ZONING HEARING BOARD
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF MARCH 5, 2009
The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, March 5, 2009 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: John Lenihan, Chairman; David Katz, Vice Chairman; Karen Doorley, Secretary; Mario Lionetti and William Wall, members. Also in attendance were: James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Esq., Solicitor, Richard O’Brien, Codes Officer 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 February 5 and February 19, 2009. Mr. Lionetti seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Continued Application of OHB Homes, Inc.
Mr. Auchinleck reminded the Board that this meeting had been continued at the February 19, 2009 special meeting to April 5, 2009, however it had appeared in the advertisement for this evening before the special meeting of February 19 had taken place. He suggested that a motion to continue should be made.
Mr. Wall moved to continue the application of OHB Homes, Inc. to April 5, 2009. Mrs. Doorley seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Approval of Findings pertaining to decision not to continue hearings after withdrawal of application of Leo G. Holt
Mr. Auchinleck reminded the Board that in 2006 and 2007 the Board had held hearings on the application of Leo G. Holt. On June 6, 2007 Mr. Holt withdrew his application; the Zoning Hearing Board held no further hearings. Other parties to the application had requested that hearings be continued and filed a mandamus action to compel the Board to continue and render a decision on the challenge to the validity of the Federal Cemetery Overlay (FCO) Ordinance. The Court has ordered that the Zoning Hearing Board render findings on its decision to not hold further hearings. He has presented the Board with a draft of the findings, and at its February 5, 2009 meeting, parties and interested residents made comment. The Board had tabled the discussion to allow for additional parties, not in attendance on February 5, 2009, to have an opportunity to comment.
Mr. Katz moved to un-table the discussion of the approval of findings pertaining to the decision not to continue hearings after the withdrawal of the application of Leo G. Holt. Mr. Wall seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Lenihan asked if any parties to the application who had not spoken at the February 5, 2009 meeting would like to make public comment on the issuance of findings.
Otto Schneider, a party to the application was sworn in. Mr. Schneider asked that the Board continue to hold hearings and render a decision on the challenge to the validity of the Ordinance.
Mr. Auchinleck reminded the Board that a copy of the draft findings had been provided to them for consideration. He noted that a typographical error noted by Mr. Lionetti would be corrected.
The Board members agreed that they have reviewed the findings.
Mr. Wall moved to approve findings pertaining to the decision not to continue hearings after withdrawal of the application of Leo G. Holt. Mr. Lionetti seconded.
Discussion of motion: Mrs. Doorley said that she had not been part of the Zoning Hearing Board at the time of the hearings, and would not be voting to approve. She would prefer to continue to hear from the residents at the May meeting.
The motion passed 4-1, with Mrs. Doorley voting nay.
Mr. Auchinleck said that all parties to the application would receive a copy of the findings by mail.
Mr. Wall moved to adjourn at 7:40 PM. Mr. Lionetti seconded and the motion passed 5-0.
Mr. Wall complimented Mr. Lenihan for his work as chairman during this very difficult hearing.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary