NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD

MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA 18940

THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2002

7:30 PM


Approval of the Minutes of April 4, 2002: Mr. Lionetti corrected page 2, paragraph 4 to read: Mr. Migliaccio confirmed that the pool needs three feet of concrete surrounding all sides in order to drain properly, and that at the deep end the deck would be wider to accommodate a diving board, and at the shallow end there would be a 10X20 feet patio to accommodate lounge chairs. The last word of page 4, paragraph 3 should be pool. Mr. Ragan noted that on page 6 the word applicant is misspelled. Mr. Lenihan moved to accept the minutes as corrected. Mr. Leone seconded and the motion passed 4-0.


The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, April 4, 2002 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were Mario Lionetti, Chairman; Thomas Ragan, Vice-Chairman; John Lenihan, Secretary; Franklin Carver, Member; and Michael Leone, Member. Also in attendance were James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Esq., Solicitor; Thomas Harwood, Zoning Officer; and John J. McHugh, Stenographer.

CALL TO ORDER

Mr. Lionetti called the meeting to order at 7:30PM.

THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

THE AGENDA WAS REVIEWED:

Approval of the Minutes of March 7, 2002

Application of Kevin Craig

Application of Jim Ostrowski

Application of W. John Weir and Karen Weir

Application of Ronald and Susan Wexler

Application of the Surgery Center of Langhorne, L.L.C.

Application of WLM Management, Inc.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES

Mr. Ragan corrected page 11, paragraph 6 to read:

"Mr. Ragan said that he and Mr. Lenihan had visited the site. He confirmed that the signs in question were mounted on the side walls and rear wall of the store, about 50 feet from the front windows, and visible from the street; and that, in addition, non-illuminated directional signs were mounted from the ceiling to inform customers of the products in each aisle."

Mr. Ragan moved to accept the minutes of March 6, 2002, as corrected. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

APPLICATION OF KEVIN CRAIG

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Kevin Craig, owner, requesting a variance from the Final Plan of Eagle Glenn and under the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to construct a 772 square foot inground swimming pool with accessories, a 1069 square foot patio and an 80 square foot shed resulting in a 29.05% impervious surface ratio instead of the maximum permitted 20%. The subject property is located at 1 Amy Circle in the CM Conservation Management District.

Mrs. JoAnn Craig, Mr. Kevin Craig and Mr. Migliaccio, the pool contractor, were sworn in.

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

Mrs. Craig explained that her family wished to build a pool in the back yard and had chosen the size of the pool specifically because her children wish to swim competitively and the length is roughly half the length of a competitive pool. The pool will have a concrete deck surrounding it and a patio at one end.

Mr. Migliaccio confirmed that the pool needs three feet of concrete surrounding all sides in order to drain properly, and that the deep end would have a wider area to accommodate a diving board, and the shallow end would be about 10X20 feet to accommodate lounge chairs.

Mr. Lenihan said that he and Mr. Ragan had done a site inspection and that they observed a swale between the property and 3 Amy Circle. He asked if water accumulated in this swale and whether it runs toward the street.

Mr. Craig confirmed that rain water does run toward the swale, and out to the street. It does not flood, but is the last area to dry after a rain.

Mr. Ragan said that the requested increase in impervious surface is excessive. He said that he would be inclined to compromise on the increase in impervious surface.

Mr. Lionetti said that, since the family felt that the size of the pool itself was important, then they must look to reducing impervious surface in the size of the shed and the patio.

Mrs. Craig said that they would change the patio area to a raised wooden deck and this would reduce the paved area by 300 square feet.

Mr. Leone said that this would still be an impervious surface ratio of 27%.

Mr. Lenihan said that the house already exceeded the maximum impervious surface ratio. He said that the Zoning Hearing Board must consider water management for the entire development, not just the one piece of property. The Board must consider that every home in the development has been built close to maximum impervious surface, and that they all may want pools and patios. He said that he would be comfortable only granting an increase of 5%.

Mr. Carver pointed out that the property next to 1 Amy Circle is also on the agenda for an increase in impervious surface.

Ms. Craig said that she would be willing to redesign her plans to accommodate a 25% impervious surface ratio, changing the patio to a raised wooden deck and eliminating some of the other paved areas.

Mr. Auchinleck advised Mrs. Craig that the Township must approve as pervious any deck that is put in.

Mr. Harwood had no comment on this matter.

Mrs. Craig confirmed that her development has public water and sewer.

Mr. Harwood confirmed that although this is a corner property and as such has two front yards, the shed does conform to the setback requirements, and that the plan does show a fence that also conforms with setback requirements.

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from the Final Plan of Eagle Glenn and under the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to construct a 772 square foot swimming pool and a patio and shed resulting in a 25% impervious surface ratio instead of the maximum permitted 20%. Mr. Ragan seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

APPLICATION OF JIM OSTROWSKI

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Jim Ostrowski, owner, requesting a variance from the Final Plan of Eagle Glenn and under the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of an 809 square foot inground pool and 1339 square feet of pool decking and patio and a 28 foot retaining wall which will result in a 27.7% impervious surface ratio instead of the maximum permitted 20%. The subject property is 3 Amy Circle in the CM Conservation Management District.

Mr. Jim Ostrowski was sworn in .

Mr. Lionetti reminded Mr. Migliaccio, the pool contractor, that he was still under oath.

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

Mr. Ostrowski stated that he lives next to the Craigs, who had also applied for a variance at this meeting. He said that he wished to install a swimming pool, patio and retaining wall, and that he would be willing to work with his contractor to reduce the impervious surface in the patio deck.

Mr. Migliaccio said that the patio can easily be reduced.

Mr. Lenihan stated that he and Mr. Ragan had visited the site and that they had noticed a swale toward the rear yard.

Mr. Ostrowski explained that he had purchased the model home, and that the builder had originally planned to landscape the rear yard and that the berms were put in for that purpose. He confirmed that there is open space owned by the homeowners association for his development to the rear, and open space owned by Newtown Grant behind that. He does not directly abut his rear neighbor's property. He has public water and sewer.

Mr. Leone asked if the entire deck could be wood.

Mr. Migliaccio explained that the pool needs concrete surrounding all sides in order to drain properly away from the house.

Mr. Ragan moved to grant a variance from the Final Plan of Eagle Glenn and under the Joint Municipal Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of an 809 square foot inground swimming pool and a patio and a 28 foot retaining wall which will result in a 25% impervious surface ratio instead of the maximum permitted 20%. Mr. Leone seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

APPLICATION OF W. JOHN WEIR AND KAREN WEIR

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of W. John Weir and Karen Weir, owners, requesting a special exception under Section 1208(C) (2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a residential addition including a 784 square foot, two story family room/bedroom, a 260 square foot open porch and a 144 square foot screened porch on a non-conforming house on a non-conforming lot. The subject property is 62 German Avenue in the R-2 Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcels 29-11-63, 29-11-63.1, and 29-11-62.

Mr. W.John Weir was sworn in.

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

Mr. Carver stated that as an Officer of the American Legion, he is one of the 62 owners of the adjoining property, and he asked if there was any objection to his participation in the hearing.

Neither the Board nor the applicant had an objection to Mr. Carver's participation.

Mr. Weir explained that his home is on three joined lots on German Avenue and that he wished to put an addition on the house, and by adding the porch, change the orientation of the house so that the side of the house would become the front.

Mr. Ragan asked if Mr. Weir intended to add a garage to the property.

Mr. Weir said that he might at some point, but did not anticipate adding a garage in the next few years. He further stated that his plans met all setback and impervious surface requirements, but that he needed a special exception because this is a non-conforming lot. He said that the property is actually three lots, but he was willing to file a Deed of Merger for the property.

Mr. Lenihan stated that he and Mr. Ragan had done a site inspection and that they had noticed an addition already on the house.

Mr. Weir said that the addition would be removed and the new addition would replace it.

Mr. Leone asked if the property could be subdivided.

Mr. Auchinleck said that if a Deed of Merger is filed, then Mr. Weir would have to appear before this Board to subdivide the property.

Mr. Leone moved to grant a special exception under Section 1208(C)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance to permit construction of a residential addition including a 784 square foot, two story family room/bedroom, a 260 square foot open porch and a 144 square foot screened porch on a non-conforming house on a non-conforming lot. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

APPLICATION OF RONALD AND SUSAN WEXLER

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Ronald and Susan Wexler, owners, requesting a variance from the Final Plan of Penn's Preserve and under the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of an inground swimming pool resulting in an impervious surface coverage of 5,797 square feet instead of the maximum permitted 5,292 square feet. The subject property is 19 Millstone Drive, in the CM Conservation Management District.

Mrs. Susan Wexler was sworn in.

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

Mrs. Wexler explained that she wished to install a pool, and that in her development each home was given the same maximum allowable impervious surface, regardless of the size of the property. She said that her pool plan called for an impervious surface ratio of 21.9%.

Mr. Michael Meyers, the pool contractor, was sworn in.

Mr. Meyers stated that the plan had changed and that the plan submitted to the Board has an impervious surface ratio of 23.1%.

Mr. Lenihan stated that he and Mr. Ragan had done a site inspection and that the property has a slight pitch to the rear and is at least 600 feet from its rear neighbor.

Mr. Ragan asked if the house had public water and sewer.

Mrs. Wexler said that she is attached to public water and sewer lines. The property behind hers is open space. There is a resource protection line to the rear corner of the property.

Mr. Ragan asked if the telephone pole among the trees behind her property is in use.

Mrs. Wexler stated that the pole is not attached to any wires and that utilities to her development are underground.

Mr. Carver moved to grant a variance from the Final Plan of Penn's Preserve and under the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of an inground swimming pool with an impervious surface ratio of 23.1% instead of the maximum permitted 20%. Mr. Ragan seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

APPLICATION OF SURGERY CENTER OF LANGHORNE, L.L.C.

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Board that this application had been withdrawn.

APPLICAITON OF WLM MANAGEMENT, INC.

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of WLM Management, Inc., Jesse E. Terry, owner, requesting a variance from Section 702(A) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit use of an existing office building as Medical Office (Section 803 D-2 use) where such use is not permitted. The subject property is 107 Penns Trail in the L-I Light Industrial Zoning District.

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Board that Thomas J. Walsh of Stuckert and Yates, attorneys for the applicatn, had written requesting that the application be continued to June 6, 2002.

Mr. Lionetti moved to continue the application of WLM Management, Inc. to June 6, 2002. Mr. Ragan seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Lionetti moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:00PM. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

Respectfully Submitted

 

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Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary