ZONING HEARING BOARD
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF FEBRUARY 7, 2013
The Newtown Township Zoning Hearing Board met on Thursday, February 7, 2013 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Vice Chairman Brandon Wind, Secretary Mario Lionetti and members Timothy Potero and Michael Iapalucci. Also in attendance were: James J. Auchinleck, Jr., Esq., Solicitor, Martin Vogt, Code Enforcement Officer and Justine Gregor, Stenographer.
Call to Order: Mr. Wind called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.
The agenda was reviewed:
Reorganization of Zoning Hearing Board
Continued Application of 15 Swamp Road LTD (Meglio’s), 15 Swamp Road
Continued Application of S&H Security, LLC, 74 Richboro Road
Application of Barre 3 Studio, 2875 South Eagle Road
Application of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 2829 South Eagle Road
Reorganization of Board
Mr. Potero moved to nominate Mrs. Doorley to serve as chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board. Mr. Iapalucci seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Mr. Lionetti moved to nominate Mr. Wind to serve as vice chairman. Mr. Potero seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Mr. Potero moved to nominate Mr. Lionetti to serve as secretary. Mr. Wind seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Mr. Wind moved to appoint Mr. Auchinleck as solicitor. Mr. Lionetti seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Mr. Wind moved to appoint Justine Gregor as stenographer. Mr. Lionetti seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Mr. Wind moved to appoint Mary Donaldson as recording secretary. Mr. Potero seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Approval of Minutes
Mr. Potero moved to approve the minutes of January 3, 2013. Mr. Iapalucci seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Continued Application of 15 Swamp Road
Mr. Lionetti moved to continue the application of 15 Swamp Road to March 7, 2013. Mr. Potero seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Continued Application of S&H Security
Mr. Lionetti moved to continue the application of S&H Security to March 7, 2013. Mr. Potero seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Application of Barre 3
Mr. Lionetti read into the record the application of Barre 3, lessee, Newtown Village Plaza Associates LP, owners, requesting variances from sections 602(A) to permit a fitness studio (C-3 commercial school use) where such use is not permitted. The subject property is 2875 South Eagle Road, in the PC Planned Commercial Zoning District, being known as tax parcel number 29-3-24-6.
Mr. Wind asked if anyone wished to be party to this application. There was no response.
David and Lauren Ziel were sworn in.
Mr. Ziel explained that Mrs. Ziel would be starting the business of a commercial school in the free-standing building at Village at Newtown Shopping Center opposite Friends. The school will occupy one half of the building, 2600 square feet. He believed the other half of the building might become a medical office.
Mrs. Ziel said that Barre 3 is an exercise studio instructing students in a new form of workout which involves a combination of ballet, yoga and pilates. Each class runs 60 minutes. The space will have two classrooms with classes staggered so that all students are not arriving and departing at the same time. There will be a small childcare area for babies to play while their parents work out.
Mr. Wind questioned location of men’s restrooms/locker rooms.
Mrs. Ziel said that she expected the most students will probably be women. There is a restroom not specifically designated for men or women. This would be available to men.
Mr. Ziel said that he is still in lease negotiations with the shopping center owner. He has an agreement for 45 designated parking spaces at the site.
Mrs. Ziel entered as Exhibit A-1 a schedule of classes. She said that the classes would run early in the morning, probably beginning at about 6:30 AM. There might be a mid-morning class, then late afternoon/early evenings. The last class would begin at 7:30 PM and the studio would lock up by 9:00 PM. She expected to have 4 to 5 employees, including herself, a receptionist, someone to care for children and two instructors.
Mr. Lionetti asked the maximum number of students on site.
Mrs. Ziel said that the space could accommodate up to 22 students in room #1 and 18 students in room #2.
Mr. Auchinleck asked whether the Ziels have any other studios.
Mrs. Ziel said that this is her first studio.
Mr. Wind asked about proposed signage.
Mr. Ziel said that he had already discussed this with the Planning Commission and Codes Department. Right now he would install signs that comply with the Ordinance, but he would return to the Zoning Hearing Board with the final signage package in the spring. He hoped to be open for business in June.
Mr. Vogt had no comment.
Mr. Lionetti moved to grant a variance from sections 602(A) to permit a fitness studio (C-3 commercial school use) where such use is not permitted. Mr. Potero seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Application of Brazilian
Mr. Lionetti read into the record the application of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lessee, Newtown Village Plaza Associates LP owner, requesting a variance from section 602A to permit a martial arts commercial school (C-3 Commercial School Use) where such use is not permitted. The subject property is 2829 S Eagle Road, village at Newtown Shopping Center in the PC Planned Commercial Zoning District.
Mr. Wind asked if anyone wished party status. There was no response.
Ally Almeida was sworn in.
Mrs. Almeida said that she and her husband have had a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy in Hamilton New Jersey. They wish to open a second location in Newtown. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a form of self-defense similar to judo. Their academy provides instructions to both children and adults. Children begin training at three years of age.
Mr. Iapalucci asked about hours of operation.
Mrs. Almeida said that the studio would hold classes from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, and Saturday morning from 9:00 AM until noon. If the studio is successful, Saturday classes might run until 1:00 PM and there might be a need for Sunday morning classes. This is the same as the New Jersey school. The space can accommodate one class at a time, and depending on the age and skill level of students will have between 20 and 30 students. The length of the classes, between 30 and 90 minutes, depends on the age of the students. Most of the children are dropped off and picked up. Parents do not stay for the classes.
Mr. Iapalucci asked whether the Township has any concern about queues of parents waiting for drop off. He said that in his experience as a parent, he usually parked and walked his child into lessons. The other members agreed that queuing should not be a concern.
Mr. Vogt said that the Township does not have any concern about queuing.
Mr. Potero moved to grant a variance from section 602A to permit a martial arts commercial school (C-3 Commercial School Use) where such use is not permitted. Mr. Iapalucci seconded and the motion passed 4-0.Mr. Iapalucci moved to adjourn at 8:30 PM. Mr. Potero seconded and the motion passed 4-0.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary