NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD

MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE

NEWTOWN, PA 18940

THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2004

7:30 PM


Approval of Minutes: Mrs. Laughlin moved to approve the minutes of July 22, 2004. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.


The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, July 22, 2004, in the Newtown Township Municipal Building.  In attendance and voting were:  Mario Lionetti, Chairman; John Lenihan, Vice Chairman; Gail Laughlin, Secretary; and Victoria Bowe, Member.  Also in attendance was James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Solicitor.

 

Call to Order:  Mr. Lionetti called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.  He noted the passing of Member Franklin Carver on 7/1/04.

 

Agenda:  The agenda was reviewed and revised as follows:

 

  1. Application of Anthony and Concetta Stefani – 62 Jonquil Drive
  2. Application of William and Michelle Winkler – 26 Amarylis Lane
  3. Application of New Life Christian Church – 4 Freedom Lane
  4. Continued Application of W. David and Beverly Fleming – Rose Bank Winery

 

Application of Anthony and Concetta Stefani

 

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of Anthony and Concetta Stefani requesting a variance from Section 405(B) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 (Newtown Grant Final Plan) to permit construction of a nine foot by eight foot patio resulting in a 35.89% impervious surface ratio where the maximum permitted is 30%.  The subject property is 62 Jonquil Drive, Newtown, in the R-2 High Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel # 29-19-220.

 

Concetta Stefani was sworn in.  Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone else wished to be a party to the application; there was no response.

 

Mrs. Stefani said she had assumed that the builder had obtained a permit for the patio, which has been installed.  She has applied for a permit since discovering that the builder did not obtain it.

 

Mr. Lenihan said he has visited the property and found that the work done is accurately depicted on the sketch accompanying the application, and the property backs onto open space.  He stated he has no problem with the request for relief.

 

Mrs. Bowe asked if the Homeowners Association has approved the project.  Mrs. Stefani said the Homeowners Association will approve it when she obtains the variance.

 

Mr. Lionetti said he spoke with Mr. Harwood, who had no problems with the application.  Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone present had any further comments; there was no response.

 

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from Section 405(B) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 (Newtown Grant Final Plan) to permit construction of a nine foot by eight foot patio resulting in a 35.89% impervious surface ratio where the maximum permitted is 30%.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Bowe and passed unanimously.

 

Application of William and Michelle Winkler

 

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of William and Michelle Winkler requesting a variance from Section 405(B)&(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 (Newtown Grant Final Plan) to permit construction of a 382 square foot paver patio resulting in a rear yard setback of 10 feet on the right side and 11 feet on the left side where 30 feet is required by the ordinance and 25 feet is required by the final plan, and a 33.69% impervious surface ratio where 30% is the maximum permitted.  The subject property is 26 Amaryllis Lane, Newtown, in the R-2 High Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel # 29-48-8.

 

William and Michelle Winkler were sworn in.   Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone else wished to be a party to this application; there was no response.

 

Mrs. Winkler submitted a letter from the Homeowners Association stating their approval of the project subject to the applicant obtaining a variance.  She said the builder did not think a permit was necessary and proceeded to build the patio.  She and her husband were notified by the Homeowners Association of the need to obtain one after it was completed.  Mrs. Winkler also stated there is a wooded open space area behind their property.  She submitted a photograph of the patio.

 

Mr. Auchinleck marked the photograph as Exhibit A-1 and the letter from the Homeowners Association as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mrs. Bowe said she visited the property and observed that there was a good deal of space around the patio.  She said she saw no problem in granting the variance.

 

Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone present had any comments; there was no response.

 

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from Section 405(B)&(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 (Newtown Grant Final Plan) to permit construction of a 382 square foot paver patio resulting in a rear yard setback of 10 feet on the right side and 11 feet on the left side where 30 feet is required by the ordinance and 25 feet is required by the final plan, and a 33.69% impervious surface ratio where 30% is the maximum permitted.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Bowe and passed unanimously.

 

Application of the New Life Christian Church

 

Mrs. Laughlin read into the record the application of the New Life Christian Church requesting a variance from Section 1106(E)(4)(b) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit installation of a 52.13 square foot wall-mounted identification sign on the front façade of the existing church.  The subject property is 4 Freedom Lane, Newtown, in the TC Town Commercial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcels # 29-10-18-1 and 29-10-18-2.

 

Hal Roberts was sworn in.  He was represented by attorney Don Marshall.  Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone else wished to be a party to the application; there was no response.

 

Mr. Marshall submitted a photograph of the sign on the front of the church and a plot plan of the property.  Mr. Auchinleck marked the photograph as Exhibit a-1 and the plot plan as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Marshall said the sign was installed in 2000.  He said the church faces State Street and is set a considerable distance back from it, necessitating a sign much larger than the 16 square feet permitted by the ordinance.  He pointed out that if a commercial use occupied this building the 52.13 square foot sign would be acceptable.  He also stated that the actual lettering area is only 45.13 square feet.

 

Mr. Roberts affirmed that Mr. Marshall’s statements were correct.  He said the church has about 400 members.  The need for a sign permit was discovered when the building inspector visited to inspect a drainage problem.

 

Mr. Lionetti asked if anyone present had any comments; there was no response.

 

Mr. Lionetti moved to grant a variance from Section 1106(E)(4)(b) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit installation of a 52.13 square foot wall-mounted identification sign of the front façade of the existing church.   The motion was seconded by Mr. Lenihan and passed unanimously.

 

Continued Application of W. David and Beverly Fleming

 

Mr. Auchinleck said he has received a letter from attorney Don Marshall requesting that the application be continued to the 8/5/04 meeting, as a settlement has been reached.

 

Mr. Lionetti moved to continue the Flemings’ application to 8/5/04.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Laughlin and passed unanimously.

 

Approval of Minutes

 

Mrs. Laughlin moved to approve the minutes of the 6/24/04 meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mrs. Bowe and passed unanimously.

 

Adjournment

 

Mr. Lionetti moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 PM.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Lenihan and passed unanimously. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Gretta Stone

Recording Secretary