ZONING HEARING BOARD
The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the
Zoning Hearing Board: Barbara Kirk, Chairman
Rudolph Mayrhofer, Vice Chairman
David Malinkowski, Secretary
Paul Bamburak, Member
Others: Grace Godshalk, Supervisor Liaison
Robert Habgood, Code Enforcement Officer
John Donaghy, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Allen Toadvine, Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor
Absent: Paul Kim, Alternate Member
APPEAL #06-1374 – DIANE & STEVEN BULLARD
Ms. Kirk stated that this matter had been previously
scheduled for a hearing before the Board at the first meeting in June at which
time a quorum was not present. It was then
APPEAL #06-1385 – OMNIPOINT COMMUNICATIONS ENTERPRISES, L.P.
d/b/a T-MOBILE USA, INC.
Ms. Kirk stated that a letter has been submitted by the Township Solicitor to the applicant’s attorney, William E. Benner, Esquire dated July 6, 2006 indicating that parties agree that the matter be continued to an August meeting before the Board in order that appropriate engineering reviews can be performed.
There was no public comment
Therefore, Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously
carried to grant the request for continuance until
APPEAL #06-1383 – SANDY S. SPEICHER
Ms. Sandy S. Speicher was present and was sworn in.
The Application submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1. Attached to the Application was an 8 ˝” x 11” site plan for the subject property which was marked as Exhibit A-2.
Ms. Speicher also submitted letters from neighbors surrounding existing property, new plan for the proposed addition, rear elevation, and a picture of surrounding neighbors showing that Ms. Speicher’s house is the smaller house. Ms. Kirk suggested that Ms. Speicher present the documents to Mr. Toadvine, Board Solicitor who will mark them as additional exhibits. Mr. Toadvine suggested to Ms. Kirk that the entire package will be marked as Exhibit A-3.
Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Toadvine based on the front page of Exhibit A-3 it appears that the applicant is seeking additional relief other than a variance for an increase in impervious surface as well as a rear yard set-back and side-yard setback. Ms. Speicher stated that the existing house is 13’ from her neighbor. Mr. Toadvine stated that the addition that Ms. Speicher proposed is going to maintain the same side-yard setback as the existing residence; however, the Application was not advertised for a side-yard setback. Ms. Kirk stated that it was not and in light of the fact that if Ms. Speicher submits a building permit it is going to become an issue at the time of review of the building permit application.
Ms. Kirk directed the question to Mr. Habgood who stated that the existing home is not in conformance because it does not meet the existing 15’ requirement. It would appear that the addition would maintain the current set-back. Mr. Toadvine asked Mr. Habgood if he would require Ms. Speicher to have a variance. Mr. Habgood replied no because Ms. Speicher is not increasing the non-conformance. Mr. Habgood stated to Mr. Toadvine that it is the township’s position that the side-yard variance is not required.
Ms. Kirk asked Ms. Speicher to explain exactly what she plans to do with the property so that Board has an understanding as to what she wants. Ms. Speicher is planning to build the addition since she will have an elderly family member moving in with her family. The addition would have a living area and bedroom with bathroom. Ms. Speicher has been living in this house since 1981.
Ms. Kirk stated that page 3 of Exhibit A-3 is the floor plan for the proposed one-story addition. In Exhibit A-3, page 4 it shows the rear of the property once the addition is completed. The 5th page of Exhibit A-3 is different than what was submitted as part of the original packet. Ms. Kirk stated that based on the information supplied in A-3 the new addition will be approximately 650 sq. ft. The property without the addition already exceeds the impervious surface coverage of 18%. Ms. Kirk asked who did the calculations for the impervious surface. Ms. Speicher replied, Ron Aragay, the architect for the project. Ms. Kirk stated that currently there is 30% impervious surface coverage as shown on the front page of Exhibit A-3 counting house and existing driveway. There
is currently a 20’ x 20’ patio on the existing property which will remain. Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Majewski and Mr. Habgood if they reviewed the calculations of existing impervious surface for the property. Mr. Majewski did the calculations and came up with an existing impervious surface of 31.7% and Mr. Habgood came up with 32%. Both agree that with the proposed addition the impervious surface would increase to 36%. Mr. Mayrhofer commented on the width of the driveway. Ms. Kirk asked Ms. Speicher if she did any improvements on the driveway. She replied no.
Mr. Donaghy stated the Township would like to be a party to this matter although they are not opposing the Application but have questions and suggestions.
It appears, per Mr. Habgood on the provided site plan, that a portion of the driveway is in front of the garage and extends towards the left, and it also appears the driveway extends further beyond the rest of the house. Ms. Speicher replied that it is directly to the path going to the back of the house. Mr. Toadvine asked Ms. Speicher to show Mr. Donaghy a picture depicting the driveway. Mr. Majewski stated that the approximate width of the driveway is 28’ at the garage door and at the street level approximate 18’. Ms. Kirk asked Ms. Speicher if there was any potential of removing part of the driveway that extends beyond the house itself to reduce the impervious surface requested. Ms. Speicher said if necessary she would do so. Mr. Mayrhofer asked Ms. Speicher if it was necessary for her to keep the sidewalk that wraps around the back of the house. She replied that it was necessary because it is the only access to the back of the house.
Ms. Kirk stated that the site plan as supplied by the architect makes it appear the driveway as against the garage doors is significantly larger than testimony. Ms. Kirk suggested to Ms. Speicher to speak to her architect to see if a portion of the driveway can be removed and the walk redone to swing into the driveway that would be left. Ms. Speicher said she would consider it.
Mr. Toadvine stated that Ms. Speicher is well over the impervious surface permitted and the Board is constrained to grant a variance as a result of the fact that it is needed to present the minimum variance necessary to accomplish the result. Mr. Toadvine also stated there could be a way to shave some impervious surface on the site possibly from 650 sq. ft. to between 200 – 300 sq ft.
Mr. Habgood stated that if the project could be decreased from 650’ to about 320 sq. ft. the Board would be more inclined to look at the project.
Mr. Toadvine stated that the Board is suggesting that the matter be continued and that Ms. Speicher discuss with her architect some areas on the site where impervious surface can be removed.
Mr. Donaghy refers to Exhibit A-3 proposed Option 1 first floor plan. This part of the Application is to have a variance from the rear yard setback from 40’ to 35’. It is a bedroom/living room. Mr. Donaghy asked if the bathroom would be handicapped
accessible. Ms. Speicher replied yes. Mr. Donaghy asked if there will be an additional exterior entrance to this addition. Applicant responds that there will not be an exterior entrance.
There was no public comment.
Ms. Kirk moved, and Mr. Mayrhofer seconded and it was
unanimously carried that this Application be continued until
APPEAL #06-1384 – PATRICK M. AND KIM ANNE BRENNAN
Mr. Patrick M. Brennan and his attorney, Mr. Marshall were sworn in.
Ms. Kirk stated that Application is for
The present Application is seeking a modification to that
relief. Mr. Marshall has three exhibits:
a) Exhibit A-1 – Plot Plan, b) Exhibit A-2, previous decision of December, 2005
and c) Exhibit A-3 – Denial of permit to this Application of
The nature of this Application is the applicant obtained approval to build a two story garage with required flood relief system. Applicant decided he would like to put a deck and stairs outside of garage on the second floor and to remove existing wood deck and replace with smaller wood deck. Neither of these issues of the building permit affects impervious coverage; however, because this lot is entirely in the resource protective area and entirely in the floodplain, the Zoning Officer appropriately denied those plans because those plans are not the ones currently before the Board.
The applicant is seeking further relief from the floodplain ordinance to allow the installation of the deck on the garage and the replacement of the deck on the house with a smaller deck and also relief from the resource protection provision to allow those additions.
The total square footage of all decks will be less than exist today. Ms. Kirk asked why the applicant requests a second story deck from the garage. Mr. Marshall replied so the applicant does not have to put the stairs in the interior to access storage space. The deck is only an access deck. The deck on the garage is 16.7’ x 13.3’ which includes the stairs. The deck is 208 square feet. Existing deck on the rear of the house is 928 square feet, 16’ x 58’ and it is to be replaced by one that is 16.5’ x 42’ which would reduce it to 693 square feet. The 693 sq. ft. and the 208 sq. ft. total 901 sq. ft.
Mr. Donaghy stated the Township is not taking a position on this matter.
There was no public comment.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the Application for variances from Section 200-58 and Section 200-61C of the ordinance are granted as requested.
APPEAL #06-1386 – ROBERT AND NANCY STOKER
Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Diehl what was his relation to the Stokers. Mr. Diehl replied that he
is a civil engineer for Alta Design Associates, which is the company that prepared the
plans for Drawing C-1. Ms. Kirk stated the Application that was submitted in this matter
be marked as Exhibit A-1, included with that Application is a site plan for subject
property by Alta
Design Associates dated
Mr. Diehl stated the applicants are seeking relief from the maximum impervious coverage allowed by the ordinance of 18% to 29.8%. This involves installing three bluestone patios; 1) below existing driveway in the back of the house, 2) to the side of the house and a gravel walkway being proposed between that new patio and it goes along the wood deck up towards that existing 14’ tree, 3) in back rear right side of the property.
Mr. Diehl pointed out that the new gravel walkway will match the existing gravel
walkways that are on site.
Mr. Toadvine had a question before proceeding he stated that there is something noted as future addition – 500 sq. ft. Mr. Toadvine asked if that is being proposed with this Application. Mr. Diehl indicated that it was.
A packet of eight photographs of subject property were given to the Board. These photographs will be marked as Exhibit A-3. Mr. Diehl stated that the walkways are made up of 3/8” clean stone, no fines in this gravel, therefore, the rain water seeps through them. There is also a brick trim around the walkways which creates a seepage bed. Mr. Toadvine asked if these walkways were being counted as impervious surface. Mr. Diehl stated that according to the township they are. Mr. Diehl stated that underneath the gravel is virgin soil not compacted with geotextile fabric which allows the water to go through. Ms. Kirk stated that based upon the plans those walkways are going to be increased by almost two times what exists on the property presently. Mr. Diehl stated there will be approximately 160 sq. ft. of new gravel walkways. Mr. Diehl stated that the new bluestone patios will be installed dry laid so they will not be on a concrete slab. They will be laid with an inch or two of grass between them.
Mr. Diehl pointed out that the homeowners are over the existing impervious surface and were when they purchased the property. The only addition the Stokers added were the gravel walkways in the back of the house. The driveway and front brick walkway were there when they purchased the property.
Mr. Toadvine asked Mr. Diehl what is the future addition. Mr. Diehl responded the future addition will be a kitchen remodel, and they have decided to lower that to 150 sq. ft. of new impervious surface.
There was some question as to the time frame of the variance for future addition. Ms. Kirk stated that it runs with the land but the township requires submission of the building permit within the six month period of time.
Mr. Toadvine stated that the impervious surface would be 27.8%. Mr. Majewski agreed with that calculation.
Mr. Toadvine asked Mr. Majewski his position as far as the gravel walkway being impervious. Mr. Majewski stated that there is permeability to the walkways approximately 50% or more impervious; however, since it is clean stone it does not compact as easily and water is able to permeate through to the subsoil.
Ms. Kirk asked the applicants if they would agree to a condition that it would be clean stone on top of virgin soil. They agreed to the condition.
Mr. Donaghy stated the Township would like to appear as a party to this matter. There
has been suggestions of reducing some of the impervious surface areas.
Mrs. Stoker spoke to the Board stating that her family has been living in their home since
1973. They will be retiring shortly and look forward to spending time in their gardens
and yard and would welcome these changes.
There was no public comment.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the
Application submitted by Robert and Nancy Stoker for an increase of impervious surface
under Section 200-23B of the ordinance be granted to allow an increase of 27.8% as
modified by the applicant with the condition that for all existing and proposed gravel
walkways only clean stone be used on virgin soil.
A short recess was taken.
Mr. Mayrhofer left the meeting at for medical reasons.
The meeting reconvened at
APPEAL #031235(A) – CARA MIA, LLC
Mr. Paul Wojcieckowski from All County, Inc. and Mr. Joseph Marrazzo are present and
have been sworn in.
Mr. John VanLuvanee, Attorney with Eastburn and Grey. This matter is before the
Board pursuant to
an Order entered
by the Board on
The matter is appealed to the Court of Common Pleas by agreement entered into
between the Township and the appellant, Cara Mia, LLC. This case was remanded by
stipulation to the Board for the purpose of submitting additional evidence. Mr.
Mayrhofer participated in that decision. The vote was 5-0 to deny the appeal of Cara Mia,
LLC. The Board questioned whether the relief sought by the appellants was the
minimum variance which would afford relief. Mr. VanLevenue presumed that the Board
would incorporate the entire proceeding in the previous matter which included notes of
testimony of a
public hearing held
A1 through A-11 presented by Cara Mia, LLC. There were also some residents who
participated as parties before the Board but before the court who introduced some
exhibits. Mr. Van Luvanee stated he had no objections to having the entirety of
previous recordings incorporated by reference in order not to have to go back over
testimony previously heard by this Board. Mr. VanLuvanee has copies of return to
serve for the Board which lists all the Exhibits from the previous hearing also as a
supplement. Mr. Toadvine has all the Exhibits A-11 through A-11 and I-1 through I-3
for interveners and two Board Exhibits B-1 and B-2.
Mr. Toadvine stated that he spoke to James Bray, who is also going to ask that the matter
be continued in order to provide an expert to testify.
Mr. VanLuvanee stated that he intends to supplement the record with new exhibits and
not to go back over the old testimony except to the extent that the new
Board members would like to have a recap. Mr. VanLuvanee requested that a copy of the
Mr. Toadvine suggested to the Board that they incorporate by reference the testimony and
exhibits from the previous hearing be done for the record. Mr. Koopman stated
the Township had no objections do so. Ms. Kirk stated based upon the applicant’s
request the Board will incorporate the prior testimony and all exhibits previously
submitted in this matter at the time of the initial hearing before the Board.
VanLuvanee stated in the prior decision by the Board marked as A-12 it was suggested
in the written decision that the location of the proposed dwelling could be modified as to
eliminate the need for a variance for Section 200-7 of the zoning ordinance.
The variance was for the way the rear yard was being considered. The request had been
made to have the rear yard set back from Terracedale rather than from what would
normally be referred to as the rear property line. Mr. Luvanee stated that they are going
to withdraw the request for the rear yard variance in this event and Application.
Substitution with the Board’s permission an amendment to request a variance from
Section 200-61.C of the zoning ordinance. The section of the ordinance requires that the
building setback on the lot that has resource protection area be measured from the limit of
the resource protection area. The house is being reoriented to provide the full rear yard
against the adjacent property which had been one of the issues in the previous hearing.
We are reorienting the house towards the public street in the front of Morningside.
The variance that is being requested will be a variance to permit a modification of the
front yard requirements that according to the ordinance Section 200-61.C will be required
to be measured from the edge of the right buffer. Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Luvanee for
clarification on variances requested. They are from Section 200-516B to permit
disturbance of the existing woodlands greater than that allowed under the ordinance
and variance from Section 200-21 regarding the net lot area. Also a variance from
Section 200-64 regarding access to a lot from a roadway not approved by Township
standards. There are now a total of four variances. Ms. Kirk questioned if the percentage
of the disturbance of woodlands would be the same as previously submitted. Mr.
Luvanee said it would be. Mr. Luvanee began questioning Mr. Wojciechowski. All
plans and exhibits were prepared by Mr. Wojciechowski. Mr. Luvanee asked Mr.
Wojciechowski to briefly describe the subject property and its location. The property is
corner of Terracedale and Morningside. Morningside is a paved roadway and
Terracedale is a stone driveway. Terracedale is shown as recorded street. The net lot
area is 9,434 sq. ft. Mr. Wojciechowski provided evidence with respect to the building
envelope that would exist if all of the provisions of the zoning ordinance were strictly
applied and that was shown on Exhibit A-6. Mr. Luvanee stated that in a written decision
by the Zoning Board there was a suggestion that with a little reorientation of the proposed
house it might be possible to eliminate the need for a rear yard variance. Mr.
Wojciechowski recalled that decision. Mr. Wojciechowski prepared a first generation
interim plan. Ms. Kirk stated according to a notice for the record from the Board’s
secretary, Barbara Ellison, dated
LLC was submitted
that indicates a notation of one revision dated
with Township Engineer and Solicitor which will be marked as Exhibit A-13.
Mr. Toadvine directed those individuals who wish to request party status to come forward,
give name and address to recording secretary. Per Ms. Kirk any person who had been a
party to the action at the time of the first hearing continue to request party status and
submit their name and address at this time. Mr. Bray stated that he is at a disadvantage
since he does not have all the paperwork pertaining to this matter. Ms. Kirk stated that as
discussed earlier, Mr. Koopman will be requesting a continuance of this matter to discuss
the revisions with the Board Supervisors, and Mr. Bray is also requesting a continuance
to furnish expert testimony in opposition to the Application. Mr. Bray stated that he is
requesting party status as a private citizen not in the capacity as Chairman of the EAC.
Mr. Luvanee questioned Mr. Wojciechowski and asked him if Exhibit A-13 was prepared
under his supervision and was that his seal and signature on the document. He replied
yes. Mr. Wojciechowski stated that Exhibit A-13 differs because there is a 40’ rear yard
as opposed to a 15’ rear yard. The setback from the property line is 40’ and it was
previously 15.6’. Applicant requested property line adjacent to tax map 20-40-5 be
considered a side yard rather than a rear yard. The building envelope would be moved an
is facing Morningside rather than opposed to the previous submission facing Terracedale.
also proposed access from
access. As a result of the shifting of the building envelope, a front yard variance is
requested from 40’ to 30’ because of the special setback requirements. The special
setback require your setbacks to be measured from the resource protection areas and this
would be from the 25’ wetlands buffer. The limit of woodlands disturbance on this plan
would be measured from the resource protection line and also as noted from limit of
disturbance. Mr. Wojciechowski stated that the resource protection line and proposed
wood line are essentially the same line. The net lot area is the same; however on the third
line down which is woodland the numbers are incorrect. The numbers should be 18,997
and 13,298. The total numbers are incorrect they should be 29,974 and 24,275 which
represent changes to the numbers above. The numbers were incorrect due to computer
error. The area of disturbance decreases from 43.3% to 42.2%. In Exhibit A-13 the
building envelope is 37’ x 56’ which is a rectangle with a square footage of 2,072. The
maximum first floor square footage is 2,072. There was a finding by the Zoning Board in
its previous decision that the surrounding homes in the areas have a footprint of 1,200 to
1,400 sq. ft. Mr. Luvanee asked Mr. Wojciechowski if Exhibit A-8 was updated to
reflect the revised location and the area of the building envelope. This is now marked as
Exhibit A-14. Mr. Toadvine asked Mr. Wojciechowski that the building envelope
depicted in A-13 is that the same or different as depicted in Exhibit A-11 . He replied it
was different and smaller than the old plan. Exhibit A-14 is a comparison of footprints of
different buildings surrounding our proposed building with our building and our footprint
is approximately 2,000 sq. ft. This map was provided to Mr. Wojciechowski by Lower
footprints of the surrounding homes exceed 1,200 to 1,400 sq. ft. The front yard
required by the ordinance is 40’ but it is held at 30’ giving a house depth of 37’. Mr.
Luvanee asked Mr. Wojciechowski based upon the homes in this vicinity and the
information obtained on the aerial photograph, if you try to comply with a 40’ front yard
it would leave the building envelope at 27’ is that an envelope in your opinion a
reasonable building width for single family detached homes. Mr. Wojciechowski replied
that it was not
There is a
disturbance of 40’ on the
40’ is the front yard and it is intended to protect the trees on Terracedale except for the
driveway opening. Mr. Luvanee stated that Mr. Wojciechowski is not going to take
down all the trees only near the construction of the house. One consideration is the
positive grading around the building in removal of trees. Mr. Wojciechowsi stated the
limits of the woodlands on this plan were physically measured. Mr. Wojciechowski stated
that a grading plan must be submitted when application is made for a building permit.
On the grading plan the individual trees, the building area and close to the line of
disturbance is shown on the plan with their caliber what trees would be removed and
which trees would be saved. The maximum woodland disturbance would be 42.2%. At
the time of grading permit, mathematics will be put on the limited disturbance lines and
permanent lines will be marked in order for inspection.
Mr. Koopman asked Mr. Wojciechowski is the net buildable site area 9,434 sq. ft. Mr.
Wojciechowski replied yes. Mr. Majewski came up with 9,777 sq. ft. The difference in
the square footage was incorrect numbers supplied by Mr. Wojciecowski. Mr. Koopman
stated that the Township’s analysis of this lot is that the impervious surface would be
18% not 29%. Mr. Koopman asked if Mr. Wojciechowski would agree to change the
maximum impervious surface to 18% and if he is comfortable building the house and
driveway within the 18% impervious surface that is required. Mr. Wojciechowski replied
yes. Mr. Koopman stated suggestion be made that the woodland area could be retained
near the northwest and southeast corner bringing woodland disturbance below 40%. Jim
Majewski has a drawing depicting this change. This will be marked Exhibit T-1. Jim
Majewski can provide a copy to the Board and interveners of this change.
Mr. Koopman asked Mr. Wojciechowski if there were any overhead wires causing an
easement. Mr. Wojciechowski stated that PECO has a blanket easement. The wires go
down the property line. The proposed development of the house would be 40’ away.
Mr. Toadvine suggested in order to maintain or preserve more of the woodlands a larger variance could be given to a larger front yard setback.
Mr. Luvanee asked Mr. Marazzo with a building envelope of 37’ x 57’ which would be the maximum envelope could he construct a home including garages similar to ones in the neighborhood. Mr. Marazzo could build within this envelope but the home be somewhat smaller but not detract from other homes in the neighborhood.
Mr. Bray is questioning the accuracy of the aerial footprints and is in disagreement with the findings.
Mr. Koopman stated that the Township will be requesting a
continuance to the meeting of
Ms. Kirk moved, and Mr. Toadvine seconded and it was
unanimously carried that this matter be continued until
There being no further business, Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Toadvine seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at
Mr. Deles Ingwerson stated he
would like to make a presentation. As he
is a residing in
Mr. Ingwerson was present and sworn in.
Mr. Ingwerson presented letters and exhibits. They will be introduced as a package and marked Exhibit 0-1. For the record, the package consists of 11 pages. Mr. Ingwerson began his testimony by quoting his exhibit. Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Ingwerson if he intends to have this Exhibit entered as evidence in this matter. Mr. Ingwerson replied yes. Ms. Kirk then asked Mr. Ingwerson to “speak from the heart” regarding your position in the Application. Mr. Ingwerson stated that before he purchased this property he investigated with the Township if this was a buildable lot. The only problem with a building permit was the sewer moratorium which was resolved in approximately 3 or 4 months. The Ingwerson’s decided to go ahead with the purchase of the lot. He believes the Township was aware of problems with wetlands and woodlands with this lot but he was not made aware of this until 2 or 3 years later. Mr. Toadvine stated that the zoning ordinance changed since 1986 and that is the reason why we are here. Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Ingwerson why he did not build on the property prior to this Application by Cara Mia, LLC. He stated he did try but did not have any cooperation with the Township. Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Ingwerson if he was planning to keep ownership of the property if the ordinance is granted or is it under a contract for sale. Mr. Ingwerson stated that Joseph Marazzo is under contract for the property. There were only two vacant lots in the neighborhood when Mr. Ingwerson purchased the property. On Exhibit A-13, the vacant lot was 20-40-6, which is the property owned by the Rosens. Mr. Ingwerson stated that a vacant lot causes problems. The property is not taken care of. Mr. Ingwerson stated that he is in jeopardy of losing his life savings of $166,000. He is on a fixed pension.
For the record, Mr. Koopman registered an objection as to
the relevancy as to portions as to preserve that objection. Ms.
Kirk stated that Exhibit 0-1 will be admitted.
The Cara Mia, LLC matter has been closed at this time () and will be continued to
David Malinowski, Secretary