TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES – APRIL 17, 2007

 

 

The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on April 17, 2007.   Mr. Bamburak called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Zoning Hearing Board:           Paul Bamburak, Secretary

                                                Gerry Gruen, Member

                                                Gregory Smith, Member

                                                Paul Kim, Alternate Member

                                                Anthony Zamparelli, Alternate Member

 

Others:                                    Robert Habgood, Code Enforcement Officer

                                                John Donaghy, Township Solicitor (left meeting in

 progress)

                                                James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                Allen Toadvine, Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor

                                                Ron Smith, Supervisor Liaison

 

Absent:                                    Barbara Kirk, Zoning Hearing Board Chair

                                                David Malinowski, Zoning Hearing Board Vice Chair

 

 

APPEAL #07-1419 – JOANNE R. GUINIVEN

Joanne R. Guiniven was present and was sworn in.  The Application submitted was

marked as Exhibit A-1.  Attached to the Application was a set of Plans with the relevant

Plan being the one sheet entitled Zoning Plan dated 3/5/07, and this was marked as

Exhibit A-2.  Mr. Toadvine stated she is present seeking a Variance for impervious

surface.

 

Ms. Guiniven stated she purchased the property in July, 1994.  Everything that is on the

property on the survey was as she purchased the property.   She stated she understands

everything was there in 1984 when the house was built and the pool was installed.  She

stated she understands this was before the Zoning changes which were made in 1994. 

Mr. Toadvine stated it appears that she is testifying that Exhibit A-2 reflects the existing

impervious surface, and this existed at the time of her purchase; and Ms. Guiniven

agreed.  She stated she added nothing.  She is the sole owner of the property. 

 

Ms. Guiniven stated she would like to enlarge the kitchen and dining room going out to

the back and the side.  She stated there is an existing wooden deck which she will take

April 17, 2007                                                              Zoning Hearing Board – page 2 of 8

 

 

down and replace with something. Ms. Guiniven stated she did speak with a contractor

after she submitted her proposal and was told that her current deck is impervious surface

because it has a vinyl liner; but if she put in a deck without a vinyl liner, it would not be

considered impervious surface. 

 

Mr. Toadvine asked the location of the deck; and it was noted it is the area on the Plan

which states “existing deck to be removed.”  She stated part of the deck will have to be

removed because the house will be extended over it, and she will probably re-shape the

deck.  She stated she will take the existing deck down and install a new one, but whatever

she would install would be pervious if this were required.  She stated she would prefer to

put in a flagstone patio, but in order to make it more amenable as to impervious surface

she would agree to put in something that was pervious. 

 

Ms. Guiniven presented new impervious surface calculations this evening, and stated

with the new calculations, she would stay at the impervious surface she is now.  The one

page document containing calculations of existing impervious and proposed pervious and

impervious surfaces was marked as Exhibit A-3.  Mr. Toadvine stated with the new

calculations it shows that the existing impervious coverage is 21.5% impervious surface;

and based on the revisions, she is proposing 21.6%.  Ms. Guiniven stated she had

originally requested 22.2%; but as a compromise, she would be willing to do 21.6%.

 

Mr. Bamburak asked if the revisions would meet her needs; and Ms. Guiniven stated they

would.  Mr. Bamburak stated one of the goals of the Board is to grant the minimum relief

possible that would accomplish what the Applicants are trying to do. 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated she is at 21.5%, and if the Zoning Hearing Board were to grant some

minor increase up to 22% impervious surface, would this help her; and Ms. Guiniven

stated it would.

 

Mr. Gruen asked if the shed is part of the calculations; and Ms. Guiniven stated she

believes it is.  She stated the shed was on the property when she purchased the property. 

Mr. Gruen asked about the stone wall, and Ms. Guiniven stated she did put this in to hold

back dirt that was falling down.  She stated it is a small dry stack wall. 

 

Mr. Majewski stated he does not feel the shed was included in the impervious surface

calculations.  Mr. Habgood stated the calculations he got were very close to what they

submitted at 22.2%, and this included the shed. 

 

Mr. Gruen asked if she uses the pavers from the driveway to the road, and Ms. Guiniven

stated they do get used for people parking the street who use them to walk up.

Mr. Bamburak stated if these were to be removed, she could use that impervious surface

or minimize the amount she is asking for.  Ms. Guiniven stated had not given that thought

but feels she would rather give up the back than the front. 

April 17, 2007                                                             Zoning Hearing Board – page 3 of 8

 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated the Board would set a number for impervious surface, and she can

do with it as she wishes.

 

Mr. Gruen noted the drive is 15’ wide, and Ms. Guiniven stated it is about two-cars wide.

Mr. Gruen stated possibly she could remove 12” to 18” of the driveway and install gravel

along the edge which would eliminate some impervious surface.  Mr. Donaghy stated the

driveway must be a hard surface to be part of the driveway; and even if it was gravel, it

would be considered impervious.  Mr. Majewski stated if they put in River Jack stone, it

would not be considered impervious.

 

Mr. Kim asked the maximum permitted impervious surface for the property, and

Mr. Habgood stated it is 18%.  Mr. Toadvine stated 25 years ago, the permitted was

probably 24% to 25%.  Mr. Kim asked if she or her neighbors have any groundwater or

water retention problems; and Ms. Guiniven stated during the most recent storm, she did

have spots on the property where there is water, but she did not get water in her home. 

She stated she is at the low point.  She did discuss this project with her neighbors on

either side.  Mr. Kim stated they want to make sure that by increasing her impervious

surface, they do not impact water problems.  Ms. Guiniven stated someone did mention

installing a rain garden as part of the water management system.

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township would like to participate in this matter, although they

are not necessarily opposed.  He stated they would like to see the impervious surface kept

to a minimum.  Mr. Donaghy asked if the Revised Plan at 21.6% would be satisfactory to

Ms. Guiniven; and she stated it would.  Mr. Donaghy asked if the  pavers in the front

were not there, could someone access the house by walking up the driveway; and

Ms. Guiniven stated they could, but she stated she feels it would detract from the

appearance of the house.

 

There was no public comment.  Testimony was closed.

 

Mr. Smith moved and Mr. Gruen seconded to grant a maximum impervious surface of

21.6%. 

 

Mr. Kim asked if they could grant her 22% to allow her some flexibility. Mr. Gruen

stated he feels they are being generous by granting 21.6% since she is already over what

is permitted, and he does not feel there is a hardship since she can obtain what she wants

by other means.  He would have reduced it, but would agree to go along with 21.6%.

 

Mr. Kim moved to Amend the Motion and grant maximum impervious surface of 22%.

Motion to amend died for lack of a Second.

 

Motion as originally stated carried unanimously.

 

April 17, 2007                                                             Zoning Hearing Board – page 4 of 8

 

 

Mr. Donaghy left the meeting at this time.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Appeal #06-1410 – Norman P/ Patricia K. O’Rourke

 

Mr. Bamburak asked if anyone was present for this matter this evening.   No one was present.  Mr. Toadvine stated this matter was originally continued until this evening, but it has now been officially continued to May 17, 2007

 

 

APPEAL #07-1420 – RICHARD T. AND MARILYN QUAKE

 

Edward Murphy, attorney, was present with Richard T. Quake who was sworn in.  The

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

one-sheet Plan entitled “Proposed House Addition” dated 5/06, last revised 12/06, and

this was marked as Exhibit A-2. 

 

Mr. Murphy stated they are requesting relief to permit construction of a 600 square foot

addition to the home located at the corner of Delaware Rim Drive and Woodside Road. 

Mr. Murphy marked as Exhibits A-3 through A-8 a series of photographs which were

distributed this evening.  Mr. Quake stated he took the photographs two weeks ago.  They

represent the condition of the subject property.  Exhibit A-3 shows the front of the home

down from Delaware Rim Drive.  Exhibit A-4 was taken from the rear of the home. 

Exhibit A-5 is a photo slightly toward Woodside Road but still to the rear of the home. 

Exhibit A-6 is a photograph from near Woodside Road looking at the end of the home

that faces Woodside Road.  Exhibit A-7 was taken standing in the middle of Woodside

Road looking to the end of the home that faces Woodside Road.  Exhibit A-8 is a picture

standing on the corner of Delaware Rim and Woodside Road looking east down

Woodside Road showing the width on the property on the proposed addition side to

Woodside Road.

 

It was noted the property is zoned R-2.  The lot is slightly more than 32,000 square feet. 

Mr. Quake stated he uses the property as his home.  The size of the home is accurately

reflected in the photographs.  It is a split level.  They have private water and sewer.

Mr. Quake stated he purchased the property in 2001.  Exhibit A-2 which is the Plan

identifies on it the current level of impervious surface on the property which is 10.5%. 

Mr. Quake stated if permitted, they propose to construct a 30’ by 20’ sunroom which

would be an addition of  600 square feet.

 

Exhibit A-2 was noted, and Mr. Quake stated they would like the location to be on the

eastern side which is the Woodside Road side of the property or the “blank” end of the

April 17, 2007                                                             Zoning Hearing Board – page 5 of 8

 

house.  Exhibits A-7 and A-8 were noted which indicate the area between the end of the

property addition and where the edge of the cartway of Woodside Road would be. 

On Exhibit A-2 in the center middle of the page, there is a dimension that indicates 54.2’

from the edge of the blank end of the building to the ultimate right-of-way of Woodside

Road, and this is the condition which exists today.  Exhibit A-2 also indicates that the

dimension, if the proposed addition were to be constructed as described, would result in a

setback from the ultimate right-of-way of Woodside Road of 42.5’.  Currently from the

edge of paving shown on A-2 to the ultimate right-of-way it is 30’, so that currently from

the edge of the home to the edge of paving of Woodside Road it is 84.2’; and if the

addition were approved, the dimension would be reduced to 72.5’. 

 

Mr. Murphy asked why they selected the blank end of the home to construct the addition;

and Mr. Quake stated they did so because it was the blank end and also because it is the

largest open piece of property they have.   He stated the way the home is situated on the

lot, it would progress naturally as the house steps down.

 

Exhibit A-4 was noted, and Mr. Quake showed the location of the septic system which

includes a drain field and a tank.  It is to the rear of the patio.  Mr. Quake showed on

Exhibit A-2 the location of the tank which is in the rear yard almost in the center of the

existing home approximately 25’ off the back building.  The tile field is behind the tank

to the rearmost portion of the lot. 

 

Mr. Toadvine asked the cartway width of Woodside Road as it exists now, and

Mr. Murphy stated he has asked Mr. Majewski this question, and he will defer to him.

Mr. Majewski stated the cartway of Woodside Road in front of this property is about 12’

from the center line of the road to the edge of pavement on the Applicant’s side of the

property.  He feels it is slightly wider on the other side of Woodside Road as there is a

shoulder on that side that is approximately 8’ wide.  It is an 80’ right-of-way.

 

Mr. Murphy stated Exhibit A-2 shows that from the edge of paving to the right of-way

line it is 30’, and Mr. Majewski stated he felt it was 28’ rather than 30’.  Mr. Toadvine

stated the front yard setback for this Zone is 40’, and Mr. Majewski stated this would be

true if it were not subject to the Special Collector setback.  Mr. Murphy noted there is a

Highway Classification map in the Township, and Woodside Road under Section 200-63

is identified as a Collector Road and qualifies for a Special Setback of 80., and

Mr. Quake agreed.   Mr. Quake stated he understands that the reason they are present this

evening is to seek relief to permit him to encroach into the Special Setback. 

Mr. Quake stated he is now aware that his existing home is non-conforming and it is

closer than 80’ from the edge of the right-of-way.  He stated he found this out when they

submitted for review of the Plans. 

 

 

 

 

April 17, 2007                                                              Zoning Hearing Board – page 6 of 8

 

 

Exhibit A-5 was noted, and Mr. Gruen noted a large tree in the photo.  He asked to be

shown this tree in Exhibit A-7, and Mr. Quake showed him the tree in Exhibit A-7.

Mr. Gruen asked how far it is from the house, and Mr. Quake stated it is 40’ to 45’ away. 

Mr. Gruen asked if they considered the possibility of putting the sunroom further into the

property to be even with the chimney which would not require as much of a Variance. 

Mr. Quake stated he would have to move trees, and the drain field would be in that

location.   He stated he is concerned they the proposal being made by Mr. Gruen could

also impact the roots of the tree.  Mr. Gruen stated he feels they will disturb the roots

anyway.  Mr. Murphy stated he also was concerned about trying to provide as much

distance from adjacent properties as possible, and Mr. Quake agreed.  He stated originally

they were going to put it on the garage side, but it would have been too close to the

neighbors.  They would also like to maintain the continuity of the house.  Mr. Gruen

stated he feels they could move it 10’ over and they would gain 10’ on the corner.

Mr. Kim stated architecturally, he did not feel it would look as well.  Mr. Quake stated

the roof line would also be very choppy. 

 

Mr. Kim asked about collector roads, and Mr. Toadvine stated arterial and collector roads

are defined in the Ordinance and special setbacks are required as theoretically, these are

major roads and in the future, there may be a need to widen the roads so they have special

setbacks. 

 

Mr. Majewski stated he did review the Plan, and generally what is depicted is accurate.

 

The matter was opened for public comment.

 

Mr. Jules Sghiatti asked when the setback line changed from 40’ to 80’, and

Mr. Toadvine stated he feels it was 1987.  Mr. Sghiatti asked if the homeowners have to

be notified when there is such a change, and Mr. Toadvine stated they do not.  He stated

this was done throughout the Township based on roads which they felt would have high

traffic impact in the future.

 

Mr. Neil Russo stated he owns the property beyond the lot, and he wants to make sure the

contour of the land will stay the same so the drainage remains the same; and Mr. Quake

stated it will.  Mr. Murphy stated this will also be subject to review by the Township

engineer as part of the Building Permit process.

 

Testimony was closed.

 

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

Variance to allow a 600 square foot addition with a front yard setback of 42.5’.

 

 

 

April 17, 2007                                                              Zoning Hearing Board – page 7 of 8

 

 

APPEAL #07-1421 – STONY HILL OFFICE DEVELOPMENT, II, L.P.

 

Jeffrey Garton, attorney, was present with Mr. Jeffrey Ruviaso, who was sworn in.

The Application was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Attached to the Application was a plan for

Café 790 dated 11/16/06 which was marked as Exhibit A-2.  Mr. Toadvine stated he

explained to the Board that Mr. Garton will be laying out the purpose of the Application

for the Board, and his client will then confirm those facts.  Mr. Garton stated Exhibit A-3

is the Affidavit of Posting. 

 

Mr. Garton stated the property is located in the Office/Research Zoning District, and the

building is Building #2 located in the Lower Makefield Corporate Center which is an

office development with approximately 375,000 square feet.   In Building #2, which is

identified as 790 Township Line Road, the Applicant proposes to fit out a cafeteria for

the purpose of providing food service to the tenants that exist within the office complex

and within walking distance of Floral Vale.  He stated the Ordinance permits a restaurant

by Special Exception; however, the size of the facility will be only 1,500 square feet, it

will have only 48 seats, and there will be no waitress service.  The Applicant intends to

operate the facility five days a week from approximately 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. but times

could be adjusted due to time of the year or special events.  There will be no weekend

service.  There is no cooking on site, although some items will be heated.  Mr. Garton

stated the Applicant is doing this as a convenience to the tenants.  They also believe the

cafeteria will reduce the amount of traffic in the area as people will not have to drive

elsewhere to have lunch.   Mr. Ruviaso agreed to what was stated by Mr. Garton.

 

Mr. Toadvine asked if the project complies with all requirements of Section 200-98(3)

A through F, and Mr. Ruviaso it does. 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated the Zoning Hearing Board did receive from the Planning

Commission a memorandum dated 4/10/07 which was marked as Exhibit B-1. 

In it the Planning Commission recommended approval of the Plan with several

Conditions.  Mr. Toadvine stated he believes the Applicant has indicated they would

abide by those Conditions.  Mr. Garton stated the Conditions from the Planning

Commission are slightly different.  He stated the Conditions he has provided to the

Zoning Hearing Board are similar to what he summarized as far as the Applicant’s

testimony.  He would suggest that the Conditions be modified by what he provided to the

Zoning Hearing Board today.    He stated at the Planning Commission meeting the

Applicant was not expecting some of the questions as that was more of a planning issue

as opposed to operation issues; and they did not have the exact information available at

that time as to hours of operation, number of seats, etc. 

 

 

 

 

April 17, 2007                                                              Zoning Hearing Board – page 8 of 8

 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated there is a Condition from the Planning Commission that there be no

food preparation on site; and the Applicant is suggesting language to the effect that cold

sandwiches will be made on site, and that there be no cooking on the premises except for

heating up soups, hot sandwiches, and other similar food offerings.  Mr. Toadvine stated

these Conditions are highly unusual in a Special Exception.  He stated the Zoning

Hearing Board should also recognize that if they impose these Conditions, he would

question who would police them.  He feels it would be better to provide a blanket

Condition that the Applicant would not have extensive food preparation on the premises.

 

Mr. Garton stated he feels the Planning Commission was concerned that there would be a

restaurant; and while they could by Special Exception have a restaurant, he feels that the

clearest way to avoid what they are concerned with is to state “no weekend service, and

no waitress service.”  He stated these two Conditions would dictate what would happen

with the space.  Mr. Toadvine agreed.

 

Mr. Smith asked about the patio, and Mr. Garton stated this is not included in the

Application.  There was discussion on the signs, and Mr. Garton stated they had been

asked about signs along Township Line Road.  He stated there will be a sign in the

window, but only after the appropriate Permits are received. 

 

There was no public comment.

 

Testimony was closed.

 

Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Gruen seconded and it was unanimously carried that the Special Exception be granted subject to the following Conditions:

1)  Space to be allocated is 1516 square feet;

            2)  There be no more than 48 seats in the area;

            3)  No external advertising signs;

            4)  No waitress service

            5)  Hours of operation will be 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Gruen seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Paul Bamburak, Secretary