William Tanner is located at 34 Newtown Richboro Road in the CC Convenience Commercial Zoning District and consist of a vacant garage on the rear of the property and being further identified as Tax Map Parcel 29-11-47.
Debra Sparks Allison represented herself. Mr. Lionetti asked if there was anyone else present who wished to be party to this application? William Tanner, the property owner, requested to be made a party to this application.
Ms. Sparks and Mr. Tanner were both sworn in.
Ms. Sparks indicated that she is making this application to have a ballet school at this location. Ms. Sparks believes this will be a perfect location for her to relocate her school. She explained that the children who attend her school are dropped off and picked up and that the parents do not stay at any time. There is a teacher and secretary in the building, during classes. The dance school will need two parking spaces. Enrollment presently is approximately 100 students. The maximum amount of students attending a class at a time is 18 to 20.
Mr. Lionetti inquired how many students attend classes per day. Ms. Sparks indicated that classes range from four students to a class, followed by a class of maybe 15 student. Classes average from five students to eighteen students in one class. There is one class held at a time and three classes per day.
Mr. Ragan inquired as to the class times. Ms. Sparks indicated that classes begin at 4:00 p.m. and run about an hour to an hour and a half. Most of the classes are finished by 8:00 p.m. There is one day a week that the class finishes at 8:30 p.m. and one day a week the class ends at 9:00 p.m. Mr. Ragan asked if there is a time lapse between classes. Ms. Sparks said she would like to make this about 15 minutes apart. Ms. Sparks presently has two ballet schools: one in Philadelphia and another in Newtown. Ms. Sparks explained that her Newtown school has been in place for approximately 2 and 1/2 years. Since that time, her classes have grown and she finds it difficult to conduct a professional ballet class in her present school. This school is located by Salvatore's. Her school is on the second floor above the beauty parlor. This parking lot is shared, with most of the traffic coming from the beauty parlor. Ms. Spark's indicated this traffic does not affect her school, as they have a drop off and pick up policy.
Mr. Ragan inquired if the teenagers in her class drive. Ms. Spark's indicated she presently has two children who drive.
Mr. Lionetti indicated that the proposed new location for her school is the back of a building. The plan being submitted with this application was before the Board a month or two ago. At that time, there were multiple parking places on two sides of this building. Mr. Lionetti counted 18 parking spaces around the building that is marked "dance" in the corner. Mr. Auchinleck indicated Vincent's Auto Body uses many of those spaces. Mr. Tanner reviewed the plan attached to the application. Mr. Tanner indicated that Vincent's Auto Repair is identified on the plan and the side of the dance studio has parking spaces 1 through 11, which are used by Vincent's Auto Repair. Vince's Auto Repair also uses the other side off of German Avenue. Mr. Leone inquired what Vince's hours are. Mr. Tanner indicated he is opened from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The entrances are located opposite parking lots numbered 9 and 5. The parking spaces numbered 12 through 18 will be available for the dance school.
Mr. Auchinleck inquired as to what "C" is located on the plan. It looks as if "A" and "B" have been covered up. Mr. Tanner is not certain what this is. Mr. Auchinleck asked Mr. Tanner who uses German Avenue? Mr. Tanner said just Vincent's Auto Repair and himself. In order to the parking spaces the students will have to travel up German Avenue to the school. There is no other access to this building.
Mr. Leone inquired if there is any danger with the children getting dropped off and going through the parking lot of Vincent's Auto Repair. There is no sidewalk to this building and the parking spaces pull up to the building.
The Board decided to schedule a site inspection of the area to determine if the traffic in the location the children will be walking. The Board would like to be certain that a dangerous situation does not exist. This site inspection was scheduled for April 5, 2001.
Motion was made by Michael Leone to continued this application to April 5, 2001, with a site inspection behind held at 5:00 p.m. on this same day Motion was seconded by Mr. Ragan.
Mr. Lionetti asked if there was any further discussion by the Board. There was not response.
Motion carried unanimously.
Board recessed for 5 minutes.
APPLICATION OF BRANDYWINE REALTY TRUST
Mr. Lenihan read the application of Brandywine Realty Trust appealing the interpretation of the Zoning Officer interpreting the Ordinance to deny permission to construct signs with 1000 feet of the Route 332 Bypass, and in the alternative requesting three variances from Section 1103.C.4 of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit three signs within 1000 feet of the Route 332 Bypass. The subject property is located at the intersection of Newtown Yardley Road/Route 332 By-Pass and Lindenhurst Road, in the OR (Office Research) Zoning District being further identified as Tax Map Parcel 29-10-81 and 29-81-1.
Michael Coughlin, Esquire, represented the applicant. Also present is Anthony s. Rimikis from Brandywine, R. Mitchell Shiles, the architect and Mark A. Roth, the traffic engineer, for this project.
Mr. Lionetti inquired if there was anyone else present who wished to be party to this application. There was no response.
The witnesses were sworn in.
Mr. Coughlin presented Mr. Rimikis for testimony. Mr. Rimikis is employed by the applicant, Brandywine Realty Trust, and has been in their employ for 3 1/2 years as the Senior Vice-President and Construction Development. This application involves a property located at the intersection of Lindenhurst Road and the Route 332 Bypass. The current owner of the property is Brandywine Operating Partnership, LP. Mr. Rimikis is also an officer of this company. The relationship between the two companies is Brandywine Operating Partnership, L.P. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brandywine Realty Trust.
Mr. Coughlin confirm with Mr. Rimikis that Exhibit A-1, is a copy of the Deed pursuant to which Brandywine Operating Partnership acquired title to the subject property. This deed is dated June 30, 2000, recorded in book 2094 page 1261. Exhibit A-2 is a copy of Brandywine Operating Partnership's consent, which was signed by Mr. Rimikis.
This property is approximately 15 acres and is located in the OR Zoning District. Brandywine is proposing to construct a single office building on the property. This building will be approximately 160,000 square feet, consisting of three floors. Brandywine has received the final additional land development approval from Newtown Township. Brandywine obtained this approval on February 11, 2000, which is marked Exhibit A3. Exhibit A-4 is a copy of the site plan. This plan shows an access off of Lindenhurst Road. There is another right hand, right out access at the Bypass. The entire project is located within 1000 ft. of the project.
The signs that Brandywine proposes to construct on the property are 3D images. The signs are proposed to sit at the entrance to Lindenhurst Road and the Bypass. There are three signs noted on the plan, Exhibit A4. Mr. Coughlin advised that the Board of Supervisors determined the quality of the signs that could be placed on this property. The purpose of the signs is for identification purposes so that people would know where the driveways are and what the property is. Exhibit A5 was introduced as a site plan of the project. Also submitted and marked Exhibits A6 and A7 were two close ups of the site plan. Lastly, Exhibit A8 was entered and marked as an artist drawing demonstrating the dimensions. The lighting to be utilized will be an indirect source of lighting, shinning at the signs, i.e. a spotlight.
Mr. Coughlin asked Mr. Rimikis if it was his opinion, that the variance is necessary to enable the reasonable use of the property. Mr. Rimikis said, yes. Mr. Coughlin asked if it was Mr. Rimikis' opinion if the variance will add to potential character of the neighborhood? Mr. Rimikis replied, yes. Mr. Couglin asked Mr. Rimikis if it is his opinion that with this variance, it will change or impair the esthetics or the use of the adjacent property or be detrimental to the public welfare? Mr. Rimikis indicated, no.
Mr. Lionetti inquired as to the placement of the building? Mr. Rimikis said building will be parallel to the Bypass and the signs will be visible to the by-pass with the other sign perpendicular.
Mr. Harwood was sworn in.
Mr. Harwood advised that the Board of Supervisors only approved the signs. Mr. Sanderlin said he has no objection to the signs but the applicants must a variance to place the signs within 1000 feet of the Bypass.
Mr. Lionetti asked how many cars would be at the facility at a given point. Mr. Rimikis said approximately 400.
Mr. Lionetti asked the Board if they had any further questions. There were none. Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone wished to make public comment for or against the application. There was no response.
Motion was made by Mr. Lenihan to approve the application of Brandywine Realty Trust to permit the construction of signs within the 1000 foot distance of the Route 332 Bypass. The signs as indicated on their application and with the stipulation that the site distance will be appropriate on the three signs. Mr. Carver seconded the motion.
Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone had further comment. Mr. Ragan indicated that he agrees that the sign at LaSalle University is identifying their building and he finds these signs falling in the same venue as the signs, so he will not oppose this request. Mr. Lenihan indicated that the hardship that would exist without the signs would not be to the benefit of the people trying to locate the building. Mr. Lionetti asked if there was further discussion. Hearing none,
Motion carried unanimously.
Motion made by Mr. Lionetti to adjourn meeting, which was seconded by Mr. Lenihan.
Motion carried unanimously.
Meeting adjourned at 10:45 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by:
Anita P. Arndt, Recording Secretary