NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD

MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA 18940

THURSDAY, JULY 5, 2001

7:30 PM


APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE JULY 5, 2001 MEETING: Mr. Ragan moved to approve the minutes of July 5, 2001. Mr. Leone seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, July 5, 2001 in the Newtown township Municipal Building. In attendance and voting were: Mario Lionetti, Chairman; Thomas Regan, Vice-Chairman; John Lenihan, Secretary, Franklin Carver, Member and Michael Leone, Member. Also in attendance were James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Solicitor, and Kristi Kasnicki, Zoning Officer.

CALL TO ORDER:  

Mario Lionetti, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM. 

THE AGENDA WAS REVIEWED:  

Approval of Minutes

April 5, 2001, May 5, 2001 & June 21, 2001

Continued Application of Rona Waters

Continued Application of Outkin & Shindel

Application of Jeffrey A. Franz

Application of Peter & Diana Beisser

Application of Douglas & Sandra Dixon

Application of Linford & Mary Bethman

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF APRIL 5, 2001:  

Mr. Ragan made the following amendments and/or changes to the April 5, 2001 minutes:

PAGE 1, Approval of Minutes date should read March 1, 2001

PAGE 5, Spelling of name SWEIGARD should be consistent

PAGE 10, Paragraph 4, should read would like relief, strike word to

Mr. Lionetti made the following amendments and/or changes to the April 5, 2001 minutes

PAGE 2, last paragraph should read Mr. Murphy advised that he

PAGE 5, paragraph 6 should read Mr. Sweigard was sworn in

PAGE 6, 22.82% should read 2.82%

PAGE 10, last paragraph should read calculation was not properly done

Mr. Lionetti made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Mr. Lenihan seconded. Motion approved unanimously.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF MAY 3, 2001

Some pages were missing from some copies of the minutes, and so the board will review them at the meeting of July 19, 2001.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF JUNE 21, 2001

Mr. Lionetti moved to approve the minutes. Mr. Carver seconded. Motion approved unanimously.

CONTINUED APPLICATION OF RONA WATERS:   

Rona Waters has submitted a revised plan for a Florida Room addition to her property at 4 Holly Circle, and is now requesting relief to maintain a minimum 15 foot rear yard setback instead of the minimum 25 foot setback required. This differs from the previous submission in which the applicant requested relief to maintain a minimum 20 foot rear yard setback.

Tracy Waters was sworn in.

Tracy Waters appeared on behalf of her mother, Rona Waters. Mrs. Waters had been given relief from the final plan of Newtown Grant to allow a 25 foot rear setback instead of the required 30 foot setback at the June 21, 2001 meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board. Her daughter stated that Mrs. Waters was now asking to change her plan asking for a 15 foot setback. The new plan would also increase the side setback from 6 inches to 4 feet on the side of the property adjoining Mr. Goldberg.

Mr. Lionetti asked if there were any other witnesses or parties to the matter present. There was no response.

Ms. Waters presented to the board the new sketch plan. The drawing showed a room now 9'11" x 19' rather than the originally approved 11' x 17' room. Mr. Auchinleck kept the new plan drawing to make copies to be distributed to the board.

Mr. Auchinleck stated that there was a discrepancy between the 9' 11" length and the 10' that appeared in the ad in the paper, however this discrepancy was not of any significance.

With the new plan the variance requested for the setback is 15 feet.

Mr. Auchinleck asked if this plan is now preferred over the one approved at the last meeting. Ms. Waters says that it is.

Mr. Ragan asked if Mrs. Rona Waters had discussed the new plan with Mr. Goldberg. Ms. Waters did not think so. Mr. Ragan thought that the new plan would probably be more acceptable to Mr. Goldberg than the already approved plan, as it increased the space between his home and the proposed Florida Room. He thought that the new plan might satisfy Mr. Goldberg and he may not appeal this variance as he had indicated he intended to do with the June 21 variance.

Mr. Leone noted that a letter from Willow Creek Home Owners Association mentions a request for a fence that would back onto North Drive.

Mr. Lionetti stated that if a fence is being considered a new variance application must be made.

The Zoning Officer had no comment.

Mr. Lionetti moved to grant relief for rear yard setback of 10 feet, subject to rescission of variance granted on June 21, 2001. Mr. Lenihan seconded the motion and it was passed unanimously.

CONTINUED APPLICATION OF OUTKIN & SHINDEL

Property owners Outkin and Shindel were present, seeking a variance to put an addition of their home at 16 Poppy Court. They were still under oath from the Zoning Hearing Board meeting June 7, 2001.

Mr. Auchinleck stated that the matter had been continued as there was a question as to whether the minimum side yard setback on the east side was 15ft., as stipulated in the zoning ordinance, or 10 ft., depicted in the as-built survey plan dated 5/25/93. The zoning officer has confirmed that as stipulated in the final plan for Newtown Grant dated 7/2/87, the minimum side yard setback required for a single family home is 10 ft., 24 ft. aggregate. Since the property in question has a minimum 14 ft. side yard setback on the west side, a minimum 10 ft. setback is required on the east side. The plan as submitted by Outkin & Shindel meets this requirement.

Mr. Lionetti asked if there were any other parties to the proceeding who wished to be heard. There were none.

Mr. Lenihan made a motion to grant the relief for a 34.4% impervious surface, an increase of 4%. Mr. Ragan seconded the motion and it was passed unanimously.

APPLICATION OF JEFFREY FRANZ

Mr. Franz seeks relief to construct an in-ground swimming pool, shed and wall at 11 Kuhars Way, which will exceed the maximum impervious surface ratio by 5.1% Mr. Franz was not present.

Mr. Lenihan rescued himself in this matter as Mr. Franz is a client of Mr. Lenihan's firm.

Mr. Mike Mayers of Sylvan Pools was present on Mr. Franz's behalf, however stated that he was not Mr. Franz's legal representative. He was there only to answer questions regarding the plan for the pool.

Mr. Ragan stated that he thought the matter should be continued until such time as Mr. Franz could be present to answer questions. As the relief sought is substantial, Mr. Ragan felt there may be need for compromise.

Mr. Regan moved to continue the matter to July 19, 2001. Mr. Carver seconded and it passed unanimously.

APPLICATION OF PETER AND DIANE BEISSER

Peter and Diane Beisser seek relief to construct a patio at 15 Providence Court, which will exceed the minimum rear yard setback by 12 ft.

Peter and Dianne Beisser were sworn in.

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

Mr. Ragan asked who owns the lot behind the Beissers. Mrs. Beisser stated that the lot may be park of an odd shaped lot recently sold in the development, but she believed it was open space.

Mr. Ragan asked if the Beisser property had a fence. Mrs. Beisser stated that there is a new fence at the rear of her property, six inches from the property line. Mr. Ragan questioned whether the Homeowners Association in the development had any requirements for patios. Mrs. Beisser said that there were no restrictions by the Homeowners Association. Mr. Ragan asked what the patio would be made of. Mrs. Beisser stated that it would be poured concrete.

Mr. Lenihan advised that he had visited the property that afternoon. He said that there were no neighbors behind the Beisser property.

Mr. Ragan made a motion to grant relief for a 38 foot rear setback. Mr. Lenihan seconded and it passed unanimously.

APPLICATION OF DOUGLAS AND SANDRA DIXON

Mr. and Mrs. Dixon seek relief to install a fence that would exceed the maximum height standard by 1.5 feet, to enclose an existing in-ground swimming pool in the front yard at 280 Wrights Road.

Mr. Douglas Dixon was sworn in.

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

Mr. Auchinleck rescued himself in this matter as Mr. Dixon is a client of his firm.

Mr. Dixon stated that he is a new owner of the property; that it is 4.5 acres, and that there is a swimming pool in the front yard. He stated that the pool is 200 feet from Wrights Road, and is surrounded by overgrown landscaping and a broken picket and wire fence 3 feet high. Mr. Dixon feels that this is unsafe, as he has small children, and there are many new homes with children on Sibilius Road behind his home. Mr. Dixon stated that the standard requirement for swimming pool fencing is 4.5 feet. Mr. Dixon showed enlarged photographs of his home, pool, existing fence and a sample of the fence he proposed to install.

Mr. Ragan asked what type of fencing he intended to use. Mr. Dixon said he would be installing a 54 inch wood picket fence, possibly scalloped to 48 inches.

Mr. Lionetti asked the Zoning Officer is there were any requirements for pool fencing. Kristie Kaznicki, the zoning officer stated that the Township requires the 1996 BOCA code standard of 48 inches, and that this is in conflict with the Township ordinance section 803(H-3)(1)(a) which limits front yard fences to a height of 3 feet.

Mr. Lenihan and Mr. Leone made site inspections. Mr. Leone stated that the pool is set far enough back from the street that a higher fence would not pose a distraction to motorists.

Mr. Carver made a motion to approve relief of 1.5 feet, to a maximum fence height of 4.5 feet. Mr. Ragan seconded, and the motion was passed unanimously.

APPLICATION OF LINFORD AND MARY BETHMAN

Linford and Mary Bethman seek a special exception to construct a 2 car garage addition on a non-conforming lot on their property at 668 South State Street. The property is located in the TC-2 district.

Linford and Mary Bethman were sworn in.

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

Mr. Bethman stated that he would like to build a two car garage at the rear of his property, and that the location of the garage is currently paved blacktop.

Mr. Raga asked who were Mr. Bethman's immediate neighbors. Mr. Bethman stated that there were no residential properties adjoining his; that the surrounding land belonged to The George School, and that the Association for the Blind was his closest neighbor.

Mr. Auchinleck asked what Mr. Bethman intended to store in the garage. Mr. Bethman stated that he would store his two cars. His other garage is used for his camper and general storage, lawn equipment, etc.

Mr. Auchinleck stated that the property is currently zoned Town Commercial, and asked whether there were any plans for commercial use of the garage. Mr. Bethman stated that he was only using it for personal storage, that it would not have an apartment or a business of any kind.

Mr. Lionetti moved to grant relief to erect a building on a non-conforming lot. Mr. Leone seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT: 

Mr. Leone moved to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Mr. Lionetti and passed unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 PM. 

 

Respectfully submitted, 

 

_________________________________
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary