NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD

MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA 18940

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2003

7:30 PM


DRAFT - SUBJECT TO AMENDMENT BY THE ZONING HEARING BOARD UNTIL APPROVED


The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, November 6, 2003 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Mario Lionetti, Chairman; Thomas Ragan, Vice-Chairman; John Lenihan, Secretary; Franklin Carver and Gail Laughlin, members. Also in attendance were James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Esq., Solicitor; Thomas Harwood, Zoning Officer; and Donna D'Angelis, stenographer. 

Call to Order 

Mr. Lionetti called the meeting to order at 7:35PM 

The Pledge of Allegiance 

The Agenda was reviewed. 

Approval of Minutes of October 2, 2003

Application of J. Loew and Associates

Application of Newtown-Yardley Road Associates

Application of Debbie and Jeff Berman

Application of Steven F. Frey

Application of Emmanuel and Rafael Kosacci

Application of Anne Twining

Application of Michael Wiley and James Watson 

Approval of Minutes 

Mr. Lionetti moved to accept the minutes of October 2, 2003. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Ragan abstaining. 

Application of J. Loew and Associates 

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of J. Loew and Associates, owners, appealing the enforcement notice dated August 14, 2003 issued in violation of section 1303(D)(4) and 1003(B)(2) for failing to install roof top screening of equipment. The subject property is Newtown Shopping Center, 413 By-Pass and West Road, in the PC Planned Commercial Zoning District. 

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Board that due to the length of the agenda, he has asked the applicant to appear at a special meeting on November 13, 2003 at 7:30 PM in the Newtown Township Building. He said that because the application had been advertised for November 6, 2003, the Board should open the application and continue it. 

Mr. Ragan moved to continue the application of J.Loew and Associates to November 13, 2003. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of Newtown-Yardley Road Associates 

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Newtown-Yardley Road Associates, LLC, owners, requesting a variance from Section 1001(B)(3) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit parking space with a stall size of 9 feet by 18 feet instead of the required 10 feet by 20 feet. The Subject property is Newtown Yardley Road and Friends Lane in the O-LI Light industrial Zoning District. 

Mr. Don Marshall appeared for the applicant. Mr. Marshall said that because there is an appeal pending in another matter for this property, the applicant wishes to continue the application to December 4, 2003. 

Mr. Lenihan moved to continue the application of Newtown Yardley Road Associates to December 4, 2003. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Application of Steven F. Frey 

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Steven F. Frey, David H. Platt, Newtown Swim Club, owners, requesting a variance from Section 405(A) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit C-3 commercial school use for private softball lessons and a baseball clinic where such use is not permitted. The subject property is 761 Newtown Yardley Road in the R-2 High Density residential Zoning District. 

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Board that he has requested this applicant to continue the application to November 13, 2003. 

Mr. Ragan moved to continue the application of Steven F. Frey to November 13, 2003. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Application of Anne Twining 

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Anne Twining, executrix for N. Stanley Twining, owners, requesting a variance from Section 404(B) and 404(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning District to permit subdivision into two lots and construction of a single family dwelling on the additional lot with an impervious surface ratio of 15% instead of 12% and a lot width of 25 feet instead of 100 feet. The subject property is 178 Durham Road in the R-1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District. 

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Board that he has requested this applicant to also continue the application to November 13, 2003. 

Mr. Carver moved to continue the application of Anne Twining to November 13, 2003. Mr. Ragan seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Mr. Lionetti advised those members of the community in attendance who wished to be parties to the applications that have been read into the record that they must return on November 13, 2003, at which time the applications will be heard. 

Application of Debbie and Jeff Berman 

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Debbie and Jeff Berman requesting a variance from Section 803(H-3)(1)(a) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of 325 feet linear of 5-foot high solid cedar fence, about 150 feet of which will be on frontage of Mill Pond Road. The subject property is 3 Hershey Court in the R-1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District. 

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

Mr. Auchinleck explained to those residents in attendance that if they wish to be a party to any application they would have the right to cross-examine the applicant and any of his witnesses, present evidence and witnesses, and make any statement concerning the application. Should they disagree with the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board, party status would give them the right to appeal the decision. Anyone present not wishing party status would be allowed to make statements for or against the application after the hearing and before a decision is rendered. 

Mr. Jeff Berman and Mrs. Debbie Berman were sworn in. 

Mr. Berman said that he had moved into the house at 3 Hershey Court six weeks ago. He has a two-year-old child and two large dogs and would like a fence because his yard is at the corner of Mill Pond Road, a very busy street. He learned when he applied for a permit that he is only allowed to have a three-foot high fence on the Mill Pond Road side of his yard. He said that the fence would be installed behind a row of arbor vitae trees that are over six feet tall and very close together. The fence would not be visible from the street. 

Mr. Berman submitted as Exhibit A-1 a brochure showing the fence he would like to install and as Exhibit A-2 a series of photographs of his property. 

Mr. Berman pointed out that the portion of the fence facing Hershey court would also be behind landscaping and not visible from the street. 

Mr. Ragan said that he and Mr. Lenihan had visited the site. He noted that the row of arbor vitae would obscure the fence from the street. 

Mr. Auchinleck asked how far from the sidewalk the fence would be located. 

Mr. Lenihan said that if the fence is located behind the arbor vitae it will be at least six feet from the sidewalk. 

Mr. Auchinleck suggested that if the Board is concerned about having a tall fence close to the sidewalk, but are otherwise inclined to grant the variance, they might want to consider making a distance from the sidewalk a condition of the variance. 

Mr. Harwood had no comment in this matter. 

Mrs. Laughlin asked if the numbers on the application were accurate. 

Mr. Berman said that numbers for the length of the fence were estimates done before the property had been surveyed. 

Mr. Berman said that behind his house is a 12-foot wide easement, then a neighbor's yard. The neighbor also has a fence. 

Mr. Ragan moved to grant a variance from Section 803(H-3)(1)(a) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of 325 linear feet of five foot high solid cedar fence about 150 feet of which will be on frontage of Mill Pond Road, with the condition that any fence must be at least 6 feet from the sidewalk. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Application of Emmanuel and Rafael Kosacci 

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Emmanuel and Rafael Kosacci, owners, requesting a variance from Section 905(B)(2), 903(B)(5)(b) and 903(B)(1)/905(IV)(B)(1) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction on four residential lots where a drive and utilities will cross the flood plains and wetlands. The subject property is Washington Crossing Road, in the R-1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as tax map parcel number 29-10-13-2. 

Mr. Don Marshall represented the applicants in this matter.

Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone present wished to be a party to this application. He asked Mr. Auchinleck to again explain party status. 

Mr. Auchinleck explained to those residents in attendance that if they wish to be a party to the application they would have the right to cross-examine the applicant and any of his witnesses, present evidence and witnesses, and make any statement concerning the application. Should they disagree with the decision of the Zoning Hearing Board, party status would give them the right to appeal the decision. Anyone present not wishing party status would be allowed to make statements for or against the application after the hearing and before a decision is rendered. 

The following residents wished to be party to this application:

Jody Specter 373 Washington Crossing Road

Roberta Taylor 397 Washington Crossing Road

Joan Goodwin 431 Merion Place

Janet Adamusko 433 Merion Drive

Jack Semotchko 435 Merion Drive

Paul Morris 439 Merion Drive

Kathleen Lanning 437 Merion Drive

Jean Coppola 406 Edgeboro Drive

Marybeth Delione 409 Edgeboro Drive

John Goodwin 431 Merion Drive

Carl Keonig 170 Wrights Road 

Mr. Marshall stated that he would like to reserve the right to object to Mr. Koenig's party status. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that Mr. Koenig can participate before the Zoning Hearing Board but might not be a party in the Court of Common Pleas. 

Mr. Emmanuel Kosacci and Ms. Mary Ellen Saylor, engineer, were sworn in. 

Mr. Marshall explained that Mr. Kosacci owns a 10.48 acre parcel in the R-1 Medium Density residential Zoning District. He has submitted sub-division plans to the Newtown Township Planning Commission and has been given preliminary plan approval. Mr. Marshall said that the applicant is requesting a special exception to cross the flood plain with a drive and utilities and variances to allow disturbance of the wetlands with the driveway crossing and utilities and to allow the width of the undisturbed stand of trees in two small areas to be less than 3 times the height of the canopy. No houses are to be built in the wetlands or the flood plains. Mr. Marshall said that the owner has a right to remove up to 50% of the wetlands in the R-1 Zoning District, but because he wishes to preserve the trees, he will need a variance if the width of the remaining stand of trees is not 3 times the height. The applicant wishes to preserve as many trees as possible, even though by right he could remove them without a variance. 

Mr. Emmanuel Kosacci affirmed Mr. Marshall's statements. He said that he had purchased the property in February of 2003, 

The parties to the application had no questions for Mr. Kosacci. 

Ms. Mary Ellen Saylor said that she is an engineer with the firm of Pickering Corts and Summerson in Newtown. 

Mr. Marshall entered as Exhibit A-1 copies of the plan for the property. 

Ms. Saylor said that the 10.48 acre parcel is to be divided into four residential lots, the smallest being 1.8 acres and the largest being 4.5 acres. An entrance to all four lots is planned on Washington Crossing Road directly opposite Cliveden Drive. A cul-de-sac has been designed inside the property for the four driveways, to avoid placing four curb cuts along Washington Crossing Road. Newtown Creek runs along the edge of the property. A portion of the drive will cross flood plain soils, considered wetlands, although not FEMA flood plains. Our ordinance allows the crossing by special exception. Another portion of the wetlands must be crossed, at its narrowest point, to extend a sanitary sewer to neighboring properties, as requested by the Sewer Authority. 

Ms. Saylor said that proposed crossing of the flood plain would not cause any danger to life and property, is not in the 100 year flood plain, will have no negative effect on existing water and sewers, and provides access to public sanitary sewers. An emergency access to the property from Washington Crossing Road has been provided at the northern end of the property as requested by the fire marshal. 

Ms. Saylor said that the variance requested to disturb the wetlands involves 900 square feet, or .02 acres, and the road crossing involves 300 square feet, a total of 1400 square feet of wetland disturbance. 

Mr. Marshall said that the State considers this a de minimus request. He also pointed out that the existing sewer line is already in the flood plain. He said that an effort is being made to protect the open space at the rear of the property as all four homes are planned close to the road. 

Mr. Marshall said that in the R-1 Medium density Residential Zoning District removal of up to 50% of the trees in the wetland area is permitted. The plan calls for removal of 39.5% of the trees. This plan then leaves two small islands of trees that might not measure in width three times the height. The Township Engineer was not able to accurately measure the height of the trees. The variance sought is necessary to protect these remaining trees. 

Mr. Lenihan asked if the existing sewer line referred to connects to Cliveden Estates. 

Mr. Marshall said that this line connects all the homes as far as Newtown Grant. 

Mr. Auchinleck asked if the two rear lots have direct access to Washington Crossing Road. 

Ms. Saylor said that this plan was recommended by the Newtown Township Planning Commission because they felt that only one access point to Washington Crossing Road, opposite Cliveden Drive, would be safer than four separate driveways. 

Ms. Saylor said that all of the property would be sold to the homeowners. Lot one is 1.293 acres, lot two is 4.5 acres, lot three is 1.826 acres and lot four is 1.824 acres. She said that the net total acreage is 9.18 acres, as some land is lost to right of way. 

At this point Mr. Auchinleck said that those residents who are parties to the application could ask Ms. Saylor questions. He said that they cannot make statements or give evidence until Mr. Marshall had finished presenting his application. 

Ms. Specter asked if Ms. Saylor had walked the property. 

Ms. Saylor said that she had not walked the property. 

Ms. Taylor asked if Lakeview Estates owns the frontage along Washington Crossing Road. 

Mr. Marshall said that the Kosaccis own the property. 

Ms. Taylor asked why, when the Engineer for the developer had drawn the plans for the property, the Bowmansville soil is not shown as part of the flood plain and flood plain soils. 

Ms. Saylor said that in a studied creek, the flood plain is defined as that which appears in the flood insurance plan. She said that this is a studied creek and the area is delineated on the flood insurance plan. The flood plain soils do not fall into the flood plain area in the studied creek, or on the flood insurance plan. 

Ms. Taylor asked if the applicant has gotten permission to pave over sewers. 

Ms. Saylor said that they are seeking waivers. 

Mrs. Lanning asked if open space must be provided when property is developed. 

Mr. Marshall said that the open space that is remaining had been offered to the Township Park and Recreation Board, but they voted to accept a fee in lieu of open space instead. The land will still remain as undeveloped, but will belong to private owners. 

Ms. Lanning said that this is a bribe. 

Mr. Semotchko asked if sediment is an issue. 

Mr. Marshall said that this is not involved in this application. 

Mr. Morris asked what the white areas on the plan are. 

Mr. Marshall said that these are other private properties not part of this project. 

Mrs. Coppola asked what the term "studied creek" means. 

Ms. Saylor said that this means that the Army Corp of Engineers has studied this creek for FEMA. They have conducted these studies within the last ten years. Ms. Saylor said that the actual study confirms that there will be no rise in elevation of the creek caused by the proposed building. In addition, each house is planned with a rain barrel, which is a new technology to help with the discharge of water after heavy rains. 

Ms. Delione asked how close to the creek the road will be at its closest point. 

Ms. Saylor said that it will be twenty feet from the creek at its closest point. 

Ms. Delione asked if this has ever been done before, and how does the road cross the wetlands. 

Ms. Saylor responded that the proposed road is outside of the five hundred year flood elevation. The road will be at a natural elevation, and drainage is provided by a pipe underneath, She said that the large band of wetlands at the southeast will not be touched by this project, and is part of lot number two. 

Ms. Delione asked how we can be sure that the eventual owner of lot number two will not destroy the wetlands. 

Mr. Marshall said that there will be deed restrictions, enforceable by the Township, at the time of development. The Township will decide what deed restrictions will be placed on these lots. 

Ms. Saylor said that wetlands are protected at the State and Federal levels. 

Ms. Specter asked if the homeowners couldn't just do what the Kosaccis are doing. 

Ms. Saylor said that any future homeowners would have to make application as they are doing now. 

Ms. Delione asked if both the Corp of Engineers study and soil studies should not be considered in evaluating this project. 

Ms. Saylor said that soil mapping is done from the air and is less exact than the study done by the Corp of Engineers. 

Ms. Specter asked if there has been soil testing. 

Mr. Auchinleck explained that if an area has been studied, and if there is an insurance map, then a soil study is not required. He reminded the parties to the application to speak one at a time, and to only ask questions of the witness. He said that they would be given opportunity to make statements later in the proceeding. 

Ms. Delione asked when the study had been done. 

Ms. Saylor consulted FEMA Flood Insurance Map 42017CO431F, and said it was dated May 18, 1999. 

Mr. Koenig asked what the site distance is along Rte 532 at the proposed entrance. 

Ms. Saylor said that she did not have that information. 

Mr. Koenig asked whose idea it was to cross the flood plain. 

Mr. Kosacci said that his original plan called for entrances at the northern portion of the property, but the Planning Commission had advised that one shared entrance would be safer. 

Mr. Koenig asked if this should not be studied further. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that this is an issue to be discussed during the land development process; that the Zoning Hearing Board could only consider the variances and special exception being requested. 

Mr. Koenig said that he thought it would be more sensible to have two driveways. 

Mr. Lionetti said that the Zoning Hearing Board could not address that, only the variances being requested. 

Mr. Semotchko asked what could be done with the property if the variances were denied. 

Mr. Marshall said that the property could be developed with four driveways onto Washington Crossing Road. 

Mrs. Goodwin asked if the proposed driveway will be an entrance and exit. She also asked if there had been any consideration of increased traffic. 

Mr. Marshall said that the driveway would be wide enough to accommodate cars entering and exiting at the same time. He said that there are four homes planned for the site, and there will not be any impact on traffic. 

Mr. Goodwin asked if there were any regulations, dating back many years that prohibit development along the creek. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that there are not such regulations. Mr. Auchinleck reminded the parties to the application that they are not permitted to make statements at this time, only to question Ms. Saylor on her testimony. 

Mr. Jeffrey Marshall, a resident not a party to the application, asked if the applicant had presented a hardship. 

Mr. Marshall responded that the site is heavily wooded and the intent is to make the crossing at the narrowest point and to afford public sewer access to neighbors as the Municipal Authority has requested. 

Mr. Koenig asked if there is room at the northern end of the property to provide a deceleration lane at an entrance. 

Ms. Saylor said that she did not think that Penn DoT would allow that for only four homes. 

Ms. Taylor said that at one time she thought that the Planning Commission had suggested that the four homes be clustered around a cul-de-sac. She asked why that plan had been abandoned. 

Ms. Saylor said that it had been determined that this plan would cause a greater disturbance to the wetlands. 

Ms. Laughlin asked if section 905(IV)(D)(8)(E) and Exhibit B apply to this application. 

Mr. Marshall said that Exhibit (B) applies to unstudied areas, but that this area is a FEMA studied area and that the wetlands are defined as flood plains. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that (E) does apply, and is the basis on which this Board is to review the application. Mr. Auchinleck asked if we have hydrological data. 

Mr. Marshall said that the FEMA Flood Insurance Map provides hydrological data. 

Mr. Marshall entered as Exhibit A-2 a plan, which shows the flood plain lines. Ms. Saylor pointed out the location of the 25-year and 100 year flood plains on this plan. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that the hydrological data must be included. 

Ms. Saylor said that the FEMA map has been referenced and that the Township has this map on file. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that the Board should consider section 905(IV)(E) in its review. He said that Mr. Marshall has asked every question required in section M, and it is up to the Board to evaluate this testimony, which has been given under oath. 

At this time Mr. Auchinleck said that any parties to the action wishing to give testimony could be sworn in. 

Ms. Jody Specter was sworn in. Ms. Specter said that her property, tax map parcel 29-3-63-1, is always wet with run-off from Lakeview Estates on the other side of Washington Crossing Road. She said the water runs across the surface of the road and through a pipe under the road. Ms. Specter presented as Exhibits O-1 and O-2, photographs taken on November 6, 2003, showing the water from this morning's rain. 

Mr. Carver asked if the water had always been a problem. 

Ms. Specter said that she has lived there four years, and even after only an inch of rain, the water accumulates. She said that her property slopes toward the creek. 

Mr. Marshall responded that water from the Kosacci property will not run across this property at all. He said that the project can be developed without bringing the sewer line to Ms. Specter's property. 

Mrs. Roberta Taylor was sworn in. Ms. Taylor said that water from the other side of the street runs toward the Kosacci property and ponds where the homes are planned. She said that the Township and Bucks County have been trying to preserve the area along the creek. The Township owns the land on the other side of the creek. Her home, built in 1810, and Ms. Specter's home, built in the 1700's are the only houses in the area. The area should be preserved as is, with as little disturbance to the wetlands as possible. She said that the soil does not drain well. 

Mr. Lionetti asked if Ms. Taylor has concerns about her own home being affected by this plan. 

Ms. Taylor asked where the water will go if these homes are built. 

Mr. John Goodwin was sworn in. Mr. Goodwin said that he lives on the opposite side of the creek from this property. He said that when we have storms he has experienced flooding in his garage area. He said that his sewer has begun to sink. 

Mrs. Joan Goodwin was sworn in. Mrs. Goodwin said that she is concerned that this project will cause the creek to rise on both sides. She is also concerned about the increased traffic. 

Ms. Janet Adamusko was sworn in. Ms. Adamusko said that she has been living in her home for twenty-five years, and has seen the creek double in width during that time. She said that she does not think this is an environmentally sound plan, and that the FEMA study does not accurately reflect the reality of the properties surrounding the creek. 

Mr. Jack Semotchko was sworn in. Mr. Semotchko said that he was in agreement with the sentiments expressed by his neighbors, and that he is concerned about displaced wildlife if development continues along the creek. 

Mr. Paul Morris was sworn in. Mr. Morris said that he is in agreement with his neighbors and he is concerned with the precedent being set by granting these variances. He said that we do not need any more development in Newtown. He said that his property is always wet. 

Mrs. Kathleen Lanning was sworn in. Mrs. Lanning said that there is an earthen dam upstream of this property, and that all of the properties along the creek are part of the Watershed Notification for Evacuation Plan of the Newtown Police Department in the event that the dam bursts. She said that the evacuation area includes homes on Merion Drive, Edgeboro Drive, State Street, Sycamore Street and these proposed homes will also be in the evacuation area. She said that she does not think that more homes should be built in this evacuation area. 

Mr. Marshall asked Mrs. Goodwin if she had lived in her home before the dam was built, and if so, has the flooding been worse or better since the dam has been built. 

Mrs. Goodwin did not answer this question. 

Mr. Marshall asked Mrs. Goodwin how many times she has been evacuated. 

Mrs. Goodwin said that she has not been evacuated. 

Mrs. Jean Coppola was sworn in. Mrs. Coppola said that she has lived in her home for ten years, and has seen the creek double in width in that time. She said that her yard has been flooded. She said that the wetlands need to be preserved and if the project is built there will be flooding problems. She asked whom she can sue if her yard is flooded. 

Mr. Lionetti responded that the Zoning Hearing Board cannot answer that question. He explained that the Zoning Hearing Board can only consider the requests for the specific variances and special exceptions requested. Mr. Kosacci is the owner of private property zoned for medium density residential use, and he does have a right to build on the property. He said that he understands the residents concerns, but the Zoning Hearing Board is not the right forum to address these concerns. 

Mrs. Marybeth Delione was sworn in. Mrs. Delione said that she agrees with her neighbors concerns. She also said that she thinks that the FEMA study was conducted before a lot of the development in the area. She said that the Zoning Hearing Board should walk the area before they render a decision.

Mr. Harwood had no comment in this matter. 

Mrs. Lanning commented that she thought that the Zoning Hearing Board should have the Township Engineer evaluate this property before they render a decision. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that the Township Engineer had reviewed these plans before they were presented to the Township Planning Commission and the County Planning Commission. The Planning Commission has already recommended that the Board of Supervisors give preliminary plan approval. Many of the issues that have been raised at this hearing are better raised with the Board of Supervisors. The Zoning Hearing Board is only considering whether a sewer line can cross wetlands. The Zoning Hearing Board cannot decide whether the project can be built, and if so, where the driveways will be located. 

In closing, Mr. Marshall said that the testimony given by the neighbors would be the same if the plans were in full compliance with the Ordinance. He said that the special exception sought is allowed, and the variances will cause a disturbance of 1400 square feet of wetlands on a ten-acre parcel in order to bring public sewer to the surrounding properties. The public sewers are already in the streambed. He said that the plans have already been through the sketch plan phase of land development, at which time it was agreed by the Planning Commission that a shared driveway would be safer than four individual driveways. A substantial portion of the wetlands is being preserved. The variance to preserve the canopy of trees is de minimus, and for the good of the municipality. 

Mr. Lionetti moved to grant a variance from Section 905(B)(2), 903(B)(5)(b) and 903(B)(1)/905(IV)(B)(1) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction on four residential lots where a drive and utilities will cross the flood plains and wetlands. The subject property is Washington Crossing Road, in the R-1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as tax map parcel 29-10-13-2t. Mr. Carver seconded. 

Mr. Ragan asked if the disturbance should be limited to 1400 square feet. 

Mr. Auchinleck suggested that the variance could be conditioned on disturbance as depicted in Exhibit A-1. 

Mr. Lionetti amended his motion to say that the disturbed area would be limited to 1400 square feet as depicted in Exhibit A-1. Mr. Carver seconded. 

Mr. Lenihan commented that if the Board denies the variance, then the applicant can develop his property with four access drives onto Washington Crossing Road. 

The motion passed unanimously. 

Mr. Lionetti reminded the residents who had party status that this development would still need final approval from the Board of Supervisors, although approval could not be withheld unless the plans are not in compliance with the Ordinance. He said that the parties do have a right to appeal the Zoning Hearing Board's decision in the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas within 30 days. 

Application of Michael Wiley and James Watson 

Mr. Lenihan read into the record the application of Michael Wiley and James Watson requesting a variance from Section 404(B) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 21 foot by 40 foot swimming pool and spa with decking, a 15 foot by 40 foot concrete patio and a 30 foot by 3 foot walkway with a 13.86% impervious surface ratio instead of 12%. The subject property is 17 Alexander Way, in the R-1 Medium Density Zoning District. 

Mr. James Watson and Mr. Michael Wiley were sworn in. 

Mr. Wiley said that he and Mr. Watson would like to build a pool and patio in their backyard. They had chosen the lot specifically because it is a one-acre lot facing south. They did not know about the impervious surface requirements at the time of purchase. 

Mr. Ragan said that he and Mr. Lenihan had visited the site. He said that the lot is large, with common area and the PECO easement behind it. The nearest rear neighbor, on Kuhars Way, is at least 800 feet away. He said that he thought that the request was de minimus. He noted that there is a swale between 17 Alexander Way and 13 Alexander Way, and that he did not think that run-off would be an issue. 

Mr. Harwood had no comment in this matter. 

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from Section 404(B) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 21 foot by 40-foot swimming pool and spa with decking a 15-foot by 40-foot concrete patio and a 30-foot by 3-foot walkway with a 13.86% impervious surface ratio instead of 12%. Mr. Ragan seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Mr. Lenihan moved to adjourn at 11:00PM. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

 

Respectfully submitted

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary