NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 4, 2007

The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, October 4, 2007 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: William J. Wall, Chairman; Victoria Bowe, Vice-Chairman; Gail Laughlin and John Lenihan, members. Also in attendance were: James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Esq., Solicitor; Michael Solomon, Zoning Officer and William Campbell, Stenographer.

Call to Order

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

The Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Bowe moved to accept the minutes of September 6, 2007. Mr. Lenihan seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

The agenda was reviewed:

  • Application of Daren & Lori Aita - 16 Millstone Drive
  • Application of Michael Burns, - 35 Crittenden Drive
  • Application of Richard & Trisha Brandimarte - 1 Thornbury Lane
  • Application of The Heritage Co./Cosi Café - 104 Pheasant Run
  • Application of Sycamore Restaurant LLC/ Newtown Irish Pub - 240 N. Sycamore Street
  • Application of Kieffer & Co. Inc./Petsmart - 2600 South Eagle Road
  • Application of Sycamore Restaurant LLC/ Newtown Irish Pub

Mr. Auchinleck read into the record the application of Sycamore Restaurant Group LLC, KLS RYAN LP owners, requesting a special exception under Section 602(A)(3)(a) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit an E-17 Tavern Use. The subject property is 240 North Sycamore Street, Newtown, in the PC Planned Commercial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-3-24-2.

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that he had received a letter from the attorney for the applicant requesting that this hearing be continued.

Mr. Wall moved to continue the application of Sycamore Restaurant LLC to November 1, 2007. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Application of Kieffer & Co. Inc./Petsmart

Mr. Auchinleck read into the record the application of Newtown Center Associates / Kieffer & Co, Newtown Center Associates owners requesting a variance from Section 1106(H)(4)(a), (c)(2)(a), and (d) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit three establishment identification signs for PETSMART totaling 199.28 square feet where one 20 square feet sign is permitted with a height of 17 feet where the maximum is nine feet. The subject property is 2600 South Eagle Road, Newtown, in the PC Planned Commercial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-10-85.

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that the attorney for the applicant has requested that this application be continued.

Mr. Lenihan moved to continue the application of Kieffer & Company/Petsmart to a special meeting on October 23, 2007. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of Daren and Lori Aita

Mr. Auchinleck read into the record the application of Daren and Lori Aita, Daren and Lori Aita owners requesting a variance from Section 401B of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 and Penns Preserve final plan to permit construction of a patio, walkway and storage shed resulting in 6,258 square feet impervious surface where 5,292 is permitted and a 36 feet rear yard where 50 feet is required. The subject property is 16 Millstone Drive, Newtown, in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-48-38.

Daren Aita was sworn in.

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

Mr. Aita said that he wanted to put a patio and shed in his rear yard, and wanted a walkway to connect the patio to the driveway.

In response to Mr. Lenihan’s question, Mr. Solomon said that the shed must have a 12 foot setback, and the plans show a 20 foot setback.

Mr. Aita said that he is not sure of the height of the shed, but it is 10 feet by 10 feet. He entered the following exhibits:

  • Exhibit A-1 – Approval of the Penns Preserve Covenants Committee
  • Exhibit A-2 – three e-mails and one letter from neighbors expressing approval of plans.

In response to Mr. Auchinleck’s question, Mr. Aita said that another residential property is to the rear of his home. In response to Mr. Wall’s question, Mr. Aita explained that the agent who sold his home told him that his was the one of the largest lots in the development. He had been told that his lot would have 20% impervious surface, about 7,000 square feet, more than enough to add a patio or any other addition he might want. He learned later that the impervious surface was averaged out through the entire development.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from Section 401B of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 and Penns Preserve final plan to permit construction of a patio, walkway and storage shed resulting in 6,258 square feet impervious surface where 5,292 is permitted and a 36 feet rear yard where 50 feet is required. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Application of Michael Burns

Mr. Auchinleck read into the record the application of Michael Burns, Michael Burns owners requesting a variance from Section 1000(E)(4) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit an 8 feet by 8 feet storage shed with 3 feet side and rear yard set backs where 9 feet is required. The subject property is 35 Crittenden Drive, Newtown, in the R1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-23-112.

Michael Burns was sworn in.

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

Mr. Burns said that he would like to place a storage shed in his yard, close to the property line, to allow for maximum use of the yard and to provide some privacy, as his home backs onto Eagle Road. The closest neighbor has a 5 foot high fence, so the view of the shed would be obstructed. In response to Mr. Lenihan’s question, he said that he is not sure of the height. His development does have a homeowners association, but he had not yet made application for approval of the shed; he made the variance application first. He said that the shed would be three feet from the neighbor’s fence, so he would be able to maintain the lawn.

Mr. Lenihan said that he had visited the site, and confirmed that the neighbor’s fence would partially obscure the shed. He also noted the proximity of the home to Eagle Road, and agreed that the shed would contribute some privacy to the yard.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mrs. Bowe moved to grant variance from Section 1000(E)(4) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit an 8 feet by 8 feet storage shed with 3 feet side and rear yard set backs where 9 feet is required. Mrs. Laughlin seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Application of Richard and Patricia Brandimarte

Mr. Auchinleck read into the record the application of Richard and Patricia Brandimarte, Richard and Patricia Brandimarte owners requesting a variance from Section 803 H-3)(1)(a)(e) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit 160 linear feet of 5 feet high PVC fence with a portion in the front yard where the maximum height is 3 feet. The subject property is 1 Thornbury Lane, Newtown, in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-44-293.

Richard Brandimarte was sworn in.

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

Mr. Brandimarte said that he would like to install a 5 foot fence around his yard, which is a corner property. He noted that the advertisement said there were 160 linear feet of fence, but his intention is to install 256 linear feet of fence.

Mr. Auchinleck said that the variance is needed for 160 feet of fence.

Mr. Brandimarte said that he has two very young children and his home is on a very busy corner. His next door neighbor’s child has been hit by a car, so he would like the fence for the safety of his children. His homeowners association has no problem with the height of the fence, but had some concern about the distance from the fence to the sidewalk, which will be 20 feet. He showed the Board a brochure with pictures of the proposed fence.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mrs. Laughlin moved to grant a variance from Section 803 H-3)(1)(a)(e) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit 160 linear feet of 5 feet high PVC fence with a portion in the front yard where the maximum height is 3 feet. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Application of The Heritage Company

Mr. Auchinleck read into the record the application of The Heritage Company, Cameron C. Troilo Properties owners, requesting a variance from Section 11056(H)(4)(d) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a facade sign 10 feet 4 inches above grade where the maximum permitted is 9 feet. The subject property is 104 Pheasant Run, Newtown Business Commons, Newtown, in the LI Light Industrial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-10-144.

Chad Novak was sworn in.

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

Mr. Novak said that he is planning to open a Cosi Café in the Newtown Business Commons. The building has a marquis over the door area, where he would like to place the sign. That marquis is higher than the 9 feet allowed by the Ordinance. He entered as Exhibit A-1 a photograph of the building, marking in pen where the Cosi Café lettering would appear. The sign would be back lit.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from Section 11056(H)(4)(d) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a facade sign 10 feet 4 inches above grade where the maximum permitted is 9 feet. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Mr. Lenihan moved to adjourn at 8:00 PM. Mr. Wall seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary