NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF OCTOBER 6, 2011

The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, October 6, 2011 in the Newtown Township Administration Building. In attendance and voting were: Karen Doorley, Chairman, Brandon Wind, Vice Chairman, Mario Lionetti and Tim Potero, members. Also in attendance were: James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Esq., Solicitor and Michael Hartley, Code Enforcement Office and William Campbell, Stenographer.

Call to Order

Mrs. Doorley called the meeting to order at 7:34 P.M. and introduced the members of the Board, the Solicitor, the Recording Secretary and the Stenographer

The Pledge of Allegiance

Mrs. Doorley asked the Solicitor if there were any additions or corrections to the agenda. Mr. Auchinleck advised there were none, but that he would like to discuss the next scheduled meeting prior to adjourning the meeting.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Lionetti reported he had one revision on page two. The first word of the second line should be “red”.

Mr. Potero moved to accept the minutes of August 4, 2011 as corrected. Mrs. Doorley seconded and the motion passed with two members abstaining (2-0-2).

Application of Steve Grosso, 522 Washington Crossing Road

Mr. Lionetti read into the record the application of Steve Grosso, owner, requesting a variances from sections 404 (C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 2007 to permit a 15 ft by 20 ft addition resulting in a rear yard set back of 30 feet where 60 feet is required and a special exception under section 1208(C)(2) to permit construction of an addition on a non-conforming lot. The subject property is 522 Washington Crossing Road, in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District, being known as tax parcel number 29-3-74.

Mr. Steve Grosso was sworn in.

Mrs. Doorley asked if anyone wished to be party to this application. There was no response.

Mr. Grosso reported that the request is for an addition to the home. He provided the Board with correspondence from two adjacent neighbors stating that they are not opposed to the addition. He commented on the irregular shape of the lot driving the variance request. He noted that the side of the property that the addition is being proposed is lined with trees.

Mr. Auchinleck noted that the two documents received were from the adjacent residents at 518 Washington Crossing Road and 526 Washington Crossing Road. He inquired as to the size of the adjacent properties. Mr. Grosso stated that he was unsure of the exact sizes, but he believes the property to the right of his is a larger lot and that the property to the left is more regularly shaped.

Mrs. Doorley asked if the property already has a pool and commented on the plan showing a new pool. Mr. Grosso reported that he purchased the property last fall; the pool already exists and that this plan, with the exception of the proposed addition is an old plan provided by the Zoning Department.

Mrs. Doorley asked the other members if they had any questions or comments. They had none.

Mr. Lionetti moved to grant variances from sections 404 (C) of the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 2007 to permit a 15 ft by 20 ft addition resulting in a rear yard set back of 30 feet where 60 feet is required and a special exception under section 1208(C)(2) to permit construction of an addition on a non-conforming lot. The subject property is 522 Washington Crossing Road, in the CM Conservation Management Zoning District, being known as tax parcel number 29-3-74.Mr. Wind seconded and the motion passed (4-0).

Application of Newtown Business Commons Association, 3 Penns Trail/210 Penns Trail

Mr. Lionetti read into the record the application of Newtown Business Commons Association, Doug Terry, owner, requesting variances from sections 1106(C)(3)(a), 1106(C)(4), and 1106(K)(2)(c) the Joint Municipal Zoning Ordinance of 2007 to permit a 48 square feet complex identification sign where 24 square feet is permitted, closer than 4 feet from the legal right of way, and within 1000 feet of the Bypass. The subject property is 210 Penns Trail, Newtown, in the LI Light Industrial Zoning District, being further known as Tax Map Parcel ## 29-10-136

Mrs. Doorley asked if anyone wished to be party to this application. There was no response.

Mr. Richard Weaver was sworn in.

Mr. Weaver updated the members on the request from the Newtown Business Commons to erect an identification sign at the corner of Penns Trail and the Newtown Bypass. He advised that at this time the request is for only one sign due to some issues with the property owner at the second proposed sign location (Newtown-Yardley Road and the Newtown Bypass). Both locations were designated by the Board of Supervisors. He reported on the changes to the pictures provided to the Board are that the sign does not show the directional arrow (which was approved in the land development final plan approval) and that the sign would be located within the fence line (a section of the fence will be removed).

Mrs. Doorley inquired as to how far from the Bypass the sign would be located. Mr. Weaver reported that the proposed location is approximately 35 feet. from the Bypass and that the location is inside of Mr. Terry’s property.

One member inquired if the sign would become part of the fencing. Mr. Weaver stated that the sign would butt up against both sides of the existing fence.

Mr. Wind asked if the existing Re/Max sign would be removed and noted that the property already has two signs. Mr. Weaver did not know if the sign would be removed.

Mrs. Doorley inquired as to who is paying for the proposed sign and commented on the sign having information for Homewood Suites. Mr. Weaver advised that having Homewood Suites on the sign was part of the final land development agreement and that Hilton was covering the cost of the sign.

Mrs. Doorley commented with regards to the directional sign and other businesses in the Newtown Commons wanting to put out signs. Mr. Weaver reported on the master plan with regards to business directional signs in the Commons.

Mrs. Doorley advised that the Township has never allowed a sign within 1,000 feet of the Bypass.

Mr. Weaver commented on other business/associations with signs close to the Bypass.

Mrs. Doorley advised that she is not in favor of approving this appeal.

The members discussed if two signs are permitted at this location. Mr. Auchinleck reported that two signs are allowed.

The members discussed the location and appearance of the second Newtown Business Commons identification sign. Mr. Weaver advised that the second sign would be located at the intersection of Newtown-Yardley Road and the Bypass.

The members discussed the number of signs currently on the property (Penns Trail and the Newtown Bypass). It was agreed that there are two existing signs and if this sign is approved that would increase the number of signs on the property to three. Mr. Weaver reported that the final land development approval for Homewood Suites granted the third sign.

Mr. Lionetti suggested that the matter be continued.

Mr. Auchinleck prefers the Board continue the matter only if they agree to allow the sign within 1,000 feet of the Newtown Bypass. The members agreed that they are okay with a campus sign being within 1,000 feet of the Bypass.

Mr. Auchinleck suggested for Mr. Weaver to get the location and sizes of the signs that already exist on the property for the next meeting.

Mr. Auchinleck asked if there were any November applications. Mr. Hartley reported that he believes there may be one.

The members discussed continuing this matter until the November 3, 2011 meeting.

Mr. Lionetti moved to continue the application of Newtown Business Commons Association to November 3, 2011. Mr. Potero seconded and the motion passed (4-0).

Mr. Lionetti asked Mr. Weaver what his relationship is with the Newtown Business Commons. Mr. Weaver reported that he is the Executive Director for the Newtown Business Commons Association; it is a volunteer position.

Other Business

Mr. Auchinleck commented on the Board’s next meeting and the Promenade appeal. The members agreed there would be no special meeting on October 27, 2011 and that the appeal for the Promenade would be on November 3, 2011.

Adjournment

Mr. Lionetti moved to adjourn at 8:04 P.M. Mrs. Doorley seconded and the motion passed (4-0).


Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary