TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES – NOVEMBER 21, 2006

 

 

The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on November 21, 2006.  Chairman Kirk called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. 

 

Those present:

 

Zoning Hearing Board:              Barbara Kirk, Chairman

                                                David Malinowski, Secretary

                                                Paul Bamburak, 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

                                                Grace Godshalk, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                                     Gregory Smith, Zoning Hearing Board Member

 

 

APPEAL #06-1398 – JERRY KAYE/BETTER LIVING PATIO ROOMS

 

Ms. Kirk stated this matter was continued from October 17, 2006.  She stated testimony

was submitted as to the intent to add a rear addition which would be broken up into two

rooms.  The approximate square footage was 900 square feet, and the Zoning Hearing

Board had expressed concern as to the amount of the proposed impervious surface being

requested.  The matter was continued to see if any modifications could be made to the

proposed room.

 

Mrs. Yonkin and Mr. Kaye were reminded that they were still under Oath from the prior

Hearing.  Mr. Keith Tettemer, the Installation Manager for Better Living, was sworn in.

 

Mr. Kaye provided additional materials to the Board.  Exhibit A-14 was marked which is

a package entitled “Yonkin Project.”  Mr. Kaye stated at the last meeting, the Zoning

Hearing Board had indicated that they would have voted to approve the room if it were

half the size of what was originally proposed which would be 15’ by 30’ as opposed to

15’ by 60’.  Ms. Kirk stated the Board did not indicate that they would approve it, and

instead they recommended that any proposed addition be of such measurements to reduce

the amount of impervious surface being requested so that it was the minimal relief.  She

stated there were no assurance that there would be any approval based on a room half the

size of that which was proposed. 

November 21, 2006                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 2 of 16

 

 

Mr. Toadvine asked if the room configuration has changed, and Mr. Kaye stated the way

they have proposed it, it has not.  He stated the problem was the combination of the

footprint and how the water would be disposed of coming off of the new roof area.  He

stated they felt that if they could address the issue of how the water would be disposed of,

perhaps the size of the room would not be a problem.  Ms. Kirk asked if they are still

seeking to construct the 900 square foot addition with the side yard setback of 49.5’,

and Mr. Kaye agreed.

 

Mr. Kim stated when they last met, he did not feel there was any doubt that the problem

was the significant increase in the request for impervious surface, and the Board asked

that they consider a reduction in impervious surface. 

 

Mr. Tettemer stated if the Yonkins were to put a second story on their house, they could

double the size of their house.  Currently they have 2,000 square feet; and if they did this,

they could add a 2,000 square foot addition.  He stated they would like to add half of that

amount of space and they need to do it as a ground floor addition because of

Mrs. Yonkin’s health.  He stated she has health issues which will continue to get worse,

and she could become wheelchair bound.   He stated they would like to be able to enjoy

the rest of their life in this house, and this is a practical way for them to install an

addition.

 

Mr. Tettemer stated in dealing with impervious surface, the area of roof being added to

the land is basically water run off.  He stated they have addressed the water run off by

adding a seepage pit based on calculations put forth by the State of Pennsylvania.  He

stated none of the water will leave the Yonkin’s property, and he feels this is what is

important.

 

Ms. Kirk asked the location of the seepage pit, and Mr. Tettemer stated they could

configure it in many ways.  He stated they would be willing to follow the Township

requirements with regard to the seepage pit.  He stated they are recommending running it

along the length of the room; and they would keep it four feet away from the room and

run the soil pipe underground into the seepage pit.  This would not be seen above ground. 

It would be covered with soil and then grass.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if their calculations were based on the NPDES regulations, and

Mr. Tettemer stated they got the calculations from their engineer; and he based it on the

State of Pennsylvania requirements for this area.  Ms. Kirk asked if the calculations were

provided to the Township engineer prior to this evening’s meeting, and Mr. Tettemer

stated they were not.

 

Mr. Tettemer stated the Yonkins have a very large lot; and if the Township engineer feels

they need a seepage twice the size the Applicant is recommending, the land is there to

accommodate this.  Ms. Kirk asked if they would agree to a Condition placed on a grant

November 21, 2006                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 3 of 16

 

 

of Approval that the installation of a seepage pit or otherwise stormwater management

system would be subject to the sole discretion of the Township engineer; and

Mrs. Yonkin stated she would.  Ms. Kirk asked if Mr. Majewski would be comfortable

with a seepage pit or other stormwater management system being placed on the property

to accommodate the increase in the impervious surface, and Mr. Majewski stated he

would.

 

Mr. Bamburak asked if this is common, and Mr. Majewski stated depending on the

limitations of the property and the soils in the area, this can be done.  He stated in this

area, he feels they may be able to do this.

 

Mr. Kim asked about the aesthetics and potential nuisance hazards with such a pit.

Mr. Tettemer stated it would not cause any problem in the area as the idea is to contain

the water on the Yonkin’s property.  He stated it would also not cause an area in the rear

of their yard that would stay damp.  He stated the area that is dug out is filled with a mesh

around the walls, and filled with stone with pipes running into it from the downspouts

from the roof.  He stated if water did overrun the downspout, it would run onto the

ground and make its way into the pit area.  Mr. Kim asked the retention time of the water

in the pit, and Mr. Tettemer stated this would depend on the percolation of the soil in the

area. 

 

Mr. Kim stated he wants to make sure that it will be a safe area.  Mr. Tettemer stated

many areas of Pennsylvania have adopted Ordinances which require such systems.  He

stated while it will add costs to the project, Mr. and Mrs. Yonkin have indicated that they

are willing to pay this in order to be able to proceed with the project.  Mr. Kim stated he

is concerned with a possible nuisance such as mosquitoes.  Mr. Tettemer stated this is not

an open pit.  It is a large hole that will be cut into the ground and filled with stone. 

Approximately one foot on top will be covered with soil and grass.  From ground level it

will not be an area where there could be mosquitoes, etc.  There will be no elevation

change. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated the Condition would be that they would agree to any stormwater

management system that is approved by the Township engineer.  Mr. Majewski stated he

would like to see some of the details changed to make it more workable, but feels it is

generally satisfactory.  Mr. Tettemer stated they would be happy with work with

Mr. Majewski. 

 

Mr. Tettemer stated while he was not present at the initial meeting, he understands that

the Board suggested that they cut down the size of the room.  He stated 18% impervious

surface is permitted for a lot of their size and they are proposing 23.28%.  He stated if

they cut the room in half, it would not change that percentage that dramatically.  He

stated it would be brought down to 20.56%.  He stated he feels the solution they are

proposing would be a better solution as they are proposing to contain the water and keep

November 21, 2006                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 4 of 16

 

 

it on the property and still give Mr. and Mrs. Yonkin the additional space they are

looking for.

 

Mr. Donaghy asked about the maintenance requirements for this type of system.

Mr. Tettemer stated his understanding is there could be settling during the initial year,

and they may have to come back and level it off; but otherwise, it is self-contained.

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if Mr. Tettemer is the Installation Manager for Better Living.

Mr. Tettemer stated he is the Director or Operations, and their company owns offices in a

number of States.  Mr. Donaghy asked if Better Living designs specific sizes of rooms,

and Mr. Tettemer stated they can be configured in all sizes.  Mr. Donaghy asked if

they could have built a room smaller than 900 square feet, and Mr. Tettemer stated they

could.  He stated the average size room currently is 14’ by 18’ but they have done rooms

as large as 20’ by 90’. 

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if they did not have this room, could they continue to use the home

as a residence; and Mrs. Yonkin stated it could be used as their residence for the time

being, but could not be used by her in the future as her residence.

 

Mr. Donaghy stated his notes from the last meeting indicate that the impervious surface

was 24.5%, and this differs from what is in the Application.  Ms. Kirk stated that

calculation was the number that Mr. Majewski calculated, and the Applicant and

Mr. Kaye had agreed to this number at the last Hearing.  Mr. Donaghy stated the

impervious surface would therefore be greater than the number referred to Mr. Tettemer

this evening.

 

Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant the Variance for a rear yard setback of 49.5’ from a Collector road and a Variance from Section 200-23B to permit increased impervious surface coverage up to 24.5% subject to the following Conditions:

 

            1)  That the Applicant shall install a stormwater seepage pit or otherwise

                  stormwater management facility on the property subject to the

                  sole satisfaction and approval of the Township engineer;

 

            2)  That the Applicant and any subsequent owners of the property shall

                  be solely responsible to maintain the continuing operation of that

                  stormwater management facility at the owners’ sole cost and expense.

 

 

 

 

 

November 21, 2006                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 5 of 16

 

 

APPEAL #06-1399 – RONALD H. WHITE

 

Mr. Ronald White, Ms. Mina White, and Mr. Stephen Heinz, architect, were sworn in.

 

The Application submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Included with the Application

was an 8 ½” x 11” Plan for the subject property, not dated; and this was marked as

Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. White stated they would like to construct an addition on the rear of their home which

would extend an existing room.  They will remove approximately the same amount of

impervious surface that they would like to have for the addition. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated Exhibit A-2 shows where the new construction would be located and

what will be removed.  She asked who did the impervious surface calculations, and

Mr. Heinz stated he prepared the calculations.  Ms. Kirk stated they are asking for an

increase of impervious surface of .1%, and Mr. Heinz agreed.  Ms. Kirk noted the

existing impervious surface already exceeds that which is permitted under the Ordinance. 

Ms. Kirk asked if the driveway and walk existed when they purchased the house, and

Mr. White stated it did.  Ms. Kirk asked if they have added any impervious surface to the

property since it was purchased, and Mr. White stated in fact they have reduced it

somewhat.  Mr. White stated they have lived in the home for twenty-two years. 

 

Mr. Heinz stated he felt there was more impervious surface than seemed likely to fit

within the guidelines.  After he did the calculations, he found that the room would be

beyond the reasonable potential of expansion of impervious surface; and he therefore

suggested that they remove some existing hard surfaces that were under utilized.  He

stated there is a long brick porch in the front that is not being used.  He stated there is

also a walkway that is not used from the side of the driveway and he suggested portions

of the rear yard walkways that could be replaced with pavers or gravel as part of a

landscaping plan. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if the Whites understand that if they remove impervious surface at this

time and then at some point in the future want to install pavers in the rear, this would then

increase the impervious surface and they would have to come back before the Zoning

Hearing Board.  Mr. Heinz stated he is only discussing a few pavers, and it would not be

a continuous surface. Ms. Kirk stated it would still involve additional impervious surface. 

Mr. White stated his understanding was that it would only be grass.  Mr. Heinz stated the

only other thing they might have could be a permeable deck. 

 

Mr. Majewski stated he has a slight discrepancy in the impervious surface calculations

and feels it would be 23.8% existing impervious surface and after construction it would

be 23.9%. 

 

November 21, 2006                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 6 of 16

 

 

Mr. White stated they were not aware there was a problem with the impervious surface

when they purchased the home.

 

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

 

There was no public comment.

 

Mr. Bamburak moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to

allow the impervious surface area to increase by .1% as requested to permit 23.9%.

 

 

APPEAL #06-1400 – PUNIT AND MANJULA PATEL

 

Mr. Punit Patel and Mr. Ronak Patel were present and sworn in.  Also present was

John Koopman, Esquire.  Mr. Ronak Patel stated he is Mr. Punit Patel’s son, but does not

reside in the home.

 

Mr. Koopman stated they are seeking a Variance from Section 200-69A14C to allow a

six foot high fence in a portion of the front yard on this corner property.  He stated this is

a cul-de-sac on which the house fronts. He stated the side of the house faces Stony Hill

Road. 

 

The Application was marked as Exhibit A-1.  The Plot Plan submitted was marked as

Exhibit A-2.  Exhibit A-3 was marked and submitted which is the Tax Parcel identifying

the subject property , shown as Tax Parcel #20-60-305.  Mr. Toadvine stated Exhibit A-3

is a photo-copy of a portion of a Tax Map.  Exhibit A-4 was marked which is a picture of

the property as it looks out onto Stony Hill Road.  Exhibit A-5 was marked which is a

picture of the property as it faces Stony Hill Road and also shows the storm sewer

depression in the area.  Exhibit A-6 was marked which shows the fence on Stony Hill

Road and Bluestone Drive which is a corner lot having a six foot high fence on Stony

Hill Road.  

 

Ms. Kirk noted Exhibit A-3 on which Lot #305 is highlighted and asked if this is the

subject property, and Mr. Koopman agreed.  Ms. Kirk asked about the small strip shown

below it, and Mr. Koopman stated this is an emergency access from Stony Hill Road to

the cul-de-sac.  It is not an open roadway.  Mr. Koopman noted the fence section which is

the subject of the Application stretches parallel to the ultimate right-of-way of Stony Hill

Road up to the point where the emergency roadway commences.

 

Mr. Toadvine stated Exhibit A-4 has four photographs.  He noted the fence shown, and

Mr. Koopman stated that fence has been constructed, but at this point it is only along the

side yard and has not been extended at this point out to where they are proposing to

extend it.

November 21, 2006                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 7 of 16

 

Mr. Ronak Patel stated they are requesting the fence for privacy and safety reasons. 

He stated they want to shield the property from Stony Hill Road as well as keep it safe

for the grandchildren in the family.  He stated the depression of the waterway also attracts

children from the neighborhood in the winter for sledding; and they want to identify that

it is private property, and they feel the fence will do this.    Ms. Kirk asked the location of

this waterway, and Mr. Koopman stated it is the depression with a culvert which is about

ten feet down very steep slopes.  This is on the Patel’s property and is subject to a

stormwater easement.  Mr. Koopman stated the fence would also prevent people walking

on Stony Hill Road from falling into that. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if the Patels are aware that if PennDOT would decide to widen or make

modifications to Stony Hill Road, that the ultimate right-of-way is subject to acquisition

by the Department of Transportation; and Mr. Koopman stated he feels they are aware of

that and the fence is inside the ultimate right-of-way line.

 

Mr. Koopman stated they will use the same fence material as shown in the photographs,

and they will simply extend it to the point where the ultimate right-of-way meets the

emergency access.

 

Ms. Kirk asked dif there will be an opening at the bottom between the bottom of the

fence and the ground, and Mr. Punit Patel stated there will be a four to six inch opening

between the ground and the bottom of the fence.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if there are similar fences in the area, and Mr. Ronak Patel stated there

are numerous fences which are six feet high along Stony Hill Road.  Mr. Koopman noted

Exhibit A-6 which shows an existing fence, and the location of this is shown on the Tax

Map as well.  Mr. Koopman stated there are numerous other properties that have six foot

high fences along Stony Hill Road although some of those are reverse frontage lots, so it

is their rear lot line. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if they have discussed this with their adjacent neighbors, and Mr. Punit

stated he has discussed it with the Homeowners Association, and they have approval

from them, although they do not have a letter to that effect.  Mr. Toadvine stated anything

the Zoning Hearing Board would do would have no impact on the HOA, and the Zoning 

Hearing Board could impose a Condition on the grant of the Variance that they must

obtain approval from the HOA if required.  Mr. Patel agreed.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if they would agree to a Condition that the fence have at least a four to six

inch opening from the bottom of the fence to the ground as presented, and Mr. Patel

stated he would agree.

 

Mr. Kim asked who resides at the residence, and Mr. Punit Patel stated only he and his

wife live in the home; but his daughter and son live in the neighborhood, and his wife

takes take of the five grandchildren.

November 21, 2006                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 8 of 16

 

 

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

 

There was no public comment.

 

Mr. Bamburak moved and Mr. Kim seconded to grant a Variance to Section

200-69A(14)(c)  for the construction of a fence within the front yard  with the Condition

that a four to six inch space for rainwater run off be maintained.

 

Ms. Kirk asked that the Motion be amended to include a Condition that the homeowners

obtain approval of the Homeowners’ Association that may be required before

constructing the fence.  Mr. Kim seconded the amended Motion.

 

Mr. Toadvine suggested that the Motion be keyed into the Plot Plan to indicate where the

fence is going.

 

Ms. Kirk moved to amend the Motion that the Variance be granted to install the fence in

the front yard as depicted on Exhibit A-2 and constructed within the line of the ultimate

right-of-way as presented.  Mr. Kim seconded.

 

Mr. Patel agreed to all Conditions.

 

The Motion carried unanimously.

 

 

APPEAL #06-1401 – WILLIAM AND PAMELA RAUH

 

Mr. William Rauh and Mr. Pamela Rauh were sworn in.  The Application submitted was

marked as Exhibit A-1.  Attached to the Application is a Zoning Permit Plan prepared for

the property dated 9/10/06, and this was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Rauh stated they are seeking relief so that they can build a pool.  He stated they have

found out that they are over the permitted impervious surface.  He stated they have not

made any modifications to the house since they purchased it in 1991.

 

Ms. Kirk stated it appears they have a house, concrete porch in the front, concrete walks

from the porch to the driveway and a concrete patio in the rear with another walk. 

Ms. Kirk stated it appears the proposed pool will have concrete decking around it that is

in varying sizes.  She asked the smallest size of the decking.  Mr. Rauh stated it may be

three feet although he is not sure what is toward the back on the right-hand side. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated it appears that there will also be wider areas of concrete.  Mr. Rauh stated

he feels it is wider on the left to handle the anchor for the diving board.  Ms. Kirk stated it

also appears to be wider at the bottom right at the pool area, and Mrs. Rauh stated she

November 21, 2006                                                    Zoning Hearing Board – page 9 of 16

 

feels this is for the steps to go into the pool.  Ms. Kirk asked how wide this is proposed to

be, but Mr. and Mrs. Rauh did not know.  Mr. Majewski stated those two sections scale to

be six feet wide for the two wider portions and the rest would be three feet wide. 

Mr. Majewski stated he does agree with the impervious surface calculations which are

22.2% existing and 25.1% proposed.

 

Ms. Kirk noted Exhibit A-2 shows proposed decking and proposed coping, but the Plan

shows there will be pool equipment and that would also be on a concrete slab.  She stated

she is not sure whether this was included in the calculations for the proposed decking and

coping.  Mr. Majewski stated he did not have this information.  Mr. Habgood stated it

does not appear that this was included because the pad appears to be 32 square feet and it

does not appear that this was included with the impervious surface calculations.  Ms. Kirk

stated it appears they would therefore be asking for an even greater amount of impervious

surface.   

 

Ms. Rauh stated one of the reasons they do not have concrete going all the way around

the pool was because they tried to make it as minimum as they could recognizing that the

existing impervious surface was already over what was permitted. 

 

After adding the 32 square feet for the pool equipment, Mr. Habgood indicated the

request would now be 25.3%. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if there is any concrete they could remove, specifically noting the rear

patio.  Mr. Rauh stated his wife had both her knees replaced in April and will have to

have her hip replaced at some point; and if they were to live on one floor, they would

have to live on the ground floor and the patio is adjacent to the family room and they

would at some point want to convert that to a bedroom area.  Ms. Kirk asked if they

would be looking to enclose the patio in the future at some point, and Mr. Rauh stated if

their physical condition deteriorated to that point, they may.  Ms. Kirk asked who else

lives at the residents, and Mr. Rauh stated they have two sons, one of which is away at

College.

 

Ms. Kirk stated what they are requesting is a significant increase in impervious surface

recognizing that they are already over the permitted amount. 

 

Mr. Kim asked if there is a possibility that the decking around the pool could be made of

a material that is considered to be pervious.  He asked if they would be willing to explore

some options with Sylvan Pools.  Mr. Rauh stated they would be willing to discuss this

further.  He stated they could also look at the walkway toward the back.    Ms. Kirk stated

they should make a note that they did not include the 32 square feet for the pool

equipment so that the proposed increase would actually be 25.3%.  She recommended

that they continue the matter to allow the Applicants time to go back to Sylvan Pools to

see if there is a way to make modifications and reduce the amount of requested

impervious surface coverage.

November 21, 2006                                                  Zoning Hearing Board – page 10 of 16

 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township is not taking a position in this matter.

 

Mr. Habgood stated the Applicant indicated that they were considering changing the

patio to living space at some point in the future, and he noted there is a requirement that

there be a ten foot setback from the water’s edge to any structure and they may therefore

want to move the pool further back.

 

Mr. Kim asked if there are any problems with water run off in the area, and Mr. Rauh

stated they are at the highest point in Yardley Hunt and they have not had flooding

problems in their area.

 

Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to continue

the matter to the Zoning Hearing Board’s meeting to be held Wednesday, January 3,

2007.

 

 

APPEAL #06-1402 – THOMAS J. MACK CONSTRUCTION

 

Mr. Thomas Mack, Mr. Paul Maxian and Ms. Livia Maxian were sworn in.  The

Application submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Attached to the Application is a

Building Addition Plan for the subject property dated 8/8/06 which was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Mack stated the address of the property is 24 Lower Hilltop Road and it is Tax Parcel

#20-17-26 owned by Mr. and Mrs. Maxian since the early 1970s.  The property  is zoned

R-2 and the lot is 20,738 square feet.  They are requesting Variances to convert an

existing single-car garage into a two-car garage and are proposing an extension to the

existing screened-in-porch with no Zoning implications.  They wish to stay in the home

as opposed to re-locating.  He stated they are seeking relief from Section 200-2 yard

requirements for dwellings and Section 200-23b impervious surface requirements.  The

dwelling is on a corner lot which makes the setback requirements more complex.  The

existing dwelling is approximately sixteen feet from the left property line and the

proposed garage would encroach the side yard setback by about 6’8” resulting in an 8’4”

side yard.  With regard to the impervious surface, they are permitted 18%, and the

existing impervious surface is approximately 21.4% including the dwelling which was

constructed in approximately 1960.  With its driveway and walks, it exceeds that which is

permitted.  He stated the property pre-dates both the 1979 and 1994 Zoning Ordinances.

The proposed addition and adjacent driveway extension will add approximately 238

square feet of impervious surface, and they propose to reduce the ratio to 21.2% after the

project.  They propose to achieve this by removing approximately 278 square feet of the

existing driveway noted on the Plan as Area B with a net reduction of 40 square feet.

 

 

November 21, 2006                                                  Zoning Hearing Board – page 11 of 16

 

Ms. Kirk asked the location of the existing one-car garage, and Mr. Maxian stated it is on

the left corner of the building.  They propose to enlarge the existing garage.  Mr. Maxian

noted the area of yellow on the diagram is the proposed garage.  Ms. Kirk asked if there

is a way to enlarge the existing garage to reduce the side yard encroachment, and

Mr. Mack stated the walk comes to within a foot of the setback.

 

Mr. Toadvine marked as Exhibit A-3 a diagram depicting the elevation of the proposed

new garage shown in yellow.  Exhibit A-4 was marked which is a diagram entitled

“House Remodeling” which shows the dimensions of the proposed new garage. 

Mr. Mack stated the existing walkway is shown on the diagram and this would be

eliminated as shown.

 

Mr. Toadvine marked as Exhibit A-5 a diagram of the property showing the existing

driveway outlined in pink. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if there is any buffering or landscaping adjacent to the driveway, and

Mr. Maxian stated there is not.  Ms. Kirk asked if there is an adjacent home to the left,

and Mr. Maxian stated there is.  Ms. Kirk asked if there is any intent to plant any

buffering to minimize the visual impact of the garage.  Mr. Marxian stated there is an

existing magnolia tree five feet before the back corner of the proposed garage which will

remain.  He stated the adjacent area is the neighbor’s garage.  Ms. Kirk asked the size of

the magnolia tree, and Mr. Maxian stated the trunk is probably 12” and approximately

40’ tall.  He stated it is probably 20’ in diameter with the leaves. 

 

Mr. Toadvine asked how high the two-car garage will be, and Mr. Maxian stated it will

be one floor.  He stated the entrance will probably be nine to ten feet.  Mr. Mack stated he

feels the roof structure will be ten to twelve feet.  It is a flat rood.  Mr. Maxian stated

there will be a minimum slope.  It is not a two-story structure.  Mr. Mack showed a copy

of the Plan for the garage.

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township is participating in this matter.   They would like to

make sure that any encroachment is as minimal as possible and that the height of the roof

of the encroaching area remain is as minimal as possible along the lines of what has been

suggested with regard to the elevations of the garage as shown.

 

Mr. Toadvine asked if the Applicant is willing to agree to a Condition of the grant of the

Variance if the Board so desires, that the maximum height of the proposed garage would

be 12’, and Mrs. Maxian agreed.  Mr. Mack stated this would not be in the area that

would infringe on the setback line.

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if they need to retain such a large driveway area, and Mr. Maxian

stated they are reducing the driveway.  Mr. Donaghy asked if they could reduce it any

more since it is still relatively large.  Mrs. Maxian stated they took it to the walkway to

get to the house.  Between the sidewalk and the house itself there is grass and flowerbeds.

November 21, 2006                                                  Zoning Hearing Board – page 12 of 16

 

 

Ms. Kirk noted the rectangular shape on the Plan, and Mr. Maxian stated this is a

greenhouse that is part of the house itself. 

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if they have any intention to install additional plantings adjacent to

the garage, and Mrs. Maxian stated they could do this.  Mr. Maxian stated the existing

magnolia covers most of the garage.  He stated there are two magnolia trees – one in the

front of the garage on the left side and another approximately one third of the way from

the back of the proposed garage.

 

Mr. Toadvine marked as Exhibit A-6 a Plan which depicts the existing magnolia trees.

 

Mr. Kim noted the Application shows that the adjoining neighbor has no objection to this

setback.  Ms. Kirk stated they will ask for comments from the audience. 

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if it would be possible to either reconfigure the angle of the proposed

garage or move it back so that the encroachment would not be as great as proposed. 

Mr. Mack stated because they are incorporating the existing structure into the garage,

they will have to take out the existing left hand garage wall and they will have to have a

pillar to hold up the roof structure between the cars.  He stated if they alter the location of

the garage, they would not be able to get a car into the garage.  Mr. Mack noted

Mrs. Maxian drew the Plans.  Mrs. Maxian stated the width of the garage is the minimum

for a double garage door.  She stated currently there is a bad angle to the garage, and this

proposed angle will make it easier.  Mr. Maxian stated it is still not a straight access from

the road to the garage.  He stated they would have to remove a living room wall to

change the existing garage. 

 

Ms. Caroline Havrilla, 15 Lower Hilltop, was sworn in.  Ms. Kirk asked where she lives

in relation to the Applicants’ property, and Ms. Havrilla stated she is south of the

property approximately 700’ away. Ms. Kirk stated while the Board will permit

Ms. Havrilla to make a statement, generally only those within 400’ of the property would

have standing to raise an issue.  Ms. Havrilla stated it came to her attention that the

Application states that no previous Variances have been granted for the property and

there was one granted in 1985 for the front yard setback for the family room addition and

garage.  She stated this is at the corner of the front property.  Ms. Havrilla also asked if it

is a conflict of interest that the homeowner was in fact the surveyor; and Ms. Kirk stated

it is not since she is a licensed, registered surveyor.  Ms. Havrilla stated she takes issue

with the side yard setback as the Township requires that it be 15’, and she feels the

regulations of the Township should prevail for the preservation of the R-2 Residential

feel.  She stated she also felt that they could turn the garage so that there would be less of

an encroachment.  She asked if they will be rebuilding a two-car garage or rebuilding a

one-car garage.  Ms. Kirk stated they are converting an existing one-car garage into a

two-car garage. 

 

November 21, 2006                                                  Zoning Hearing Board – page 13 of 16

 

Mr. Steven Dilliplane, 26 Lower Hilltop, was sworn in.  He stated he resides next door

(Lot #27) to the immediate left of the property.  He stated he is on the side that the

encroachment would be on.  He stated this is the fist time he has seen the Plans.  He

stated his wife was not able to be present, and she may have an opinion as well.  He

agrees that there are magnolia trees on that side.  He suggested that the Board come out to

the property to look at the situation. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated Mr. Maxian indicated that the side of the garage they are proposing is

facing Mr. Dilliplane’s garage, and Mr. Dilliplane stated it will actually be facing more

across his front driveway.  He stated the side of his house has the garage in the front

portion; and in the back portion there is a room they are using as a bedroom.  They do

have some plantings, but he is not sure how it will relate to the magnolias.

 

Mr. Toadvine asked if he is opposed to the Application, and Mr. Dilliplane stated he

would like additional time to review it; and based on what is decided tonight, he would

like to be a Party and Appeal it in the future if he chooses. 

 

It was noted for the record that Mr. Dilliplane is requesting Party Status.

 

Mr. Toadvine asked what he would need to be able to take a position, and Mr. Dilliplane

stated he would need more time to review the exhibits so he can see how it would impact

his property. 

 

Mr. Maxian stated he did put out stakes and showed this to Mr. Dilliplane and his wife.

Mr. Kirk stated Mr. Dilliplane has the right to Appeal any Decision made by the Board. 

 

Ms. Havrilla asked about the R-2 requirements.  She stated she lives in this neighborhood

and asked if the Code changes for a particular property, would it not set precedent for

other properties in the R-2 area.  Ms. Kirk stated each case before the Board is decided on

the merits of each individual case.  She stated if there is a question with regard to the

Zoning Ordinance itself, Ms. Havrilla would have to discuss this with the Board of

Supervisors.  Ms. Havrilla stated she is concerned about a Zoning issue next door to her

property. 

 

Mr. Donaghy noted the Decision the Zoning Hearing Board made previously on this

property was dated 3/1/85.  He asked Mr. Maxian if he constructed the garage that is

currently located on the property as a result of that Decision.  Mr. Maxian stated he did. 

Mr. Maxian stated at that time they demolished an existing garage and installed a new

one in a different place.  Mr. Maxian stated they need a Variance of 4’ to encroach into

the front yard for the previous Variance request.  Mrs. Maxian stated they felt at the time

that one garage would be sufficient, but they are getting older and in the winter the

driveway has a deep slope and going around the cars is dangerous.  Mr. Donaghy asked if

the property could continue to be used as a residence without the two-car garage, and

Mrs. Maxian stated while it could, they would probably have to move. 

November 21, 2006                                                  Zoning Hearing Board – page 14 of 16

 

 

Mr. Bamburak asked how close it is from their left property line to the closest point on

Mr. Dilliplane’s house, and Mr. Maxian stated the minimum would be 33’. 

 

Mr. Majewski stated based on his calculations the lot area is only 17,532 square feet

which would make the existing impervious surface 26% and the proposed impervious

surface 25.5%. 

 

Testimony was closed.

 

Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried that a Variance from Section 200-22 for a side yard setback be granted to allow a side yard setback of 8.4’ and a Variance from Section 200-23B be granted to allow an impervious surface coverage of 25.5% based upon the Township engineer’s calculations subject to the following Conditions:

 

            1)  That the maximum height of the proposed garage addition shall

                 not exceed 12’.

 

            2)  That the section of the garage that will encroach into the side yard

                 setback line be less than 12’ in height as presented by the Applicant.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Appeal #06-1377 – Y-Knot Knit

 

Mr. Toadvine stated this matter comes before the Board as an Application that they are

going to reopen as a result of an error of the calculations presented by the Applicant.    

He stated when the Applicant came I, based o the figures presented, a Variance was

granted to approve a sign of 162 square inches in size based on a 12” by 13 ½” sign. 

He stated in fact the Application really wanted was a 12” by 37 ½” sign.

 

Ms. Denise Kahn, the Applicant, was present and was reminded that she was still under

oath.  Ms. Kahn stated when she filled out the Application she had the correct

measurements, but when the Sign Company printed a picture to present to the Zoning

Hearing Board, they had a typo and it should 12” by 13” rather than 12” by 37 ½”, and

she did not catch the error. 

 

Mr. Toadvine noted Exhibit A-4 shows the sign from which it will hang is 37 ½ long but

it was shown as 13 ½”. 

 

 

 

November 21, 2006                                                  Zoning Hearing Board – page 15 of 16

 

 

Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried that the

Board’s Decision of 6/20/06 be amended to permit a request for a sign of 12” by 37 ½” in

dimensions as submitted by the Applicant today conditioned upon the removal of the

existing banner from the property and further that the Applicant further proceed with any

Other requirements of HARB concerning this property at this location.

 

 

Appeal #06-1380 – Daniel R. Nigra

 

 

Ms. Kirk stated the Board received a letter directed to Ms. Frick dated 10/24/06 from the

Applicant’s attorney, Edward Murphy, stating that the original Decision of 6/20/06 was

based upon an incorrect calculation provided at that time.  Mr. Murphy explains that the

relief was based on the minimum lot area of 14,972 square feet, and the engineer for the

project has now determined that the lot size is 14,904 square feet which is 68 square feet

less than what was presented to the Board.  As a result of that change, the Variance from

Section 200-23 for impervious surface would actually increase to 29% for the developer. 

 

Mr. Toadvine asked what they would now need for the homeowner and asked if it would

have to go to 32%.  Mr. Nigra was present and stated he does not feel he needs that much. 

Mr. Nigra stated he is the homeowner, and he would not have an objection if the Board

amended the Approval to allow for impervious surface of 29% for the developer and keep

it at 31% for the homeowner. 

 

The Zoning Plan for the subject property dated 4/27/06, last revised 10/4/06 was marked

as Exhibit A-4.

 

Mr. Toadvine stated there will be two changes – one for the minimum lot size and as a

result of that change, one for the impervious surface coverage.  He stated since a written

Decision was issued by the Board in this matter, if the Board so desires, they should

make a Motion to amend the previous Decision as it applies to those particular issues but

that all other terms and conditions of the previous Decision remain in full force and

effect.

 

Ms. Kirk stated she cannot recall if there were other property owners present who

expressed concerned about the Application, and Mr. Toadvine stated a few property

owners were present who were concerned about the stormwater management issues.  He

stated this is the area which involves pre-existing lots on an undeveloped road.  He stated

while there was no opposition, everyone did ask that they do what they could with regard

to stormwater management.  He stated since the Board issued their written Decision on

6/06 and no Appeal was taken, he feels what they are doing is rectifying a mistake that is

deminimus. 

 

November 21, 2006                                                  Zoning Hearing Board – page 16 of 16

 

 

Ms. Kirk stated she is concerned since there was a change in the calculation of the lot size

which will have an impact on the impervious surface relief that was granted.  She asked if

they need to notify the adjoining property owners, and Mr. Toadvine stated they do not

since they are not increasing the overall impervious surface as they are still limiting it to

31% and are only changing the amount permitted for the developer.

 

Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried that the

Board’s Decision of 6/20/06 be amended to permit a Variance from Section 200-22 to

allow a minimum lot area of 14,904 square feet in lieu of the required minimum area of

16,500 square feet and further that a Variance from Section 200-23 for impervious

surface be granted to allow an impervious surface ratio of 29% for the developer and

31% for the homeowner in lieu of the maximum permitted coverage subject to the four

terms and conditions as set forth in the Board’s earlier Decision.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Malinowski moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        David Malinowski, Secretary