NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD

MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA 18940

THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 2004

7:30 PM


Approval of Minutes: Mrs. Laughlin moved to approve the minutes of May 6, 2004. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Mrs. Laughlin moved to approve the minutes of June 3, 2004. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed 4-0.


The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, June 3, 2004 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Mario Lionetti, Chairman; John Lenihan, Vice Chairman; Gail Laughlin, Secretary; Franklin Carver and Victoria Bowe, members. Also in attendance were: James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Solicitor; Thomas Harwood, Zoning Officer and Anne Pratt, Stenographer.

Call to Order

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

The agenda was reviewed.

Continued Applications of Stonehouse Holdings, LLC

Continued Application of J. Loew and Associates

Continued Application of David and Beverly Fleming – 258 Durham Road

Application of Gary and Paula Hopkins – 196 Twining Bridge Rd.

Application of Charles Gerstenbacher – 320 E. Hanover St.

Application of John and Kathy Haberkern – 438 Durham Rd.

Application of John and MaryEllen Kraft – 810 Linton Hill Rd.

Application of Edward Krynski – 67 Cloverlee Lane

Application of Ron Marotto – 3 Harmony Way

Application of Rui and Joann Pereira – 3 Daffodil Place

Application of William and Donna Reading – 13 Millstone Drive

Application of Ken Rentz – 176 Durham Rd.

Application of Thomas and Catherine Whatley – 547 Linton Hill Rd

Other Business

Continued Application of Stonehouse Holdings, LLC

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that he had received letters from the Township Solicitor and Mr. Coopman, attorney for the applicant, stating that the Township and the applicant were resolving this matter and that appeals will be withdrawn after a final agreement is signed.

Continued Application of J. Loew and Associates

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that he had received a letter from Mr. Kaplin, attorney for the applicant, stating that the applicant and the Township are trying to resolve this matter, and asking that the application be continued for a few months to allow time to come to an agreement.

Mr. Lionetti moved to continue the application of J. Loew and Associates to September 2, 2004. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Continued Application of David and Beverly Fleming – 258 Durham Road

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that he had a letter from Mr. Marshall, attorney for the applicant, stating that the Township was working on some conditions to be agreed upon before this application is heard. He asked that the matter be continued.

Mr. Lionetti moved to continue the application of David and Beverly Fleming to June 24, 2004. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of Gary and Paula Hopkins

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of Gary and Paula Hopkins requesting a variance from Section 401(c) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit an existing garage with in-law suite and construction of a 23 foot by 26 foot addition to the garage, both of which have a side yard setback of 24 feet, where 50 feet is required. The subject property is 196 Twining Bridge Road, in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District.

Mr. Gary Hopkins, Mrs. Paula Hopkins and Mr. Brett Nelson, contractor, were sworn in.

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

Mr. Auchinleck reminded the Board that they had heard testimony for an application for the addition to this garage at the meeting of May 6, 2004. During the testimony it was discovered that the existing garage and in-law suite had never been granted permits, nor had there been a variance for the setbacks of the garage. The application has been re-advertised for variances for the existing garage and for the addition.

Mr. Hopkins said that since the last meeting, the code inspector had visited his property, and made some recommendations. He made all of the code inspector’s recommended changes, and his property was re-inspected on May 24, 2004.

Mr. Hopkins entered as Exhibits A-10, A-11 and A-12, photographs showing that he has provided adequate parking for the in-law suite in his garage.

Mr. Harwood was sworn in.

Mr. Harwood said that his department had inspected the property and he was satisfied that all permits were in order, and that the Ordinance requirements for water and parking for an in-law suite had been met.

Mr. Lenihan said that he would like to move to grant this application, since all of the necessary inspections had been conducted and all necessary permits had been obtained. He said that at the May 6, 2004 hearing, Mr. Hopkins had indicated that the addition was to be used for storage and a workshop, and asked if this should be made a condition of the application.

Mr. Auchinleck said that the variance applies to both the addition and the existing garage, and the condition should be limited to the addition if this is what the Board would like to do.

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from Section 401(c) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit an existing garage with in-law suite and construction of a 23 foot by 26 foot addition to the garage, both of which have a side yard setback of 24 feet, where 50 feet is required, with the condition that the addition be used for storage and workshop only. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of Charles Gerstenbacher

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of Charles Gerstenbacher requesting a variance from Section 803(H-3)(1)(b) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of 60.5 linear feet of 6 foot high shadowbox fence where 5 feet is the maximum height for a solid fence. The subject property is 320 E. Hanover Street, in the R-1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District.

Mr. Charles Gerstenbacher was sworn in.

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

Mr. Gerstenbacher said that he moved into his home in October. At that time there was a six foot high shadowbox fence. Shortly after moving in, the fence blew over during a storm. He replaced the fence with a new, identical fence. He found out later that he would need a variance for the fence, and that there had never been a variance granted for the old fence.

Mr. Lenihan said that he visited the site. He said that Mr. Gerstenbacher’s property backs onto an easement, and that he did not think it would be a problem for his adjoining neighbors.

Mr. Lionetti said that he has also visited the site and confirmed Mr. Lenihan’s evaluation.

Mrs. Laughlin asked if the adjoining neighbors have fences.

Mr. Gerstenbacher said that his neighbors have a five foot high stockade fence, but that his fence is a shadowbox, which allows some visibility. He repeated that this fence has already been installed and is identical to the fence that was on the property when he purchased it.

Mr. Harwood had no comment.

Mr. Carver moved to grant a variance from Section 803(H-3)(1)(b) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of 60.5 linear feet of 6 foot high shadowbox fence where 5 feet is the maximum height for a solid fence. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of John and Kathy Haberkern

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of John and Kathy Haberkern requesting a Special Exception from Section 1208(c)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of an above ground pool, shed, and driveway extension which is an expansion on a non-conforming lot. The subject property is 438 Durham Road in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District.

Mr. John Haberkern was sworn in.

Mr. Haberkern stated that his wife’s name is Kelly, however it appears as “Kathy” in the advertisement and on the agenda.

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

Mr. Haberkern said that he wished to install a 24-foot round above ground swimming pool with safety gate, equipment shed and driveway turn-around area in his backyard.

Mr. Lenihan said that he had not visited the site for this application, but had done so when Mr. Haberkern had applied for a variance for a front yard fence last year. He said that there are no setback or impervious surface problems with this application, and that the plans would not affect the adjoining properties. He said that the special exception is only needed because this is a non-conforming lot.

Mr. Harwood had no comment.

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a Special Exception from Section 1208(c)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of an above ground pool, shed, and driveway extension, which is an expansion on a non-conforming lot. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs.Laughlin read into the record the application of John and Mary Ellen Kraft requesting a variance from Section 410(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 34 foot by 24 foot addition with a 34 foot by 7 foot porch, resulting in a rear yard setback of 34 feet four inches where 60 feet is required. The subject property is 810 Linton Hill Road in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District.

Mr. Gavin Labosky of Benner and Wild represented the applicants in this application.

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

Mr. Labosky said that Mr. and Mrs. Kraft purchased their house since 1991. He entered as exhibit A-1 the deed to the property. He said that the Krafts have three young children. The house is on a shallow, 3.63 acre lot. He said that the house was built in 1951, and that it has a setback that is already non-conforming, as it predates the ordinance. The house does not have an attic or basement. It has a detached garage and a swimming pool.

Mr. Labosky said that the Krafts would like to put a two-story addition on the rear of the house, with a family room and an extension of the bedroom upstairs. He noted that the existing porch would be removed. He said that the addition would have to be at the rear of the house, because on one side of the house is the garage, and on the other is the septic system. He said that by building the addition at the rear of the house, they would be extending the existing 10 foot non-conforming setback an additional fifteen feet, leaving a 35 foot setback, where sixty feet is required. He noted that the property to the rear of the Kraft property is wooded and has a conservation easement.

Mr. Labosky said that the existing pool, installed in the 1980’s was permitted at the time it was installed.

Mr. John Kraft and Mrs. Mary Ellen Kraft and Mr. Raphael, the architect for the project, were sworn in.

Mr. and Mrs. Kraft and Mr. Raphael all agreed with the summary given by Mr. Labosky.

Mr. Lionetti asked if the pool was right up to the property line.

Mr. Raphael said that the pool and decking are surrounded by a fence, and that there are about four feet of grass between the pool edge and the property line. Mr. Raphael said that pool was installed around 1984, before the Krafts moved in. He said that no neighbors can see the rear yard, nor will the proposed addition be visible by neighbors. The rear property is the Wiggins horse farm, which is deed restricted and development rights have been sold to the Township.

Mr. Labosky entered as Exhibits A-2 and A-3, photographs of the property.

Mr. Lenihan said that he had visited the site. He confirmed that the rear yard is not visible to any neighbors, and the addition would not have any impact on adjacent homes.

Mr. Harwood had no comment.

Mrs. Laughlin moved to grant a variance from Section 410(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 34 foot by 24 foot addition with a 34 foot by 7 foot porch, resulting in a rear yard setback of 34 feet four inches where 60 feet is required. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Auchinleck noted that the setback would be 35 feet four inches.

Application of Edward Krynski

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of Edward Krynski requesting a variance from Section 404(B) and (C) and a special exception under Section 1208(C)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 25 foot by 25 foot attached garage resulting in an impervious surface ratio of 15.56% where the maximum is 12% and a rear yard setback of 16.25 feet where the minimum required is 24 feet (60 feet aggregate) and to permit expansion on a non-conforming lot. The subject property is 67 Cloverlee Lane in the R-1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District.

Mr. Edward Krynski was sworn in.

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

Mr. Krynski said that he has very recently purchased the property and wishes to add a garage for his two cars.

Mr. Lenihan asked if the garage will extend out to the existing driveway, and if it will be built around the chimney.

Mr. Krynski said that his driveway will be tapered at the street end and fan out to the garage entrance. He said that it will surround the existing chimney, but will have a firewall. He said that a 5-foot by 7-foot pad will extend out from the garage for steps to an interior staircase to a storage area in the garage. Mr. Krynski entered as Exhibit A-1 a plan for the garage.

Mr. Auchinleck asked if there would be any additional paving or driveway extension to the side of the garage.

Mr. Krynski said that there would be grass to the side of the garage. He said that the property backs onto open space belonging to Tyler Walk and then onto Parkview Road. He does not have a neighbor to the rear of his property.

Mrs. Bowe asked how old his house is.

Mr. Krynski said that the house is seven years old.

Mr. Lenihan said that he visited the site and confirmed Mr. Krynski’s testimony. He said that he thought that the increase in impervious surface is de minimus and that there is no rear neighbor to object to the setback.

Mr. Carver said that he had also visited the site and agreed with Mr. Lenihan.

Mr. Harwood had no comment.

Mrs. Bowe moved to grant a variance from Section 404(B) and (C) and a special exception under Section 1208(C)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 25 foot by 25 foot attached garage resulting in an impervious surface ratio of 15.56% where the maximum is 12% and a rear yard setback of 16.25 feet where the minimum required is 24 feet (60 feet aggregate) and to permit expansion on a non-conforming lot. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of Ron Marrotto

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of Ron Marrotto requesting a variance from Section 401(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 15 foot by 32 foot irregularly shaped brick patio in the rear of an existing village house with a rear yard setback of 10 feet (right side) and 8.625 feet (left side) where twenty feet is required. The subject property is 3 Harmony Way in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District.

Mr. Ron Marrotto and Mrs. Eileen Marrotto were sworn in.

Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone present wished to be party to the application.

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.

Mr. William Cowen, Jr., a resident, said that he and his neighbors would like to make comment, but did not want party status. 

Mr. Marrotto explained that he wished to improve his patio. His contractor explained that a variance would be needed. He said that he discussed his plans with his Homeowners Association, who approved the plans with a vote of 2 – 1,  and with his surrounding neighbors, who support his plans. 

Mr. Lionetti asked if the patio would include a wall. 

Mrs. Marrotto said that the patio, made of E.P. Henry Pavers would have a wall, 18 inches high, to the left of  the steps to the existing covered porch. She said that the patio would be at grade level and that her yard is flat. 

Mr. Lenihan said that he had visited the site. He said that the rear yard is several hundred yards from its nearest neighbor to the rear. He said that he did not think that the patio’s setback would have a negative impact on the neighbors. 

Mr. Harwood said that he had received a letter from Marvin and Sheila Levine of  54 Harmony Way, dated May 24, 2004, stating their objection to the granting of this variance. It was entered as Exhibit O-1. 

Mr. Harwood had no comment on this application. 

Commenting on the letter of Marvin and Sheila Levine, Mrs. Marrotto referred to a variance granted to the builder of her development, to allow a 9 foot by 12 foot patio for each home. She said that she thought that these patios were for the homes with walk-out basements. She also noted that the Levine family lives about 25 doors away from her, and that her property is not visible to their property. 

Mr. Frank Montemurro, was sworn in. 

Mr. Montemurro said that he is a member of the three member Homeowner Association Board. He said that he had voted to approve this project. He said that the immediate neighbors to the Marrottos had no objections. 

Mr. William Cowen, Jr. was sworn in. 

Mr. Cowen said that he is a member of the Homeowners Association Board. He said that it was his understanding that DeLuca Builders had been granted a variance in September 2000, to allow a 9 foot by 12 foot patio at each property. He said that he is very concerned that if a variance is granted for this property, that the other homeowners in the development will also want larger patios, and it will surpass the allowable impervious surface ratio. He said that their development is in a conservation management zoning district, and that development should be restricted. 

Dr. Michael Ziev was sworn in. 

Dr. Ziev said that he is a member of the homeowners Association Board, and had voted to approve this plan. He said that there had been some discussion by his board that patios are not permitted in the conservation management zoning district. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that there is no such regulation in the ordinance. 

Dr. Ziev asked if the development could be granted a blanket variance for patios. 

Mr. Lionetti said that the Zoning Hearing Board could only consider the application that has been submitted. He said that patios are permitted if they meet the impervious surface and setback requirements for the property. There is no ordinance prohibiting patios in the conservation management zoning district. He said that the codes department did not identify this plan as exceeding the impervious surface ratio. 

Mr. Cowen said that the Marrotto house does not have a walkout basement, but does have a 9-foot by 12-foot patio off the porch. 

Mr. Anthony Cacciatore was sworn in. 

Mr. Cacciatorre said that he lives at 5 Harmony Way, next door, to the left of the Marrotto house. He said that he supports this plan. 

Mr. Dan Cooney was sworn in. 

Mr. Cooney said that he lives at 4 Harmony Way, directly opposite the Marrottos. He said that he supports this plan. 

Mr. Leonard Francoviak was sworn in. 

Mr. Francoviak said that he lives at 2 Harmony Way, across the street from the Marrottos. He said that he supports this plan. 

Mr. Sheldon Jekofsky was sworn in. 

Mr. Jekofsky said that he lives at 7 Harmony Way. He said that he thinks the planned patio will beautify the neighborhood. 

Mr. Thomas Stiles was sworn in. 

Mr. Stiles said that he lives at 6 Harmony Way. He said that he supports the plan. 

Mr. Cowen said that he wondered why so many neighbors support this plan. He said that he did not think that the Marrotto’s had shown a hardship, as required by the Ordinance, and that the Zoning Hearing Board should uphold the Ordinance. 

Mrs. Laughlin asked if the Marrotto plan is the first patio that is different. 

Mrs. Marrotto said that their patio is not the first different patio. 

Mrs. Bowe asked if this patio would be the largest patio in the development. 

Mrs. Marrotto said that the patio is 392 square feet, and she is not sure if it will be the largest in the development. 

Mr. Lionetti moved to grant a variance from Section 401(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 15 foot by 32 foot irregularly shaped brick patio in the rear of an existing village house with a rear yard setback of 10 feet (right side) and 8.625 feet (left side) where twenty feet is required. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Application of Rui and Joann Pereira 

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of Rui and Joann Pereira requesting a variance from Section 405(B) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 (Newtown Grant’s Final Plan) to permit construction of a 788 square foot inground swimming pool resulting in an impervious surface ratio of 37.56% where the maximum is 30%. The subject property is 3 Daffodil Place in the R-2 Medium Density Zoning District. 

Mrs. Joann Pereira was sworn in. 

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

Mrs. Pereira said that she would like to put a small pool in her backyard for her children. 

Mr. Lenihan asked if the plan shown includes the newer enclosure that had been a wooden deck. 

Mrs. Pereira said that she had a wooden deck, but that it was made into an addition to her kitchen. When it was a deck, there had been stones under the deck. She did not know if the deck/kitchen addition had been included in the impervious surface calculation. 

Mr. Lenihan asked if the pool would be near the existing swing set, and if the 20 feet by 40 feet shown as the pool included the cement decking around the pool. 

Mrs. Pereira said that the swings would be removed to make room for the pool. She said that the plan showed the entire pool and decking. She said that they were old plans drawn by a pool contractor. They had only recently decided to install the pool, and had submitted the application with those plans. 

Mr. Lenihan said that he had visited the site and noted that the property slopes toward the neighbors. He did not know if it would cause a problem for the neighbors. 

Mr. Harwood said that he was not sure if the impervious surface calculation includes the kitchen addition. He said that it is impervious surface. He said that if a variance was granted for 37.65%, it must include the entire house, kitchen addition, existing driveways and walkways. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that if the Board is inclined to grant the variance, then Mrs. Pereira might have to reduce the size of the pool. He said that the entire property would have a 37.65% impervious surface ratio. All impervious surfaces must be included in the measurement. He said that the Codes Department would help to determine what the current impervious surface area is, and the percentage remaining could then be used for a pool. 

Mr. Lionetti said that the Zoning Hearing Board is usually willing to grant variances up to 25%. He said that the current impervious surface must be calculated and verified before a pool is installed. 

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from Section 405(B) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 (Newtown Grant’s Final Plan) to permit construction of a 788 square foot inground swimming pool resulting in an impervious surface ratio of 37.56% where the maximum is 30%. Mr. Carver seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Application of William and Donna Reading 

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of William and Donna Reading requesting a variance from Section 401(B) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 (Penns Preserve Final Plan) to permit construction of a 143 square foot driveway extension and walkway to pool fence, resulting in an impervious surface area of 6,326 square feet, where 6,226 square feet is the maximum permitted. The subject property is 13 Millstone Drive in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District. 

Mr. William reading was sworn in. 

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

Mr. Reading said that he does not want to extend his driveway, but to build a walkway from his walkout basement to his pool. He said that his backyard slopes upward toward the pool, and that it can be dangerous when the grass is wet. He’d like to pave some gradual stairs toward the pool deck for safety. The total area will be 100 square feet. 

Mr. Lenihan said that he remembered the Reading property. The Zoning Hearing Board had granted a variance in July of 2001 to permit construction of the swimming pool for Mr. Reading’s child, who has special needs. He said that he had not re-visited the site, but did remember the slope of the backyard, and agreed with Mr. Reading that a paved path to the pool would be much safer. He did not think that the increase in impervious surface would be a hardship for the adjoining neighbors. 

Mr. Harwood had no comment.

Mr. Philip Mangogna was sworn in. 

Mr. Mangogna said that he lives at 10 Millstone Drive, and he supports this application. 

Mr. Carver moved to grant a variance from Section 401(B) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 (Penns Preserve Final Plan) to permit construction of a 143 square foot driveway extension and walkway to pool fence, resulting in an impervious surface area of 6,326 square feet, where 6,226 square feet is the maximum permitted. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Application of Ken Rentz 

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of Ken Rentz for a variance from Section 404(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to construct a 16 foot by 40 foot wood deck with a side yard setback of 23 feet (right corner) and 10.8 feet (left corner) where 24 feet is required. The subject property is 176 Durham Road in the R-1 Medium Density Zoning District. 

Mr. Ken Rentz was sworn in. 

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

Mr. Rentz said that he wanted to build a deck at the rear of his house, and would need a variance to accommodate the side yard setback requirements. 

Mr. Lenihan said that he had visited the site. He said that the property is well back from the road, and has a six-foot high fence. He said that the property shares a common driveway with three homes. He did not think the deck would have a negative impact on the neighbors. 

Mr. Auchinleck noted that this property adjoins the Twining property, which had recently been granted a variance for subdivision. He asked if the proposed new building would adjoin this property. 

Mr. Lenihan said that the property adjoins the Twining home, and that the new proposed home would be set back beyond this property. 

Mr. Lionetti asked if the deck could be situated in such a way that it would not require a variance. 

Mr. Rentz said that he had located the deck so that the steps would lead to his driveway, and not interfere with his air-conditioning unit. He did not want it to block his kitchen windows. 

Mr. Harwood had no comment.

Mrs. Laughlin moved to grant a variance from Section 404(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to construct a 16 foot by 40 foot wood deck with a side yard setback of 23 feet (right corner and 10.8 feet (left corner) where 24 feet is required. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Application of Thomas and Catherine Whatley 

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of Thomas and Catherine Whatley requesting a variance from Section 401(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a detached garage, which will result in a side yard setback of 10 feet where 50 feet is required. The subject property is 547 Linton Hill Road in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District. 

Mr. Thomas Whatley and Mrs. Catherine Whatley were sworn in. 

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

Mr. Whatley said that he would like to build a 40-foot by 30 foot detached garage for storage of his truck and car. He said that he has three children and his attached garage is overcrowded with children’s toys, bicycles, carriages, and yard maintenance tools. He said that at the time that he build his home, he did have a 50 foot side yard setback, however his sister has built on a flag lot and the driveway was added to provide access to her property. 

Mr. Lenihan said that he had visited the site and had driven to the end of the blacktop. He asked if this is the location for the proposed garage. 

Mr. Whatley said that would be the location of the garage. He said that his current garage would continue to be used for storage and he would build a workshop in it. He said that he needed the new garage for his truck, which does not fit into the existing garage because it has plow lights. He said that there is no other location on his property suitable for the garage. 

Mr. Whatley said that his property is 5.1 acres and his sister’s property is 4.9 acres. He entered as Exhibit A-1 a petition from his neighbors supporting the plans, and as Exhibit A-2, a letter from the Eckert family of 545 Linton Hill Road in support of the plan.

Mr. Harwood had no comment. 

Mr. Lionetti moved to grant a variance from Section 401(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a detached garage, which will result in a side yard setback of 10 feet where 50 feet is required. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

Other Business 

Mr. Lionetti said that he had received a letter from Shawn Ward, chairman of the Newtown Township Planning Commission, requesting the Zoning Hearing Board to review a proposed change to the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance. He said that the changes deal with conditional use and special exceptions. He suggested that the Board review these changes and prepare to comment at the June 24, 2004 meeting. 

Mr. Auchinleck said that the Ordinance was very repetitive, and that the members should compare the proposed to the current ordinance. He said that the portions dealing with special exceptions would be important to the Zoning Hearing Board. He suggested that the members phone him if they had any questions. 

Adjournment 

Mr. Lenihan moved to adjourn at 10:00 PM. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed unanimously. 

 

Respectfully Submitted

 

______________________________
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary