NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD

MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA 18940

THURSDAY, May 2, 2002

7:30 PM


Approval of the Minutes of May 2, 2002: Mr. Ragan noted that on page 10, the last paragraph should read "at different times".  Mr. Lenihan moved to accept the minutes as corrected. Mr. Ragan seconded and the motion passed unanimously.  


The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, May 2, 2002 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were Mario Lionetti, Chairman; Thomas Ragan, Vice Chairman; John Lenihan Secretary; and Michael Leone, Member. Also in attendance were James J. Auchinleck, Jr. Esq., Solicitor; Thomas Harwood, Zoning Officer; and Ann Pratt, Stenographer.

CALL TO ORDER

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

THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

THE AGENDA WAS REVIEWED:

Approval of Minutes of April 4, 2002

Application of Law School Admission Council

Application of Vincent and Sally Lombardi

Application of Dr. Harvey Goldberger and Dr. Bonnie Kelly

Application of Shamik and Archana Pandit

Application of Donna Lynne Picone

Application of Brandywine Realty Trust

Mr. Ragan advised the Board that the Application of Brandywine Realty Trust would be heard first, as there had been a request for a continuance, and that the Application of Vincent and Sally Lombardi would follow in order to accommodate Mr. VanLuvanee's schedule.

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.

APPLICATION OF BRANDYWINE REALTY TRUST

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Brandywine Realty Trust, Upper Silver Lake Associates, L.P., owners, requesting a variance from Section 905(B)(5) 903(B)(1) in relation to 905(IV)(B)(1) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to increase the 100 year flood level by less than one foot and to allow backwater onto adjoining property to allow construction of a public road within the flood plain. The subject property is Silver Lake Road, Newtown in the OR – Office Research Zoning District.

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Board that Mr. Coughlin of Kaplan and Stewart, attorneys for the applicant, had written requesting a continuance to June 6, 2002. Mr. Auchinleck also advised the Board that the application of WLM Management had already been continued to June 6, 2002, and that there were four new applications filed for the same meeting.

Mr. Ragan suggested that Mr. Auchinleck discuss with the Zoning Officer any new applications received, and that a decision on scheduling a Special Meeting would be made at the June 6, 2002 meeting.

Mr. Lenihan moved to continue the application of Brandywine Realty Trust to June 6, 2002. Mr. Leone seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

APPLICATION OF VINCENT AND SALLY LOMBARDI

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Vincent and Sally Lombardi requesting a variance from Section 603(B)(1) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a minimum side yard setback of 4.83 feet on lot #1 and 5.28 feet on lot #2 where the minimum side yard setback of 6 feet is required in order to permit subdivision where existing buildings are 10 feet apart. The subject property is 125 North Sycamore Street, Newtown, in the TC – Town Commercial Zoning District.

Mr. John VanLuvanee represented the applicants in this matter.

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

Mr. Vincent Lombardi and Mr. Donald Rife of Pickering Corts and Sommerson were sworn in.

Mr. VanLuvanee explained that the Lombardis' wished to subdivide the property at 125 North Sycamore Street into the two lots that they had originally been.

Mr. VanLuvanee entered into evidence the following exhibit:

Exhibit A-1     Deed dated March 26, 1926 – Theodore C. Olsen to Garrett P. Goodnoe and Martha S. Goodnoe.

Exhibit A-2     Deed dated November 26, 1934 – Ida B. Reeder to Garrett P. Goodnoe and Martha S. Goodnoe.

Exhibit A-3     Survey Plot dated July 29, 1968 – Estate of Martha S. Goodnoe, prepared by Howard T. Corts, showing that the property at 125 North Sycamore Street is two lots.

Exhibit A-4     Deed dated February 26, 1973 – Courtland Y. Goodnoe and Joan F. Goodnoe to Delbert L. Hardin and Patricia A. Hardin, combining the two lots into one.

Exhibit A-5     Deed dated August 1, 1985 – Delbert L. Hardin and Patricia A. Hardin to Vincent A. Lombardi and Sally A. Lombardi.

Exhibit A-6     Zoning Ordinance, Newtown Township dated 1959 showing the subject property is zoned as Business with a 20,000 square foot minimum lot size.

Exhibit A-7     Newtown Township Zoning Ordinance of 1959 as Amended December 17, 1979, showing subject property as C-1, Commercial, still with a 20,000 square minimum lot size.

Exhibit A-8     Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983, showing the subject property as CC- Convenience Commercial, no residential uses permitted, 20,000 square foot minimum lot size.

Exhibit A-9     Amendment III, Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983, dated March 19, 1986, showing the subject property as TC – Town Commercial, no residential uses permitted, 20,000 square foot minimum lot size.

Exhibit A-10     Amendment to Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983, dated August 1996, showing the subject property as TC- Town Commercial, containing a Historic District, with residential uses permitted and a minimum lot size of 7, 500 square feet.

Exhibit A-11     Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance dated 2001, showing the ordinance is the same as 1983 ordinance.

Exhibit A-12     Plan prepared by Pickering Corts and Sommerson dated February 28, 2002, for Vincent and Sally Lombardi, showing lots divided as they had been prior to 1973.

Mr. Rife said that he is the Survey Division Manager of Pickering Corts and Summerson. In searching the archives at Pickering Corts and Summerson, he located the Survey Plot prepared by Howard T. Corts in 1968(Exhibit A-3), which shows that each of the two lots, later joined as one property, were each under 20,000 square feet, with lot #1 measuring 12,332 square feet, and lot #2 measuring 17,672 square feet.

Mr. Rife stated that the plans he has drawn, submitted as Exhibit A-12, show the same division line between the two lots as the plot plan drawn in 1968 (Exhibit A-3). If the sub-division is approved, it would re-create the two parcels exactly.

Mr. Rife stated that the side yard setbacks were 4.83 feet at the closest distance on lot #1 and 5.21 feet on lot #2 and that the distance between the two buildings, at the closest point is 10 feet. These are existing buildings.

Mr. Ragan asked if there are any other matters needing variances in order to sub-divide this property.

Mr. VanLuvanee said that this is the only variance needed.

Mr. Lombardi stated that he resides at 125 North Sycamore Street in a home located on what had been Lot #1. He purchased the home in 1985, was granted variances to put an addition on the home in 1992, and took up residence in 1992. Lot #1 contains a single family home. Lot #2 contains a one story wood frame retail store, currently a music shop, and a 2 1/2 story stone and frame dwelling.

Mr. Lombardi said that as a member of the Newtown Township Planning Commission and the Sycamore Street Committee, he feels that attention must be paid to the smaller, historic properties along the street. The Planning Commission wants to encourage owners to live on the properties on Sycamore Street to keep them from falling into disrepair. Mr. Lombardi's home is an original settlers cottage built in 1754, and the house on lot #2 was built in 1870. If the properties are sub-divided, it is his intention to market lot #2 as a residence.

Mr. Ragan asked what Sycamore Street restoration plans involve this property.

Mr. Lombardi said that all of Sycamore Street will have new sidewalks and curbs; brick crosswalks are to be installed; historic light standards are to be installed; street furniture, waste containers and planters are to be purchased.

Mr. Ragan asked if Mr. Lombardi had any plans to modify the properties or the buildings.

Mr. Lombardi said that he was investigating possibly moving the St. Andrew's Rectory to lot #2, however this is a very expensive project, and there is not money available at this time. He is investigating possible grants.

Mr. Harwood had no comment on this matter.

Mr. Lionetti said that he thinks that the Board should carefully consider whether applicants have shown hardship in their presentations.

Mr. VanLuvanee said that the variance requested was for a condition that already exists; that these buildings have always been 10 feet apart, and that the lots had been separate until 1973.

Mr. Leone moved to grant a variance from Section 603(B)(1) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a minimum side yard setback of 4.83 feet on lot #1 and 5.28 feet on lot #2 where a minimum side yard setback of 6 feet is required in order to permit subdivision where existing buildings are 10 feet apart. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

APPLICATION OF LAW SCHOOL ADMISSION COUNCIL

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Law School Admission Council, Inc. requesting a variance from Section 1001(B)(3) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit 10 feet by 18 feet parking stalls where 10 feet by 20 feet is required. The subject property is Lot 81 Newtown Commons Industrial Park, Penn Street and Pheasant Run in the LI Light Industrial Zoning District.

Mr. Donald Marshall represented the applicant.

Mr. Ragan asked if anyone wished to be a party to the application. There was no response.

Mr. Steven Schreiber was sworn in.

Mr. Marshall submitted as Exhibit A-1 the Deed of Purchase of the property dated January 17, 2002. He explained that the deed reflected that there had been a change in the name of the Law School Admission Council and the deed reflects the change of name, only. The property was originally purchased in 1984.

Mrarshall entered as Exhibit A-2, the Preliminary Plan dated November 9, 2001.

Mr. Schreiber stated that he is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). He explained that LSAC currently occupies offices directly across Penn Street from this property and also has warehouse space off-site. LSAC wishes to erect an 85,000 square foot building to combine the warehousing and offices in one location.

Mr. Marshall stated that the plan submitted meets all zoning requirements. It will have less than the 60% maximum impervious surface, all setbacks meet the Ordinance, and will have the required 366 parking spaces.

After meeting with representatives of Newtown Gate Development, LSAC agreed to expand the buffer at the rear of the property, creating a 5 foot berm with a buffer of staggered 10 foot high pine trees with a growth rate of 10 to 14 inches each year. In order to create the larger berm, 10 feet had to be added to the berm, and reducing each of 5 rows of parking spaces by two feet would give the needed 10 feet. Mr. Marshall further explained that the building would have a 75 foot front yard setback.

Mr. Schreiber said that because there are 215 employees on site, working 8:00AM to 5:00PM Monday to Friday, with seasonal temporary workers bringing the total employees up to 275 at some times, all 366 parking spaces are not needed at this time. The Board of Supervisors had agreed to allow LSAC to "bank" 42 parking spaces.

Mr. Lionetti asked if the last row of parking spaces to the rear of the property could be banked, creating the larger berm without making spaces smaller.

Mr. Marshall said that if the last row were removed, then the berm would extend onto LSAC's side of the property, and if the spaces were later needed, the berm would have to be removed. As it is planned now, the rise is on the LSAC side, giving the rear neighbors a longer yard, and the berm is permanent.

Mr. Marshall said that the plan submitted for approval to the Board of Supervisors met all zoning requirements, and that the request for shorter parking spaces was to accommodate the Newtown Gate neighbors' desire for a larger buffer.

Mr. Ragan asked what the height of the building is.

Mr. Harwood answered that the plan shows a 35 foot building height, and that the maximum height allowed is 50 feet.

Mr. Marshall said that the planned berm will be 5 feet high with trees 10 feet tall.

Mr. Harwood stated that the Board of Supervisors asked that the Zoning Hearing Board require as a condition, should they grant the variance, that the parking be limited to 366 spaces, and that the additional room not be used to add more parking.

Mr. Marshall said that the reduced spaces would be in 5 rows of spaces and that the sixth row, closest to the building would have 20 foot parking spaces reserved for handicapped parking.

Mr. Lionetti moved to grant a variance from Section 1001(B)(3) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit 10 feet by 18 feet parking stalls where 10 feet by 20 feet is required, with the condition that the number of spaces does not exceed 366 stalls. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

APPLICATION OF DR. HARVEY GOLDBERGER AND DR. BONNIE KELLY

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Dr. Harvey Goldberger and Dr. Bonnie Kelly requesting a variance from Section 803(H-1)(7), 803(H-1)(8) and 803(H-1)(10) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit 6 employees where not more than one is permitted, to permit 2,310 square feet of home occupation use where not more than 800 square feet is permitted, and to permit 12 off street parking spaces where not more than six parking spaces are permitted. The subject property is 26 Eagle Road in the R-1 Residential District.

Mr. Donald Marshall represented the applicants.

Dr. Harvey Goldberger was sworn in.

Mr. Ragan asked if anyone wished to be a party to the application. There was no response.

Dr. Goldberger explained that he resides at 26 Eagle Road with Dr. Bonnie Kelly. He has a dental practice in 800 square feet of the building, and Dr. Kelly has a psychology practice in the same 800 square feet of office. Dr. Goldberger uses the dental office during the mornings and early afternoons, and Dr. Kelly uses the office evenings and weekends.

Dr. Goldberger had received a variance in 1995 to allow a home occupation for 800 square feet of the building, with one employee and six parking spaces.

Mr. Marshall entered as Exhibit A-1 a copy of the 1995 decision.

Dr. Goldberger said that his property is 2.62 acres on Eagle Road near the Village at Newtown Shopping Center. The building is 4000 square feet, most of it living space. The six parking spaces face the portion of the building used as office space.

Mr. Marshall entered as Exhibit A-2 a sketch showing the existing house, breezeway, two car garage and six parking spaces.

Dr. Goldberger said that he and Dr. Kelly would like to work during the same hours, and that Dr. Kelly would like two office employees for her Psychology practice. Dr. Goldberger would like four employees for his dental practice; an assistant, a hygienist, a receptionist, a bookkeeper and an office manager. He would like to convert some of the living space in the house to office use, rather than share offices. He would like to reconfigure the parking arrangement to allow up to 12 spaces on the same blacktop area. He will not be expanding the building or increasing the blacktop area, just making different use of the existing areas.

Mr. Marshall entered as Exhibit A-3 a sketch showing the measurements of the existing blacktop area, and Exhibit A-4 a sketch showing a possible configuration of 12 parking spaces on the same blacktop area.

Mr. Marshall stated that the original variance stated that the size of the lot was more than required for R-1, and that the location created a hardship as it is a commercial area. He said that these are ordinary accommodations for the practice of dentistry, but that the space restrictions make it impossible for Dr. Kelly and Dr. Goldberger to practice during the same hours.

Mr. Marshall entered as Exhibit A-5 a memorandum for the home occupation of Dr. Joseph Checchio for a dental practice at 131 Richboro Road, and as Exhibit A-6 a decision for the home occupation of Dr. George Segal for a dental practice at 391 Eagle Road. Dr. Segal was allowed 12 parking spaces and six employees.

Mr. Marshall entered as Exhibit A-7 a floor plan showing modifications to accommodate additional office space in the existing home area.

Mr. Ragan asked if Dr. Goldberger was interested in expanding his practice, or his practice hours.

Dr. Goldberger said that he was not interested in expanding his practice. Currently, he and Dr. Kelly do not see patients at the same time and Dr. Kelly acts as his receptionist and office manager while his office is open. Dr. Kelly would like to see patients at the same time as Dr. Goldberger so that they both work at the same time and are free at the same time. Each of them would like to hire employees to handle the business aspects of their practices.

Mr. Marshall said that they are not seeking relief to squeeze parking into the paved area, but to utilize the existing space for up to 12 spaces that comply with the ordinance as to size and turn around area.

Mr. Fran Poole was sworn in. Mr. Poole stated that he is a resident of Cliveden development and a representative of their Homeowners Association. He said that the residents of Cliveden have no objections to this application, however wanted to stress that they wanted to see the property remain zoned as R-1 Residential.

Mr. Clarence Shelmare was sworn in. Mr. Shelmare stated that he resides at 54 Durham Road. He said that rain water from the parking area runs onto his property and causes damage to his farm crops. He said that Dr. Goldberger knew that the property is zoned R-1 residential, and that he was against granting the variance. He said that he would like to see the property and his own re-zoned for commercial use, but that he did not think this is an appropriate use for R-1 residential use.

Mr. Lionetti noted that at the time of the earlier decisions, he was against granting variances. He said at the time the variance was granted that Dr. Goldberger thought that one employee and six parking spaces would be fine. He thinks it is a mistake to grant this variance.

Mr. Ragan stated that he and Mr. Lenihan had done a site inspection of the property. He said that the property is very close to a commercial area. And that all of Durham Road is becoming a commercial district and that he thinks it would be a mistake to grant such a variance.

Mr. Lenihan said that while these variances would not increase the impervious surface, or increase the size of Dr. Goldberger's practice, that he is concerned should this property be sold at some later date.

Mr. Auchinleck explained that the variance is granted to the property, not to the owner. Any variance granted would be transferred should the property be sold.

Mr. Ragan felt that the increase in employees and in parking created a very commercial aspect to the property.

Mr. Leone agreed with Mr. Ragan, expressing similar concern for future occupation of this property.

Mr. Lionetti moved to deny the application. Mr. Leone seconded and the motion passed 3-1, with Mr. Lenihan voting nay.

APPLICATION OF SHAMIK AND ARCHANA PANDIT

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Shamik and Archana Pandit requesting a variance from Section 803(H-3)(4)(a) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to provide no off street parking spaces for an accessory apartment where two off street parking spaces for each residential unit is required and parking in the front yard is not permitted (two spaces are provided for the existing dwelling). The subject property is 225 Yorkshire Drive, Newtown, in the R-1 Residential Zoning District.

Mr. Shamik Pandit and Mrs. Archana Pandit were sworn in.

Mr. Ragan asked if anyone wished to be a party to the application. There was no response.

Mr. Pandit explained that his parents currently resided in the house with his family, using an upstairs bedroom and sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities. As his parents are finding it difficult to manage the stairs, and sharing the bathroom has become a problem as his children are growing up, he wants to put an addition on the house for them, with a sitting room, bedroom and bath. As his parents have a strict Indian diet, different from the diet observed by the rest of the family, who eat more American food, they would like a small kitchen in the addition.

Mr. Pandit further explained that neither of his parents drive, and he and his wife provide their transportation with the family car. He felt that they had no need for additional parking, as there will be no additional cars.

Mr. Ragan stated that he and Mr. Lenihan had done a site inspection. He said that if a variance was granted, it would allow an apartment without off street parking. This variance would remain should the tenants of the apartment change, or should the house be sold.

Mr. Auchinleck explained that with a kitchen, the addition becomes a separate dwelling unit and requires off street parking.

Mr. Pandit said that there would be access to the main house from the addition, and that the kitchen was necessary so his parents can prepare separate meals.

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Board that as a condition of the variance, the addition could be called an in-law suite that can only be occupied by a family member of the occupant of the main house. This would require the property owners to file a Deed Restriction in Doylestown. Should the property later be sold, the Deed Restriction would turn up on any Title Search.

Mr. Ragan said that he was concerned that at some point, even with a Deed Restriction, a tenant who owned cars could occupy the apartment.

Mr. Ragan asked if the addition would have a separate entrance.

Mr. Pandit said that it would have a separate entrance, and could also be entered through the main house.

Mr. Auchinleck said that the Deed Restriction could have a stipulation that there be access between the two dwellings.

Mr. Leone expressed concern about enforcement of the restrictions.

Mr. Harwood said that these restrictions are difficult to enforce, however the neighbors and the Homeowners Associations have been vigilant in reporting violations. He said that the Certificate of Occupancy will reflect the restrictions on the addition as an in-law suite.

Mr. Lionetti said that he thought the Board needed to trust people to abide by the Deed Restrictions.

Mr. Tom Scortino was sworn in. Mr. Scortino said that he resides at 248 Yorkshire Drive, three houses down from the Pandits. He said that Yorkshire Drive has become a shortcut between Washington Crossing Road and Dolington Road, and traffic and speeding have become problems on the street. He was concerned about any additional parking on the street if off street parking is not required for this addition.

Mr. Robert Mills was sworn in. Mr. Mills said that he resides at 238 Yorkshire Drive. Mr. Mills said that the Pandits have had up to ten people living in the house a different times. He said that he is concerned about on-street parking because of the traffic, and is concerned that the Pandits may have relatives with cars living in the apartment.

Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Pandit how many people lived in the house.

Mr. Pandit said that his wife, their two children and his parents live in the house. His wife's sister and her family had stayed with them for three months, until they found a home of their own.

Mr. Mills said that the other family had lived in the house for longer than three months.

Mrs. Deborah Mumber was sworn in. Mrs. Mumber stated that she lives next to the Pandits at 231 Yorkshire Drive. She said that she is very concerned about the parking along Yorkshire Drive. She said that her dog had been hit by a car when he ran from between parked cars on the street. She is afraid that without off-street parking, children may be in danger when running out from between parked cars on the street.

Mr. Pandit said that there are not parking restrictions on Yorkshire Drive, and that on-street parking is permitted. He said that he has a large driveway and a two-car garage. He can easily accommodate four cars on his driveway. There are houses on the street with only one car garages.

Mr. Auchinleck explained that the Ordinance requires that off-street parking be provided for each dwelling. He said that the residents of the street are concerned that by adding a separate apartment there will be an increase in the number of cars, without providing off-street parking for those cars.

Mr. Leone said that the only way to limit the number of cars in the future is by eliminating the kitchen. He said that if the addition did not have separate cooking facilities, no variances are required.

Mr. Harwood confirmed that the addition, without a kitchen, does not require any variances.

Mr. Pandit said that there are no restrictions on parking on the street, and that other houses in his development had cars parked in front of them.

Mr. Auchinleck explained that the Ordinance requires that each dwelling provide two off-street parking spaces. If the addition provides a kitchen, it is a separate dwelling, needing two off-street parking spaces. The parking spaces must have access to the street. This does not mean that cars can be stacked in the driveway. This does not mean that cars cannot be parked on the street, only that there must be off-street parking provided.

Mrs. Pandit said that she feels the Board is emphasizing possible future use of the apartment, but that the Pandits do not intend to move. The apartment is being added for Mr. Pandit's parents only.

Mr. Harwood directed the Board to the Zoning Code, page 194, Article 8, Section F, which states that upon termination of family use, the property would revert to original.

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Pandits that the addition could be built without a kitchen. The only variance that is needed is for off-street parking if a kitchen is added.

Mr. Lionetti moved to deny the variance. Mr. Leone seconded and the motion passed 3-1, with Mr. Lenihan voting nay.

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Pandits that they would receive a copy of the decision of the Board, and that they have 30 days from the date of the decision to appeal the decision at the Court in Doylestown. He told them that they may want to consult an attorney if they wished to appeal.

APPLICATION OF DONNA LYNNE PICONE

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Donna Lynne Picone, Szacko Builders, Inc. owners, requesting a variance from Section 803 (H-1)(9) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a beauty parlor as a home occupation where such use is not permitted as a home occupation. The subject property is 93 Richboro Road, Newtown in the R-2 Residential Zoning District.

Ms. Donna Lynne Picone, Mr. Howard Geyer and Mr. Joe Szarko, owner of the property were sworn in.

Mr. Lenihan recused himself from the hearing, as Mr. Szarko is his neighbor.

Mr. Ragan asked if anyone wished to be a party to the application. There was no response.

Mr. Szarko submitted as Exhibit A-1 a Minor Subdivision Plan prepared January 2, 2002. Mr. Szarko explained that he was the owner of the property at 93 Richboro Road, and he was in the process of seeking to divide the property into two lots. He has demolished the existing home, and plans to build a house on lot #1. Lot #2 is to the rear of lot #1.

Mr. Ragan asked if both lots share a common driveway.

Mr. Szarko said that each lot had a driveway with separate access to Richboro Road.

Ms. Picone stated that she currently lives at 547 Grant Street, Newtown and rents space for a Beauty Salon at Newtown Depot Shopping Center. She currently runs the business with only Mr. Geyer helping her, and would like to give up the rental space, sell her home and build a home with a small salon with two chairs attached to the house. The salon would have a separate entrance.

Ms. Picone submitted as Exhibit A-2 a sketch of the front exterior of the house she would like to build, and as Exhibit A-3, a photograph of a house similar in appearance that she has seen in Langhorne.

Ms. Picone said that she does not wish to expand her business. She wants to continue to work alone. Her clients would follow her to the new location. She does not intend to put up any signs or advertisements. Because she will be working alone, she will not generate a great deal of traffic.

Mr. Ragan said that he had done a site inspection of the property. He asked Ms. Picone what her planned hours of operation would be.

Ms. Picone stated that the shop would be open Tuesday 3PM-9PM, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9AM to 9PM, and Saturday 8AM to 4PM.

Mr. Ragan stated that at the time of his site inspection, he observed a lot of traffic. He said that the lot is the second lot from the By-Pass. He said that the flow of traffic was constant, and he thought that it would be difficult to make a left turn onto the property. He also observed that because the property is raised, the line of sight is somewhat obstructed when exiting the property.

Mr. Szarko said that he intends to place the dwelling back 100 feet from the street to allow 50 feet to the ultimate right-of-way in the event that Richboro Road is widened. Mr. Szarko said that he could re-grade the property to increase the line of sight for both driveways. He noted that there are already home occupations along this stretch of Richboro Road. Sedia Carpentry is directly opposite this property.

Ms. Picone said that she is currently paying $2000.00 a month rent for a business on this street. She said that the street is already a very busy business area.

Mr. Harwood had no comment on this matter.

Mr. Ragan said that the lot is currently zoned as residential. He is reluctant to allow any new businesses on residential lots. He asked Ms. Picone if she was only interested in purchasing the property if a variance was granted.

Ms. Picone said that she will not purchase the property without a variance for a home occupation.

Mr. Leone moved to deny the variance. Mr. Lionetti seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

Mr. Lionetti moved to adjourn at 10:30 PM. Mr. Leone seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Respectfully submitted

 

_____________________________
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary