ZONING HEARING BOARD
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF AUGUST 7, 2008
The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, August 7,, 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. and William Campbell, Stenographer.
Call to Order
Mr. Lenihan called the meeting to Order at 7:30 PM.
The Pledge of Allegiance
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Katz moved to accept the minutes of July 3, 2008. Mr. Wall seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
The agenda was reviewed:
Continued Application of Michael Sullivan
Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that this applicant has made significant amendments to the application, and it will have to be re-advertised. The applicant has requested a continuance to September 4, 2008.
Mr. Katz moved to continue the application of Michael Sullivan to September 4, 2008. Mr. Wall seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Application of Neil Morris
Mr. Katz read the application of Neil Morris, owner, requesting a variance from Section 405(B) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit an increase of the existing driveway by adding 643 square feet resulting in an impervious surface ratio of 19.45% where the maximum permitted by ordinance is 13% and by prior variance is 17.04%. The subject property is 429 Taylor Avenue, Newtown, in the R-2 High Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-22-10.
Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that the applicant has requested a postponement of the reviews by the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission until late August, and has requested a continuance of the application until September 4, 2008.
Mr. Wall moved to continue the application of Neil Morris to September 4, 2008. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Continued Application of Mike & Michelle Reilly
Mr. Auchinleck reminded the Board that this application had been opened at a previous meeting and continued. It has already been read into the record.
Michael Reilly and Chris Keiser of Carlton Pools were sworn in.
Mr. Lenihan asked if anyone wished to be party to this application. There was no response.
Mr. Reilly said that he had applied for a variance for 2,444 additional square feet of impervious surface to build a patio, pool and walkway. After reviewing the application with the Board of Supervisors, he has altered his plans, reducing the request to 1,444 additional square feet. The plans now show a 1000 square foot pool with 800 square feet of impervious decking surrounding the pool. A concrete walkway from the basement is still in the plan. The larger patio area has been replaced by a deck that is not impervious. He entered as Exhibit A-1 the revised plan. In response to Mr. Auchinleck’s question, he said that he would leave the area beneath the deck as grass.
Mr. Reilly noted that his property backs onto his development’s retention basin, and slopes toward the basin. In response to Mr. Katz’s question, he said that he would be willing to install a seepage bed if required by the Board.
Mr. Keiser said that he will work with Township Engineers on stormwater management to tie roof leaders to the seepage area and to control run-off from the increased impervious surface.
Mr. Wall asked if there are other pools in the development.
Mr. Reilly said that his is the first pool in the development. He had lived in Pheasant Pointe in the Township and had a pool, which did not require a variance. Before purchasing his new home he checked with the builder’s representative and the codes department to determine whether a pool would be permitted, and he was assured that it would be, although he did not have a specific plan for this pool at the time. Because this is a larger lot, he was surprised to learn that a variance would be necessary.
Mrs. Doorley expressed some concern about the stormwater management for this development, noting that in recent storms there has been run-off onto Washington Crossing Road. She had concerns about granting a variance without addressing the additional run-off. She also asked about placement of the pool mechanical equipment.
Mr. Keiser said that the pool equipment would be placed on concrete pads, which would be included in the requested 800 square feet, and would be placed within the setbacks.
Mr. Katz reviewed the permitted square footage for his property, noting that Mr. Reilly’s property was permitted 6,000 square feet, or 26.43% impervious surface. The increase would amount to a 25% increase over what is permitted.
Mr. Katz moved to grant a variance from the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 as affected by the Final Plan of Foxhall Estates to permit an in-ground swimming pool with patio and walk resulting in impervious coverage of 7,444 square feet where the maximum permitted is 6,000 square feet , subject to the condition that a stormwater management system be designed and installed to contain run-off above the permitted 26.43% impervious surface, and any backwater from the pool is to be diverted to the seepage pit. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Application of OLLY, USA, LLC
Mr. Katz read into the record the application of OLLY USA LLC, Newtown Center Associates owners requesting a variance from Section 1106(H)(4)(c)(2)(a) and 1106(H)(4)(d) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit the installation of a 24 square feet wall mounted individual establishment sign. The subject property is 2690 South Eagle Road, Newtown, in the PC Planned Commercial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-10-85.
Kyle Hipple, director of real estate and construction for OLLY Shoes, was sworn in.
Mr. Lenihan asked if anyone present wished to be party to this application. There was no response.
Mr. Hipple said that OLLY Shoes would like a 24-square foot sign, mounted 14.5 feet above grade at the Village at Newtown Shopping Center. The shop is in the same building as Petsmart. He showed the Board a photograph of the building, noting that the owner of the shopping center had placed sign panels over the doors of each shop. OLLY’s will removed the white panel and mount the OLLY logo letters directly on the façade of the building. They will be illuminated by gooseneck lamps.
In response to Mr. Lenihan’s questions, Mr. Hipple said that there are other OLLY stores in Cherry Hill, Mt. Laurel, North Wales and Ardmore. Some of the other stores have similar signs. The lights would use incandescent bulbs, unless the Board would prefer florescent bulbs.
Mrs. Bowe said that the sign seems too large and she does not feel that the shopping center owners should dictate the size and location of signs by placing panels on buildings. She did not object to the height variance request.
Mr. Wall said that the larger size is needed because the shop is set back from the road and is overshadowed by the very large Petsmart sign.
Mr. Katz agreed, noting that the sign is sized to complement the opening of the doorway.
Mr. Lenihan agreed with Messrs. Katz and Wall. He asked whether the temporary sign that has been placed at the site is the same size as the permanent sign, and about timing of the lights.
Mr. Hipple said that the sign and the letters are the same size. The temporary sign and the white panel will be removed. The lights will go on at 6:00 PM and go off at 11:00 PM.
Mr. Wall moved to grant a variance from Section 1106(H)(4)(c)(2)(a) and 1106(H)(4)(d) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit the installation of a 24 square feet wall mounted individual establishment sign. Mr. Katz seconded and the motion passed 3-2, wit Mrs. Bowe and Mrs. Doorley voting nay.
Mr. Wall moved to adjourn at 8:15 PM. Mrs. Bowe seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary