NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF APRIL 3, 2008

The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, April 3, 2008 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: John Lenihan, Chairman; Victoria Bowe, Vice Chairman; David Katz, Secretary; Karen Doorley and William Wall members. Also in attendance were: James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Esq., Solicitor, Michael Solomon, Zoning Officer and Justine Gregor, Stenographer.

Call to Order

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

The Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Minutes

Mrs. Doorley moved to accept the minutes of March 6, 2008. Mr. Katz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

The agenda was reviewed:

  • Continued Application of Lodestar Investments – 759 Newtown Yardley Road

  • Application of Dennis and Kathleen Morton – 14 Meridian Circle

 

Continued Application of Lodestar Investments

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that he had received a letter from Mr. Marte, attorney for the applicant, requesting that the application be continued.

Mr. Wall moved to continue toe application of Lodestar Investments to May 1, 2008. Mr. Katz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Application of Dennis and Kathleen Morton

Mr. Katz read into the record the application of Dennis and Kathleen Morton, Dennis and Kathleen Morton owners requesting a variance from Section 803(H-3)(1)(b) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a six feet high solid fence where the maximum height for a solid fence is 5 feet. The subject property is 14 Meridian Circle, Newtown, in the R1 Medium Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-29-35.

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

Dennis and Kathleen Morton were sworn in.

Mr. Morton explained that he has already installed the fence to block out his view of the area behind his neighbor’s shed, which is kept in a very neglected and messy state. He had gotten a permit for the fence from the Township and purchased a six foot fence, unaware that this would require a variance. He noted that the fences are only available in 4 foot and 6 foot heights, not 5 feet, which is what the Ordinance permits. He needed the higher fence because of the slope of his and his neighbor’s yards.

Mr. Lenihan said that a 6 foot fence would have been permitted if there were a 25% aperture at the top foot of the fence.

Mr. Morton again stated that his neighbor’s yard is very unsightly and he does not put his tools and toys away in the shed, only throws them behind the shed, facing his back yard. The height is needed to provide some privacy.

In response to Mrs. Doorley’s comment, Mr. Morton said that the mess is not visible from the street, only from his yard and from his rear windows.

Mr. Wall and Mr. Lenihan confirmed that they had each visited the site and think that the fence is necessary because of the slope of the property.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Resident David Hibbs, 19 Meridian Circle, said that he has lived at Meridian Circle for ten years. The Mortons need the fence to provide privacy and to screen their view. The yards are very close together in his neighborhood. He is in support of this application.

Mr. Wall move to grant a variance from Section 803(H-3)(1)(b) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a six feet high solid fence where the maximum height for a solid fence is 5 feet . Mrs. Doorley seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Katz moved to adjourn at 7:40 PM. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary