TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES – DECEMBER 5, 2006

 

 

The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on December 5, 2006.  Chairman Kirk called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Zoning Hearing Board:              Barbara Kirk, Chairman

                                                David Malinowski, Secretary

                                                Paul Bamburak, Member

                                                Gregory Smith, Member

                                                Paul Kim, Alternate Member

 

Others:                                     Robert Habgood, Code Enforcement Officer

                                                John Donaghy, Township Solicitor

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Allen Toadvine, Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor

 

Absent:                                     Grace Godshalk, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPEAL #03-1235A – CARA MIA INC.

 

Ms. Kirk stated this matter was continued from 9/19/06.  At the last Hearing, the Board

concluded all testimony.  The Board requested that the Township, Applicant, and other

interested parties submit Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for the Board to

consider.  The Board did receive proposed Findings of Fact from Mr. VanLuvanee,

representing the Applicant, along with Memorandum of Law from John Koopman, on

behalf of the Township, and Summary of Facts and Conclusions of Law from James

Bray, an interested Party opposing the Application.  Ms. Kirk stated that after reviewing

the proposed Findings of Fact and having an Executive Session for fifteen Minutes prior

to the start of this evening’s meeting to discuss some of the legal issues involved in the

case, the Board is prepared to consider a Motion.

 

Ms. Kirk moved and Mr. Smith seconded that in the matter of Cara Mia Inc. on remand

from the Court, that the request for Variances from Section 200-61C, Section 200-

51B(6), Section 200-21, Section 200-64, and Section 200-B(4)C1 be granted in

compliance with the Amended Plan as submitted to the Board as designated as Exhibit

A-16 and further that the tracks of Terracedale Road are not water courses as set forth by

the Township and the opposing Party. 

 

 

December 5, 2006                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 2 of 6

 

 

Motion did not carry as Ms. Kirk and Mr. Smith were in favor and Mr. Bamburak,

Mr. Kim, and Mr. Malinowski were opposed.

 

Mr. Malinowski moved, and Mr. Bamburak seconded that the Appeal be denied.

Motion carried with Mr. Bamburak, Mr. Kim, and Mr. Malinowski in favor

and Ms. Kirk and Mr. Smith opposed.

 

 

APPEAL #06-1403 – YARDLEY-MAKEFIELD FIRE COMPANY

 

Edward Murphy, attorney, was present on behalf of the Fire Company.  The Application

submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Submitted with the Application was an 8 ½” by

14” Plan entitled Yardley-Makefield Fire Company dated 10/31/06.  This was marked as

Exhibit A-2.  Mr. Murphy presented a series of photos which were marked as Exhibit

A-3a through A-3d. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated the property involved is currently being used by the Yardley-

Makefield Fire Company as its Woodside Substation.  He stated it was the subject of a

prior Decision of the Zoning Hearing Board in 12/84 when relief was granted by an

earlier Board to permit construction of the Substation and certain Variances were granted

from the impervious surface ratio.  Subsequent to the Decision in 1984, the facility was

constructed.  Exhibit A-2 represents an As-Built Plan of the existing one-story brick fire

house and the related parking facilities surrounding it. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated the Fire Company has received a proposed offer of donation of an

1,800 square foot one-story pole barn that is located across Stony Hill Road on the

Sunrise property.  Mr. Murphy presented Exhibit A-3 a through d which are pictures of

the various sides of the pole barn.  He stated the Fire Company is interested in accepting

the donation of the pole barn; and if the Zoning Hearing Board would approve, will

relocate the pole barn from its present location across Stony Hill Road to the rear of the

Substation site that is depicted on Exhibit A-2.  Mr. Murphy noted the far left area on

Exhibit A-2 at the rear of one of the parking areas where they have identified the

suggested location for the pole barn and the dimensions of it as well as the dimensions of

the setbacks from the side and rear property lines.  They will be 35’ from the

northernmost property line and 70’ from the rearmost property line. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated under the provisions of the Ordinance, accessory structures cannot

exceed 15’ in height, and the pole barn in question is 21’ in height.  They are therefore

looking for relief from the height of the accessory structure provisions of the Ordinance

to permit the re-location of the pole barn to this location.  Mr. Murphy stated the Fire

Company intends to use the pole barn for storage of fire apparatus and other equipment

which they do not currently have room to store at any of their facilities.

 

December 5, 2006                                                      Zoning Hearing Board – page 3 of 6

 

Mr. Gene R. Cadwallader was sworn in and stated he is the Treasurer of the

Yardley-Makefield Fire Company.  He stated during the 1984 Hearing, he testified as

Chairman of the Building Committee.  Mr. Cadwallader stated he agrees with the

summary Mr. Murphy presented to the Board.

 

Ms. Kirk asked how grant of the Variance will impact the impervious surface ratio

previously granted.  Mr. Murphy noted Exhibit A-2 which indicates that the existing

impervious surface is 43 ½”.  The re-location of the pole barn would increase it by 1 ½%

so that the total impervious surface will be 45%.  Pursuant to the 1984 Decision, they can

go to 65% so they are well within the limits previously established by the Zoning Hearing

Board.

 

Mr. Bamburak noted the dashed line and the notation to the right that states “minimum

building setback line.”  Mr. Murphy stated this is for principal structures.  He stated

accessory buildings are permitted to be located closer.  He asked Mr. Cadwallader if there

is an existing buffer between the rear of the proposed location for the pole barn and the

common property line with the residential properties to the east, and Mr. Cadwallader

stated there is.  He stated when they built the building they planted trees and the trees

well cover the back area. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if the Applicant would be agreeable to a Condition that the pole barn be

used strictly for storage of fire apparatus and related equipment, and Mr. Cadwallader

stated they would agree to this Condition. 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township is not participating in this matter. 

 

There was no public comment.

 

Mr. Smith moved that the Variance be granted. 

 

Ms. Kirk moved to amend the Motion to include a Condition that the proposed accessory

structure be used strictly for storage of fire apparatus and related equipment. 

 

Mr. Smith agreed to amend the Motion.  Mr. Malinowski seconded the Motion as

amended, and the Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

APPEAL #06-1404 – DAVID AND NANCY WILLARD

 

David and Nancy Willard, 1298 Enoch Court, Yardley, PA, were present and were sworn

in.  The Application submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Attached to the Application

was a two-page, 8 ½” by 14” Plan showing the proposed fence entitled, “As-Built Plan

for Lot #21” last dated received by the Township 9/13/05.  This was marked as Exhibit

A-2. 

December 5, 2006                                                       Zoning Hearing Board – page 4 of 6

 

 

Mr. Willard stated the rear yard of their property has a drainage easement 30’ in width

that extends for the length of the rear of the property for approximately 172’.  He stated it

represents about half of the back yard.  They would like to install a fence as shown in the

drawing that would extend into the easement area to the back of the property.  They

would like to install a pool and keeping the fence out of the easement area would restrict

where the pool could go and the amount of space they would be able to use.  He stated

they recognize that if the Township would need to get into this area, he would have to

remove it and make any repairs.  He stated they would also agree to maximize the

drainage through the easement area.  He stated the fence company indicated they could

do this by keeping it 2” or higher by putting fence wire below the permanent fence they

would like to construct. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated on the Application they indicated that there would be a minimum of 2”

between the bottom of the fence and the ground.  Mr. Willard agreed.  Ms. Kirk asked

about the easement area, and Mr. Willard stated it is a cement underground pipe.  He

stated there is also an inlet which is shown on the drawing as well as other inlets up

further to the adjoining properties. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if there is an existing fence, and Mr. Willard stated there is a little fence

in the left corner on an adjoining property. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if the Township owns the drainage easement area.  Mr. Majewski stated

the neighborhood is not dedicated yet although it will be dedicated shortly. 

 

Mr. Majewski stated it will stay as a 30’ easement after dedication.  Mr. Majewski stated

the developer has requested dedication, and he believes they have completed all issues

needed to get dedication, and the Township will at some point in the future accept

dedication.

 

Mr. Toadvine asked if there is a homeowners association, but Mr. Willard stated there is

not.  The development is called Prospect Manor.

 

Mr. Toadvine asked if the construction of the fence in the easement area would impact

dedication, and Mr. Majewski stated he did not believe so.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if the Board would grant the request, to the extent that the developer

would require the Applicant to submit or acknowledge anything in order to have the area

dedicated, would they be willing to do so.  Mr. Willard asked what this would entail. 

Mr. Toadvine stated the Township may indicate to the developer that they are not going

to accept dedication until the developer has a letter from the Applicant indicating that

they received a Variance and Permit from the Township approving the fence and that

they recognize that they may have to remove the fence if necessary for Township access.

Mr. Willard agreed to this Condition.

December 5, 2006                                                       Zoning Hearing Board – page 5 of 6

 

 

Mr. Kim asked if they understand that there can be no other permanent structures such as

pool decking within the easement area, and Mr. Willard stated he understands this. 

Mr. Kim asked if they recognize that all costs of replacement or the repair of the fence

would be at the homeowners’ expense if the Township needed to access the easement

area, and Mr. Willard agreed.

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township is participating for the purpose of assuring that a

Variance if granted would be subject to Conditions already discussed.  Mr. Donaghy also

asked that the installation of the fence be at the minimum height that would permit water

flow subject to approval of the Township engineer. 

 

Mr. Majewski stated earlier the Applicant had mentioned that the fence company

indicated they could raise the fence higher than 2” and put down BOCA Code grating

below that, and he would prefer to see this.  He would like to see 4” in this case.  This

was acceptable to Mr. Willard.  He stated he would even go higher if necessary. 

Mr. Donaghy stated they would not want it to be so high that a child could get through, 

and Mr. Toadvine stated they are going to put in grating.  Mr. Willard stated they would

like to be able to keep the fence level.

 

There was no public comment.

 

Mr. Bamburak moved that the Variance be granted subject to the following Conditions:

 

1)  That the bottom of the fence be a minimum of 4” above grade equipped with a

      grating subject to the approval of the Township engineer;

 

2)  That if the fence ever has to be removed, it will be done at the sole cost of the

      property owner;

 

Ms. Kirk asked to amend the Motion to include the following two Conditions:

 

3)  That there be no other construction or installation of any other type of

      accessory or other structures within the easement area;

 

4)  That the Applicants will cooperate with the developer and the Township

     and sign as required any documents necessary in order to facilitate the

     dedication of the easement area to the Township.

 

Mr. Bamburak agreed to the amendment.  Mr. Kim seconded the Motion as

Amended.  The Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

 

December 5, 2006                                                      Zoning Hearing Board – page 6 of 6

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Appeal #06-1386 – Robert and Nancy Stoker – Request for Extension

 

Ms. Kirk stated a letter was submitted to the Township Code Enforcement Officer

dated December 1, 2006 requesting that the Variance previously granted by the Board on

7/18/06 for increased impervious surface be extended for an additional six months

through 4/18/07. 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated there were two issues for which they were pulling Building Permits,

and a copy of the Building Permit was attached for rear yard additions for a patio and

one-story addition.

 

Mr. Kim moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the

Extension until 5/31/07.

 

 

Cancel 12/19/06 Meeting

 

Ms. Kirk stated the three matters previously scheduled for 12/19/06 have agreed to be continued to 1/3/07.

 

Mr. Bamburak moved, Mr. Kim seconded and it was unanimously carried to cancel the 12/19/06 meeting.

 

There being no further business, Mr. Malinowski moved, Mr. Smith seconded, and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        David Malinowski, Secretary