NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP ZONING HEARING BOARD
MUNICIPAL BUILDING - 100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE
NEWTOWN, PA 18940
THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2006
DRAFT - SUBJECT TO AMENDMENT BY THE ZONING HEARING BOARD UNTIL APPROVED
The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, April 6, 2006 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: William Wall, Chairman; Gail Laughlin, Vice Chairman; Victoria Bowe, Secretary; David Katz and John Lenihan, members. Also in attendance were: James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Esq., Solicitor; Thomas Harwood, Zoning Officer and Anne Pratt, Stenographer.
Call to Order
Mr. Wall called the meeting to Order at 7:30 PM.
The Pledge of Allegiance
Approval of Minutes
Mrs. Laughlin moved to approve the minutes of March 2, 2006. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
The agenda was reviewed.
Application of Applegate Wood Floors, Inc. – 8 Pheasant Run
Application of Keith E. Smith – 148 Durham Road
Application of Applegate Wood Floors, Inc
Mrs. Bowe read into the record the application of Applegate Wood Floors Inc., Cameron C. and Olga Jean Troilo owners requesting a variance from Section 702 A of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit retail use (E-1) in the LI Light Industrial District where such use is not permitted. The subject property is 8 Pheasant Run, Newtown, in the LI Light Industrial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-10-146.
Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that he had received correspondence from Scott Petri, attorney for the applicant, requesting a continuance until May 4, 2006. The Township has an interest in this application, and Mr. Beckert, the Township Solicitor, agrees to the request.
Mr. Katz moved to continue the application of Applegate Wood Floors, Inc. to May 4, 2006. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Application of Keith E. Smith
Mrs. Bowe read into the record the application of Keith E. Smith, Keith E. Smith owners requesting a variance from Section 803(H-3)(1)(a) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a 4.5 feet high aluminum fence, a 5.5 feet high double swing gate, and two 5 feet high stone columns in the front yard where the maximum height is 3 feet. The subject property is 148 Durham Road, Newtown, in the R1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-4-42.
Mr. Wall asked if anyone wished to be party to this application. There was no response.
Keith E. Smith was sworn in.
Mr. Smith explained that he would like to build a fence that would surround his home. His mother-in-law, who resides with him, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and frontal temporal dementia. She has wandered outside onto Durham Road, and he is concerned for her safety. Because she is an otherwise healthy fifty-six year old woman, she would be able to get over a three-foot fence if she were determined to get outside. He proposes a 4.5-foot aluminum fence with a double swing gate. The gate opening would be fourteen feet wide.
Mr. Harwood said that the proposed gate opening is sufficient for emergency vehicles.
In response to Mr. Auchinleck’s question, Mr. Smith said that he has spoken to the Fire Marshal about locking the gate. The Fire Marshal has provided an application for a lock box that would be mounted to the column on the outside of the gate, and would contain the key to the gate. The fire department has a key to the lock box. He has already submitted the paperwork for the lock box.
In response to Mrs. Laughlin’s question, Mr. Smith said that he had begun the installation of the fence before he learned that a variance would be necessary. The already installed fence will be continued to the front of the property.
In response to Mr. Lenihan’s question, Mr. Smith said that he intends to landscape his property, and to plant some bushes around the columns. If the Board requires that he landscape to buffer the fence, he would agree to such a condition.
Mr. Smith entered as Exhibit A-1 a photograph of a fence and gate similar to the one he proposes to install.
Mr. Harwood had no further comment.
Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from Section 803(H-3)(1)(a) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a 4.5 feet high aluminum fence, a 5.5 feet high double swing gate, and two 5 feet high stone columns in the front yard where the maximum height is 3 feet. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Katz moved to adjourn at 8:00Pm. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary