NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 2, 2008

The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, October 2, 2008 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: John Lenihan, Chairman; David Katz, Secretary, William Wall and Karen Doorley, member. Also in attendance were: James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Esq., Solicitor, Michael Solomon, Codes 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

Mr. Katz moved to accept the minutes of September 4, 2008. Mr. Wall seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

The agenda was reviewed:

  • Continued Application of Neil Morris – 429 Taylor Avenue

  • Continued Application of Erik & Stephanie Molden - 4 Foxhall Road

  • Continued Application of Alex Zhitomirsky - 12 Old Frost Road

  • Application of Kevin McPhillips - 40 Amaryllis Lane

  • Application of Brad Bernstein - 31 Camellia Court

  • Application of Christopher & Gina Crooks - 6 Hillview Drive

Continued Application of Neil Morris

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that he had a letter from the attorney representing Mr. Morris requesting that the application be continued to December 4, 2008, at the suggestion of the Board of Supervisors to attempt to resolve some outstanding issues.

Mrs. Doorley moved to continue the application of Neil Morris to December 4, 2008. Mr. Wall seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Continued Application of Alex Zhitomirsky

Mr. Auchinleck informed the Board that he had a letter from Mr. Zhitomirsky’s attorney withdrawing this application. No action by this Board is required.

Continued Application of Erik & Stephanie Molden

Mr. Auchinleck reminded that Board that this application had been opened and read into the record at the September meeting.

Eric and Stephanie Molden were sworn in.

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

Mr. Molden explained that he would like to install a pool and patio. He was not aware that the pool surface and pavers are considered impervious, as they are not impervious in Warrington, where he last lived. He is aware that some of his neighbors have already appeared before the Zoning Hearing Board seeking variances for impervious surface, so he has worked with his pool contractor and landscaper to reduce the size of the variance by 1000 square feet. His project now shows 7,925 square feet. He will be installing a seepage bed to contain the additional run-off. In response to Mr. Katz’s question, Mr. Molden said that the infiltration basin would accommodate run off from the entire, 2329 additional square feet of impervious surface to be added to his property. He would agree to a condition that the basin be reviewed by the Township Engineer.

Pool Contractor Bill Coyle was sworn in. He said that the permit application for the revised plan had only recently been submitted; there had not been a review letter issued.

In response to Mr. Lenihan’s question, Mr. Molden said that he has reduced the scope of the project as much as possible and has eliminated the walk out basement area.

Mr. Auchinleck asked that the revised plan dated September 16, 2008 be entered as Exhibit A-1.

In response to Mr. Auchinleck’s question, Mr. Molden said that there are woods behind his home; he believes this is the open space for the Woods of Saxony development.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mr. Katz moved to grant a variance from Section the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 as applies to Foxhall Estates to permit construction of an swimming pool, spa, coping, decking, and equipment pad resulting in an impervious surface ratio of 7,925 square feet where the maximum permitted is 6,000 square feet, subject to the condition that a stormwater management system, as depicted in Exhibit A-1, be installed to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer. Mrs. Doorley seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Application of Kevin McPhillips - 40 Amaryllis Lane

Mr. Katz read into the record the application of Kevin McPhillips, owner, 40 Amaryllis Lane requesting a variance from Sections 1000(E)(3)(b)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a wood deck and brick paver patio resulting in a side yard set back of 5.5 feet for the deck and 10.5 feet for the patio where 15 feet is required. The subject property is 40 Amaryllis Lane, Newtown, in the R-2 High Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-19-184.

Kevin McPhillips was sworn in.

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

Mr. McPhillips said that he would like to install a deck in his rear yard, which is only 17.5 feet deep. There is not sufficient room to place any deck or patio behind his house because the minimum setback is 15 feet. His plans show a 27 foot X 12 foot deck and a 70 square foot patio. His nearest neighbors on Jonquil Drive, whose property abuts the side of his house where he intends to place the patio, have no objection. He entered as Exhibit A-1 a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Wilson of 54 Jonquil Drive, expressing support for the project. He has been given verbal approval for the deck by the Newtown Grant Homeowners Association, but the written approval letter has not arrived yet.

In response to questions from the Board, Mr. McPhillips said that he does not have a fence, but would use landscaping and lattice to provide privacy from the street and the neighbors. The proposed plants would be 6 to 8 feet tall at time of purchase. He agreed with Mrs. Doorley’s request to make the deck only 10 feet wide, thus requiring a variance of 7.5 feet.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mrs. Doorley moved to grant a variance from Sections 1000(E)(3)(b)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit a wood deck and brick paver patio resulting in a side yard set back of 7.5 feet for the deck and 10.5 feet for the patio where 15 feet is required. Exhibit A-1, the letter of support from the adjoining neighbor and a letter from the Newtown Grant Homeowners Association are to be made part of the file in the Codes Office. Mr. Wall seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Application of Brad Bernstein - 31 Camellia Court

Mr. Katz read into the record the application of Brad Bernstein, owner, 31 Camilla Court, requesting a variance from Sections 1000(E)(3)(b)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit brick paver patio resulting in a side yard set back of 10 feet where 15 feet is required. The subject property is 431 Camilla Court, Newtown, in the R-2 High Density Residential Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-43-353.

Brad Bernstein was sworn in.

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

Mr. Bernstein said that he would like to install a patio which would abut his fence, which is 10 feet from his property line. He has not spoken to his neighbors, but he does have a letter of approval from his Homeowners Association. This was entered as Exhibit A-1. The side yard setback requirement is 3 feet, and the project meets that requirement.

Mr. Solomon had no comment.

Mr. Wall moved to grant a variance from Sections 1000(E)(3)(b)(2) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 to permit brick paver patio resulting in a side yard set back of 10 feet where 15 feet is required. Mr. Katz seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Application of Christopher & Gina Crooks - 6 Hillview Drive

Mr. Katz read into the record the application of Mr. And Mrs. Christopher Crooks, owners, 6 Hillview Drive, Lot 4 Foxhall Estates, requesting a variance from the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 as affected by the Foxhall Estates Final Plan, to permit a swimming pool, spa, coping, decking, and retaining wall resulting in 7,017 square feet of impervious surface area where the maximum permitted is 6,000 square feet. The subject property is 4 6 Hillview Drive, Lot 4 Foxhall Estates, Newtown, in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel #29-16-2-7.

Christopher Crooks was sworn in.

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

Mr. Crooks said that he would like to build a pool and patio with a total impervious surface of 7,017 square feet. His property currently has 5,269 square feet of impervious surface. He had learned through his neighbors that the Board of Supervisors has been asking residents of his development to address the additional run-off by installing stormwater management. He has asked Pickering Corts and Summerson to design a seepage bed for this project, which will be placed on the left side of the property. He does not have a neighbor to the rear, only some trees and the development’s detention basin. When he appeared before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors he was not asked to make any reduction in his plans.

Mr. Solomon asked that the proposed retaining wall be adjusted so that it is not within the stormwater easement.

Mr. Lenihan moved to grant a variance from the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 1983 as affected by the Foxhall Estates Final Plan, to permit a swimming pool, spa, coping, decking, and retaining wall resulting in 7,017 square feet of impervious surface area where the maximum permitted is 6,000 square feet, subject to the conditions that the retaining wall be kept out of the stormwater easement and that a seepage bed, as shown on the plan, be installed to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer. Mrs. Doorley seconded and the motion passed 4-0.  

Mr. Katz moved to adjourn at 8:45 PM. Mr. Wall seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary