NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF DECEMBER 7, 2006

The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, December 7, 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; Michael Solomon, Zoning Officer and Barbara Statheim, Stenographer.

Call to Order

Mr. Wall called the meeting to Order at 7:30 PM.

The Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Minutes of November 2, 2006

Mr . Auchinleck noted that on page two, paragraph four should read, “… Solicitor Paul Beckert, representing Newtown Township, read a statement…”

Ms. Laughlin moved to approve the minutes of November 2, 2006, as corrected. Mr. Katz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

The agenda was reviewed

  • Continued Application of Steven DiMeglio – 150 Wrights Road
  • Continued Application of Chetan and Reshma Patel – 140 Wrights Road
  • Application of Mary and Nathan Barsky – 25 Delaney Drive
  • Application of John and Mary Beth Dugan – 410 South Norwood Avenue
  • Application of 826 Newtown Yardley Road Associates, LP – 826-828 Newtown Yardley Road
  • Application of Rick Steele’s Gulf, Inc. – 695 Newtown Yardley Road
  • Continued and Amended Application of DeLuca Enterprises – 138 South Sycamore Street
  • Continued and Amended Application of The Promenade at Sycamore – North Sycamore Street

Continued Application of Steven DiMeglio

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that the applicant is attempting to resolve this appeal and has requested a continuance.

Mr. Lenihan moved to continue the application of Steven DiMeglio until January 4, 2007. Ms. Laughlin seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Continued Application of Chetan and Reshma Patel

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that the applicant is attempting to resolve this appeal and has requested a continuance.

Mr. Lenihan moved to continue the application of Chetan & Reshma Patel, until January 4, 2007. Mr. Katz seconded, and the motion passed unanimously .

Application of Mary and Nathan Barsky

Mrs. Bowe read into the record the application of Mary and Nathan Barsky, owners, requesting a variance from Section 401(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a15 feet by 21 feet open wooden deck resulting in a 23 foot rear yard set back where 30 feet is required. The subject property is 25 Delaney Drive, Newtown, in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-20-42 lot 13.

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

Mary Barsky was sworn in.

Ms. Barsky explained that she would like to add a deck to her home but would need a variance for the rear yard setback.

Mr. Lenihan said that this house, as has been the case with the many other applications heard from this development, has a large footprint on a small lot. The builder has not allowed sufficient space for any outdoor amenities.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from Section 401(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a 15 feet by 21 feet open wooden deck resulting in a 23 foot rear yard set back where 30 feet is required . Mr. Katz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of John and Mary Beth Dugan

Mrs. Bowe read into the record the application of John and Mary Beth Dugan owners requesting variances from Sections 405 (B) and 405(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit 10 feet by 48 feet rear kitchen addition and a 15 feet by 24 feet detached garage resulting in an 18% impervious surface ration where the maximum permitted in 13% and a 10 feet side yard set back where 20 feet is required. Applicants also seek a special exception under section 1208(C)(2) to permit construction on a non-conforming lot.. The subject property is 410 South Norwood Avenue, Newtown, in the R-2 High Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-14-26.

John Dugan, Mary Beth Dugan and Stephen Bradish, contractor on the project, were sworn in.

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

Mrs. Dugan explained that her family would like to add a two car garage and an addition to the rear of their home to expand the kitchen and family room.

Mr. Katz asked if they would be willing to add a condition to approval that they would design a stormwater management system to retain run-off on their property.

Mr. Dugan said that he has such a system at the front of his property and he would want to do the same at the rear.

Mr. Solomon was sworn in.

In response to Mr. Auchinleck’s question, Mr. Solomon explained that after the application had been submitted, the impervious surface was recalculated, and it was discovered to be 18.2%, not the 18% advertised.

Mr. Auchinleck advised the Board that the additional impervious surface is de minimus and would not have to be re-advertised, however, if the Board is of a mind to grant the variance, it should be for 18.2% impervious surface.

Mr. Katz moved to grant variances from Sections 405 (B) and 405(C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit 10 feet by 48 feet rear kitchen addition and a 15 feet by 24 feet detached garage resulting in an 18.2% impervious surface ration where the maximum permitted in 13% and a 10 feet side yard set back where 20 feet is required, and a special exception under section 1208(C)(2) to permit construction on a non-conforming lot, subject to the condition that the applicant design and install a storm water management system approved by the Township engineer to detain any excess storm water created by the impervious surface area that exceeds that permitted by the ordinance, that is the excess over 13%. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of Rick Steele’s Gulf, Inc.

Mrs. Bowe read into the record the application of Rick Steele’s Gulf, Inc., Eileen Steele Farrell, owner requesting a variance from Sections 1106(F)(4)(a) and 1106(5)(a) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit replacement of an existing 48 square feet sign with a new 45 square feet sign 20 feet high where the maximum permitted size is 12 square feet and height 5 feet.. The subject property is 695 Newtown Yardley Road, Newtown, in the O-LI Office Light Industrial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-10-37-2.

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

Eileen Steele Farrell and Steve McConnell were sworn in.

Ms. Farrell explained that Gulf is changing its logo and standard signage. The new signage is to replace existing signs.

Mrs. Laughlin noted that the new signs are smaller than the existing signs.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mrs. Laughlin moved to grant a variance from Sections 1106(F)(4)(a) and 1106(5)(a) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit replacement of an existing 48 square feet sign with a new 45 square feet sign 20 feet high where the maximum permitted size is 12 square feet and height 5 feet. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of 826 Newtown Associates, L.P.

Mrs. Bowe read into the record the application of 826 Newtown Associates, L.P., owner, requesting variances from Sections 702(B), 903(B)(4)(a)(1), 903(B)(4)(a)(2) and 1002 of.

the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 32,000 square foot, two-story medical office building resulting in a 44 feet front yard set back where 75 feet is required, 30% disturbance of 15-25% slopes, 100% disturbance of 25% slopes where only 25% and 15% respectively are permitted, and no loading dock where one is required. The subject property is 826-828 Newtown Yardley Road, Newtown, in the L-I Light Industrial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #s 29-10-86, 29-10-42-1, 29-10-42-5, & 29-10-40-1.

Attorney Ed Murphy represented the applicants.

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

Mr. Murphy explained that this is the former PECO property. The current owners have renovated the existing building for professional offices. They are combining four parcels, totaling 21 acres and dividing this into two parcels, with lot one containing the existing building and lot two would contain a new two-story office building. The applicants have taken the plans to the Board of Supervisors and to the Planning Commission. Both bodies have suggested that the new building should have more prominence facing the By-pass. The Board of Supervisors has suggested locating the building in the setback, closer to the By-pass. The Supervisors would like to have some input into the architectural appearance of the new building. This project would also involve some de minimus disturbance of steep slopes. Mr. Murphy pointed out that the steep slopes are man-made, created by PECO dumping on the property. The applicant is also seeking a variance from the requirement for a loading dock. The building will be for professional offices only, and would have no need for a loading dock. This is a requirement of the Ordinance for all properties in the light industrial zoning district. There will be no light industry at the location.

Applicant Daniel Cohen, and Mary Ellen Saylor of Pickering Corts and Summerson, Engineer on the project, were sworn in.

Mr. Cohen and Ms. Saylor agreed with Mr. Murphy’s presentation of the project.

Mrs. Laughlin asked whether the project would involve any improvements to Newtown Yardley Road.

Mr. Murphy said that the interior parking lot will be reconfigured. A traffic study is being updated, and some intersection improvements and entrance improvements are expected.

In response to questions from the Board, Mr. Cohen said that the land is higher at this section of the By-pass, and the building would be located on the top of the rise, and would appear to be high. There will be a clear view of the building from the By-pass.

Mr. Auchinleck asked what the impact would be if no variances were granted.

Mr. Murphy said that the applicant had presented a “by right” plan earlier. That plan had a “sea of parking” with a central building. The parking lot would have been visible from the By-pass. In response to further questions from Mr. Auchinleck, Mr. Murphy said that the applicant can meet the parking requirements without reducing the stall size. The building is being moved into the setback for aesthetic reasons. This is being done at the suggestion of both the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, who are in support of the application, provided the applicant adhere to certain design ideas, as the building will be at a location considered “the gateway to Newtown”.

Mr. Wall asked if there is any hardship in complying with the Ordinance.

Mr. Murphy said no, that a compliant plan could be developed. There would be no increased revenue with the greater visibility of the building from the By-pass. The applicant intends to build an attractive office building. It is understood that if variances are granted, the Supervisors will have some control over the architectural appearance of the building.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mr. Lenihan moved to grantvariances from Sections 702(B), 903(B)(4)(a)(1), 903(B)(4)(a)(2) and 1002 of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 32,000 square foot, two-story medical office building resulting in a 44 feet front yard set back where 75 feet is required, 30% disturbance of 15-25% slopes, 100% disturbance of 25% slopes where only 25% and 15% respectively are permitted, and no loading dock where one is required, subject to the condition that the applicant comply with the architectural requirements of the Board of Supervisors. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Continued and Amended Application of DeLuca Enterprises

Mrs. Bowe read into the record the continued and amended application of DeLuca Enterprises, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, owner, requesting variances from Section 262(c) &263, 603(B)(1), 903(B)(9), 1001(B)(3), 1001(A)(7), and 1001(D)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 33,900 square foot office building with 35 ft. building height instead of 30', 10 ft. front yard instead of 20 ft., 155 parking to be 9'x18' spaces instead of 10'x20', and stormwater, structural sound wall or fence and curbing variances. The subject property is 138 South Sycamore Street, Newtown, in the R-2 High Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-10-2.

Attorney Ed Murphy represented the applicant.

Mr. Wall asked if anyone present wished to be party to the application. There was no response.

Mark Havers of Pickering Corts and Summerson was sworn in.

Mr. Murphy explained that DeLuca Enterprises intends to redevelop the St. Andrew’s Preschool site as its corporate headquarters. There has been a zoning change, making the property TC Town Commercial instead of R-2 High Density Residential. The Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission have indicated that, in keeping with the Sycamore Street streetscape, the building should be located closer to the sidewalk. The plan has been re-designed. Both the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors have given this plan a favorable review. The new plan needs relief from the Zoning Hearing Board.

Mr. Murphy said that he has met with representatives of Windermere, who are satisfied with the parking plan. The stormwater management is underground. Agreements are in place for the use of the parking for Church events.

Mr. Havers reviewed the right-of-way, noting that Sycamore Street is classified as an arterial roadway at this address, with a 120 foot right of way. Sycamore Street north of this property is a commercial street, with a 60 foot right-of-way. The plan is compliant with a commercial street right-of-way.

Mr. Havers said that the gables and stair tower bring up the height of the building. Although it will probably be less than 35 feet in height, they are requesting a variance to allow up to 35 feet.

Mr. Murphy said that variance is also sought for parking stall size to allow for additional green space along the Windermere side of the building. This will be an office building with employees arriving and remaining all day, so the reduced stall size will not be a problem. The applicants are also requesting that curbs not be required along the side unless or until the additional parking spaces, held in green, are installed. A small retaining wall, in keeping with the rest of Sycamore Street, is planned in place of the required sound barrier.

In response to Mr. Katz’s question, Mr. Murphy agreed to a condition that run-off be contained on the property.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mr. Katz moved to grant variances from Section 262(c) &263, 603(B)(1), 903(B)(9), 1001(B)(3), 1001(A)(7), and 1001(D)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of a 33,900 square foot office building with 35 ft. building height instead of 30', 10 ft. front yard instead of 20 ft., 155 parking to be 9'x18' spaces instead of 10'x20', and stormwater, structural sound wall or fence and curbing variances, subject to the condition that the applicant design and install a storm water management system approved by the Township engineer to detain any excess storm water on the property. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Continued and Amended Application of the Promenade at Sycamore, LP

Mrs. Bowe read into the record the continued and amended application of The Promenade at Sycamore, LP, the Promenade at Sycamore, LP owner, requesting variances from Sections 603B(1), 803(D-1)(5), 803(E-1)(6), 803(E-5)(4), 903B(4)(1), 903B(4)(2), 903B(5)(b), 1000E, 1001B(3), 1001F(4), and 1002 of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit construction of 2 buildings; one with mixed use including: retail, restaurant, and office and the other as a parking garage, resulting in a 34.67 feet building height where 30 feet is the maximum, 1 foot front yard where 20 feet is required, 4.8 feet rear yard where 20 feet is required, 144 parking spaces instead of 399, no protection of protected resource land including 100% disturbance of steep slopes and woodlands, reduced parking stall size of 9 feet by 18 feet instead of 10 feet by 20 feet, off-street parking within 4.49 feet of rear property line, no buffer or screening of parking area, and no loading berths. The subject property is North Sycamore Street (ACME), Newtown, in the TC Town Commercial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-10-7.

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. He noted that any comment would be limited to the legal issues before this Board.

Attorney David Sander represented the applicant.

Vincent Lombardi asked for party status. Mr. Lombardi noted that he lives within 200 feet of the site.

Paul Beckert asked for party status on behalf of Newtown Township.

Attorney T.J. Walsh asked for party status on behalf of his clients, the Newtown Presbyterian Church and Newtown Ambulance, owned by the Newtown Veterans Association.

Attorney Craig Smith asked for party status on behalf of his client, Sycamore Street Associates.

Mr. Sander asked for an offer of proof that Sycamore Street Associates is an aggrieved party.

Mr. Smith said that Sycamore Street Associates owns Sycamore Center, the shopping center on the opposite side of the street, about 450 feet north of this project. Because this project seeks parking relief, and Sycamore Center has 150 parking spaces, this parking variance could have a significant impact.

Allen H. Smith was sworn in.

Mr. Smith of 301 South State Street said that he is a real estate developer in Newtown Township and Borough. He owns Sycamore Street Associates. This is a three acre shopping center along Sycamore Street from Yardville Bank to Avalon Café, with ten residential apartments above the retail spaces. He received notice of the application by mail. His property is 450 feet from the Acme site. As a property owner, he said that he will be negatively impacted if a parking variance is granted.

Mr. Auchinleck said that party status for this hearing would be granted to Sycamore Street Associates. This could be challenged on appeal.

Mr. Sander gave a brief history of the redevelopment of this site, originally the Acme Market. The Acme Visioning Committee and the Board of Supervisors have worked with the Redevelopment Authority of Bucks County to put together a project for this site that would be in keeping with the Sycamore Street streetscape. Like other applications heard this evening, the Supervisors have requested that the project be built closer to the sidewalk to enhance the streetscape. Elliot Building Group was chosen for the redevelopment project because of its response to the request for proposals.

L. Scott Mill, registered landscape architect on this project, was sworn in.

Mr. Sander entered as Exhibit A-1, Mr. Mill’s Curriculum Vitae, which shows Mr. Mill to be a registered landscape architect in Pennsylvania with the engineering firm of Van Cleef Engineering Associates. Mr. Mill holds a Bachelors Degree from Penn State University. He has worked on other mixed use projects, as well as residential and subdivision projects. He was offered as an expert witness as well as a fact witness.

Mr. Smith reserved his right to object to Mr. Mill’s standing as an expert witness.

In response to Mr. Sander’s questions, Mr. Mill said that this is a 1.96 acre parcel in the TC zoning district. It is currently an abandoned market and parking lot.

Mr. Sander entered as Exhibit A-2 the Final Report and Recommendation of the Newtown Township Acme Visioning Committee dated March 12, 2003.

Referring to page #3 of the report, Mr. Mill said that the project was designed in accordance with the Visioning Committee recommendations, including:

  • Demolition of existing building;
  • Site cleared; steep slopes addressed with walls of proposed building/parking structure;
  • Compliments neighboring Newtown Presbyterian Church;
  • Commercial, office and residential uses in blend of architectural styles of late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries;
  • Inclusion of a signature attraction which will bring a unique identity to the site;
  • A multilevel structure that may require a minor adjustment of the height requirement;
  • Location of the building at the forward edge of the property with parking at rear to create a streetscape;
  • Construction in a pedestrian friendly manner in keeping with Sycamore Street improvements.

Mr. Smith objected to Mr. Mill’s responses as to whether the plan complies aesthetically with the report’s recommendations.

Mr. Auchinleck allowed the testimony.

Mr. Sander discussed the mixed use of the building. There is to be no residential use, but the building will provide the attractions of retail, restaurant and office. A minimal height variance is requested.

Mr. Lombardi objected to the characterization of the height variance; portions of the building will be 39 feet high. The objection was overruled.

In response to a question from Mr. Katz, Mr. Sander said that Exhibit A-2 was provided by the Township without attachment #2, “A Feasibility Study of the Viability of a Newtown Town ship Community Center.” He will obtain copies and submit them to the Board and all parties. He noted that the redevelopment agreement is also missing some attachments.

Mr. Sander entered as Exhibit A-3 the “Developer Additional Information Request” issued by the Redevelopment Authority of Bucks County and the Township of Newtown, as Exhibit A-4, the Redevelopment Agreement, A-4a, a prospective view of the project as submitted to the Township as part of a response to the Request for Proposals, and A-4b, the deed to the property.

Mr. Mill said that the project meets all of the visioning committee points. He read into the record from page #2 of Exhibit A-3, the “Development Objectives”. Referring to this exhibit, Mr. Mill noted that it had always been understood that some zoning relief might be required.

Mr. Smith objected, noting that the entire document, with attachments, had not been presented, making cross-examination impossible. Ruling was reserved.

In response to Mr. Sander’s questions, Mr. Mill said that based on the Redevelopment Agreement, Elliot Builders purchase the property at a cost of $1,650,000 on August 31, 2005. Van Cleef Engineering prepared plans for the project. The first plan presented to the Township featured a 95,000-square foot, three-story building with a mean height of 49 feet. Mr. Mill explained that a “mean height” is the height between the gutter line and the peak of the roof. Certain features can be above the mean height. This first plan included a third floor residential use and a four story parking garage. A second plan reduced the building to 89,000 square feet, with a 43 foot mean height. The third plan is presented in this application.

Mr. Sander entered as Exhibit A-5 the latest revision to the plan, dated December 5, 2006. This plan shows a three-level parking garage with 207 parking spaces, not the 144 shown on the application. He entered as Exhibit A-6, revised plans, which show a two-story mixed use building with 20,500 square feet of retail, 5,960 square feet of restaurant, and 30,445 square feet of office space, a total, including corridor space, of 57,992 square feet. A three-level parking garage is proposed, with a masonry and brick façade, with level one holding 71 spaces, level two with 77 spaces and level three with 59 spaces, a total of 207 spaces.

In response to Mr. Sander’s questions, Mr. Mill referred to page #3 of exhibit A-6. He noted that the Church is 42 feet to grade, with steps to Sycamore Street. The Church is 44 feet high when measured from the street. At mean roof level, the proposed building is 34 feet 8 inches. The highest point, on certain architectural features, is 39 feet three inches. The design aspects comply with the redevelopment agreement. The redevelopment agreement anticipated a total building size of 62,570 square feet.

Mr. Mill reviewed all variance requests:

  • Height relief of 4.8 feet, the Ordinance refers to mean roof line from average grade;
  • Front yard setback, a setback of one foot for the retaining wall, and 7.2 feet at its closest point for the building;
  • Rear yard setback of 4.8 feet to maximize parking spaces;
  • Disturbance of steep slopes, which were man made to create existing parking lot;
  • Disturbance of woodland of 0.307 acres, which is coincidental to the steep slopes, and is necessary for grading and drainage;
  • Reduction of parking stall size to 9 feet by 18 feet with double striping, for angled parking;
  • Off-street parking in yard 4.8 feet instead of 5 feet from property line;
  • Two loading areas of 15 feet by 32 feet, instead of the required loading berths;
  • Reduced parking of 207 spaces instead of the required 399 spaces.

Mr. Sander entered as Exhibit A-7, a parking demand analysis for shared parking for Friday and Saturday, revised on December 5, 2006.

Mr. Smith objected to Mr. Mill’s testimony on shared parking, as he is not a traffic engineer, and to the exhibit, as it is speculative. The objections were overruled.

In response to Mr. Sander’s questions, Mr. Mill said that a single restaurant, open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, brunch, lunch and dinner on weekends, is anticipated for the building. Exhibit A-7 was prepared using the ITE traffic manual. Referring to the analysis, Mr. Mill noted that the only parking deficits occur on Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings in December.

Mr. Mill said that the Board of Supervisors agreed to support the variance requests as follows:

  • Front yard setbacks;
  • Rear yard setbacks –needed for the parking structure;
  • A side yard setback, if necessary, to accommodate an additional parking garage level;
  • Building Height;
  • Steep slopes;
  • Woodland disturbance;
  • Two loading areas instead of loading berths to accommodate 32-foot box trucks, with deliveries at off hours;
  • Parking, to allow a third level of the parking garage to provide a total of 200 parking stalls with reduced size with the conditions that Newtown Presbyterian Church members have access to the garage for Sunday services and Church sponsored events and that all employees park inside the garage.

The applicant is agreeable to the conditions that deliveries be during off hours, that the restaurant use be limited to one restaurant occupying 5900 square feet, and that the parking spaces be double striped.

Mr. Auchinleck suggested that the application be continued to a special meeting in January, in order to allow the parties to review documents and prepare questions, and to allow the applicant to provide additional documentation missing from the exhibits.

Mr. Smith requested that witnesses not be coached for cross-examination.

Chairman Wall said that this is an administrative hearing, and not a trial; he asked that all parties and witnesses observe the canon of ethics.

Solicitor Paul Beckert, representing Newtown Township, read into the record the following statement of the Township’s position in support of the application:

“On behalf of Newtown Township, I have been directed, after some preliminary comments, to state the position of the Township with regard to the variance request pending before the Zoning Hearing Board.  The position of Newtown Township is as follows:

Newtown Township, in order to facilitate the redevelopment of the former Acme site on Sycamore Street, formed a visioning committee and went through a review process which culminated in a Redevelopment Agreement between the Township and Elliot Builders. Part of that Agreement provides that by contractual obligation the Township must support variances consistent with the Redevelopment Agreement.

While the Township has expressed no opinion and by it’s appearance does not express an opinion that this plan either meets the terms of the Redevelopment Agreement or does not, and in no way commits the Board or Township as to any future matters as to the conditional use or land development application, the Board attempted to review this application in good faith in order to act in a manner consistent with the spirit of the Township’s contractual obligation to state the position of the Township as to the specific variance requests.

The Township recognizes that the Zoning Hearing Board is an independent hearing tribunal. Nothing within the Redevelopment Agreement legally could, nor impliedly does, suggest a result before this body. Nor should the contract the Township entered into or the Township’s position be construed in any way to be an attempt to usurp your role to review the variances pending before you independently and pursuant to your obligation to determine same pursuant to the Municipality Planning Code, applicable case law and the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance.

The Township has instructed me to appear on behalf of the Township and set forth the Township’s position with regard to the specific variance requests of the applicant. Those positions are as follows:

  1. The Township supports the applicant’s request for front and rear yard variances.
  2. The Township supports the applicant’s request for variances for disturbances of steep slopes and wooded lots.
  3. The Township supports the variance request for height variances.
  4. The Township supports the applicant’s request for variances to allow 9x18 foot parking stall sizes.
  5. The Township supports the applicant’s request for off street loading variances on the following conditions:

    (a) All refuse and trash collection shall be at off hours;

    (b) That deliveries by 32 foot box trucks or greater be at off hours;

    (c) That only UPS size vehicles be permitted deliveries during business hours and no deliveries be made on or from Sycamore Street.

  6. The Township supports the applicant’s request for side yard variance relief on the North side of the property on the condition that all parking stalls be double striped.
  7. The Township supports the applicant’s variance request as to parking on the following conditions:

(a) That the second floor of the proposed building be a D-1 Office Use only and contain a maximum of 30,440 square feet;

(b) That the first floor Retail E-1 Use be a maximum of 20,900 square feet of retail uses;

(c) That the Restaurant Use E-5 have only one user and be limited to a square foot allocation of 5,960 square feet;

(d) That a third level be added to the parking garage and that the total parking garage facility be required to contain at least 200 spaces;

(e) That all employees be required to park within the parking garage.

Finally, if the Board were of a mind to grant variance relief especially related to parking, the Township would request a provision that the applicant agree that nothing within any variance that may be granted shall limit the Township’s review of any conditional use or land development, including a consideration of the overall parking as to the general request for a conditional use or as each individual tenant or end user makes application for conditional use, in order to permit the Township to assure that the parking spaces are adequate as to the actual user, including a consideration of the number of employees proposed, the nature of the actual use, the hours of operation and any other relevant consideration as may actually be sought in any potential future conditional use application.”

Board members, and all parties to the application, requested a copy of Mr. Beckert’s statement in writing.

Mr. Auchinleck asked Mr. Sander if he would agree to order a transcript of this evening’s hearing, and provide the Zoning Hearing Board with a copy. Mr. Sander agreed.

In response to Mr. Sander’s question, Mr. Mill said that the applicant is agreeable to all of the conditions outlined in the Township’s statement in support of the application.

Mrs. Bowe moved to continue the application to January 22, 2007. Mr. Katz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Bowe moved to adjourn at 11:00 PM. Mr. Katz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary