TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES – FEBRUARY 6, 2007

 

 

The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on February 6, 2007. Chairman Kirk called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Zoning Hearing Board:                       Barbara Kirk, Chairman

                                                            David Malinowski, Vice Chairman

                                                            Paul Bamburak, Secretary

                                                            Jerry Gruen, Member

                                                            Gregory Smith, Member

 

Others:                                                Robert Habgood, Code Enforcement Officer

                                                            John Donaghy, Township Solicitor

                                                            James Majewski, Township Engineer

                                                            Allen Toadvine, Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor

                                                            Ron Smith, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPEAL #06-1411 – RAFAL KORZEC

 

Ms. Kirk noted the letter received by the Township dated 1/31/07 from Rafal Korzec

in which he requested that his Appeal be continued until April, 2007 as he is out of the

State due to his work schedule.  The letter was marked as Board Exhibit 1.

 

There was no one present in the audience with regard to this matter.

 

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

the matter to the first meeting in April. 

 

 

APPEAL #07-1412 – ROWLAND PASCOE/GARDEN STATE SUNROOMS

 

Mr. Rowland Pascoe from Garden State Sunrooms and Mr. Glenn Jeffries, homeowner,

were sworn in. 

 

The Application submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Attached to this was a Building

Permit Plan prepared for the subject property dated 12/5/06, and this was marked as

Exhibit A-2. 

 

 

February 6, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 2 of 7

 

 

Mr. Pascoe stated the maximum permitted impervious surface is 18%, and they need

relief to permit 18.76%.  He stated they are proposing a two-car garage with two

bedrooms above that.  Currently there is a single car garage.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if this is the first work done by Mr. Jeffries, and he stated it is.  He has

lived at the property for five years.  An existing shed was noted in the rear, and

Mr. Jeffries stated this was on the property when he purchased the home.  The shed is 10’

by 16’.  Ms. Kirk noted the calculations on the Plan show it to be 163 square feet. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked for the location of the property, and Mr. Jeffries stated the address is

26 Maplevale in the Maplevale development which is the first development you turn into

from I-95 off of Taylorsville Road. 

 

Mr. Pascoe stated the one-car garage will remain and the two-car garage will be

constructed next to it so there will be a three-car garage. 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township is not participating in this mater.  There was no public

comment.

 

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

the Variance allowing a maximum impervious surface area ratio of 18.76% as requested.

 

 

APPEAL #07-1413 – PAUL AND NANCY KOESTLER

 

Mr. Paul Koestler was sworn in.  The Application submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1. 

Attached to the Application was a two page, 8 ˝” by 14” document entitled, “Koestler

Residence Site Study” dated 6/9/02, and this was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Koestler stated they are proposing to construct a two-story addition off of the back of

the house.  Currently they are at 22.45% impervious surface, and once they remove

asphalt from the rear of the property, with the proposed addition, they will be at 18.5%. 

He stated they would like to be able to keep 22.45% impervious surface.  He stated

currently the front walkway is impervious, and they may want to install a pervious

walkway at some point in the future as the existing condition results in weeds. 

 

Ms. Nancy Koestler joined the meeting at this time and was sworn in.

 

Ms. Kirk stated it appears that they are requesting permission to construct a two-story

addition in such a way whereby the impervious surface coverage will not exceed that

which currently exists at the property of 22.45%, and Mr. Koestler agreed.

 

 

February 6, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 3 of 7

 

 

Ms. Kirk asked what they have done to the property which has increased the impervious

surface up to the 22.45%, and  Ms. Koestler stated they have not done any work on the

property. 

 

Ms. Kirk noted the triangular shape on the drawing and asked if this is the driveway, and

Ms. Koestler agreed.  Mr. Koestler stated the garage is at the lower back, right-hand side

of the house so that you need to go all the way around.  They propose to have a two-car

garage on the left-hand side so that they can take out the asphalt.  Ms. Koestler stated this

is how they are able to construct an addition and stay current. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated while it was not part of the Application, they intend to construct a wood

deck in the rear; and Mr. Koestler agreed.  Ms. Kirk noted the second page of the Plan

submitted indicates, “new wood deck,” and she noted the rectangular area that indicates

“112” and then notes, “revised.”  Mr. Koestler stated when the architect first did the

Plans, they were at 17.9%,  and Mr. Koestler wanted to square the house off and add the

extra 112 square feet which would bring them to 18.493%.  Ms. Koestler stated this

would provide enough room to have a table in the kitchen area where otherwise they

would have room only for a breakfast bar. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked what the addition will consist of.  Mrs. Koestler stated it is actually three-

stories with the garage area at the bottom, kitchen and family room on the first floor, and

a master bedroom and master bath on the second floor.  Currently they have three

bedrooms,  and they have three daughters with one bathroom. 

 

Mr. Gruen asked the square footage of the walkway they propose to potentially pave, and

Mr. Koestler stated it is approximately 128 square feet.  Mr. Gruen asked if they only do

the addition, they would be at 18.49%; and if they add 128 square feet for the future

walkway, how would this bring it up to 22% impervious surface.  Ms. Koestler stated

since they are not completely finished with the Plans, they were asking to be

grandfathered where they are with regard to impervious surface in case there were any

slight changes, rather than be required to come back and re-do everything.  Mr. Koestler

stated if they do the walkway, it will take them to approximately 19%.  Mr. Gruen asked

if they would be comfortable with a Variance permitting 19% impervious surface. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated when you come before the Zoning Hearing Board asking for a Variance,

it should be the minimal amount relief necessary.  She suggested that the Board grant a

Variance for 20% to give them a slight cushion. 

 

There was further discussion on the front walkway.  Mr. Koestler stated it is brick with

sand in between and dirt underneath.  Ms. Kirk asked if they would widen or lengthen it,

and Mr. Koestler stated they would not.  He stated the only other item they were

considering was a patio in the rear.  Mr. Smith asked if the existing walk is considered

pervious, and Mr. Majewski stated what is being discussed is typically considered to be

February 6, 2007                                                         Zoning Hearing Board – page 4 of 7

 

 

impervious.  It was noted that the architect did include the walkway as impervious in the

calculations for existing and proposed impervious surface. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated they indicated the possibility of installation of a patio in the future.

Mr. Koestler stated they anticipate this would be 10’ by 15’.  Mr. Majewski stated this

would add 150 square feet which would add .85% impervious surface. 

 

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

proposed height of the addition; and Mr. Koestler stated it would not be higher than the

existing house.

 

Mr. Smith asked if they would be willing to amend the request for Variance to 20%

impervious surface, and this was acceptable to Mr. and Ms. Koestler. 

 

There was no public comment.  Testimony was closed.

 

Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant a

Variance to permit 20% impervious surface.

 

 

APPEAL #07-1414 – MARK AND CHRISTINE SILVERMAN

 

Mr. Mark Silverman was present and was sworn in.  The Application submitted was

marked as Exhibit A-1.  Included with the Application was a one sheet Pool Permit Plan

last revised 9/12/06 which was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Silverman stated they have a variable width storm easement that runs across the back

of the property, and they would like to install a fence that will go through the easement. 

He stated the easement was described as a swale, and the fence will not impede any water

flow.  They will not do any construction that would impact the run off.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if Mr. Silverman knows who owns the easement, and Mr. Silverman

stated he assumes the Township owns it.  Mr. Majewski agreed that this is correct.  He

stated it is a surface easement, and there are no pipes underground.  At some points it is

wider than at others on this property. 

 

Mr. Silverman stated he will install a five foot high aluminum fence.  Ms. Kirk asked if it

will be slatted, and Mr. Silverman presented a photograph of what is proposed. 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated one of the Township’s concerns was that if the Variance is granted 

in addition to the normal Conditions imposed on a fence in an easement, since this is a

surface easement, that there be a Condition that there be no alteration of the easement

area including no alteration to the grading. 

February 6, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 5 of 7

 

 

Ms. Kirk noted the 8 ˝” by 11” photograph of the proposed fence design and a photo

showing the fence already installed on another property, and this was marked as Exhibit

A-3.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if Mr. Silverman would be agreeable to Conditions that the Board may

impose in that there must be at least a 2” clearance from the ground to the bottom of the

fence to permit water flow, that there be no grading or other land alteration of the

easement area, and that if the easement holder, the Township, needs access to that area

for any purposes, that he would be responsible at his own cost for the removal of the

fence, and Mr. Silverman agreed.   Mr. Toadvine asked that they include that there be no

disturbance of the easement area, and Mr. Silverman agreed to this as well. 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township would like to be a Party in this matter and would

request that the Conditions be imposed as already outlined. 

 

There was no public comment.

 

Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant the Variance from Section 200-69A(14)(c) subject to the following Conditions:

 

            1)  That the installation and construction of the proposed fence be at

                  least 2” from ground to the bottom of the fence to allow water flow

                  at the fence;

 

            2)  That there not be any grading, land alteration, or other disturbance of

                  the easement area as set forth in the Plan;

 

            3)  That if the easement owner requires access to the easement area, the

                  Applicant, or future homeowner, will be solely responsible at his or

                  her own cost and expense for the removal of the fence.

 

 

APPEAL #06-1372 – PETER ORLOFF AND JOY GRACE

 

Ms. Kirk stated this matter was continued from 8/1/06 as the Applicants were attempting

to work with the Township and the Bucks County Conservation District with respect to

flooding along their property and the removal of trees.  Since then the Township has

received a letter from the Applicants dated 2/2/06 requesting that this matter be continued

until the first meeting in March as the Applicants are not available, due to business out of

town, to attend this evening’s meeting.  The letter was marked as Exhibit B-3.

 

 

 

February 6, 2007                                                         Zoning Hearing Board – page 6 of 7

 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated there is another e-mail which was received that has to do with the

fact that the Plans that were forwarded to the Bucks County Conservation District have

been lost, and are being re-forwarded; so he feels they will not be ready to come back to

the Zoning Hearing Board in March.

 

Mr. Majewski stated Mr. Orloff and Ms. Grace have requested engineering assistance

from the Bucks County Conservation District through a Grant program in order to

develop a comprehensive plan for the restoration of the stream and the surrounding area

adjacent to that which he feels could take at least six months to complete. 

 

Mr. Toadvine noted the letter they have received only requests a continuance through

March 1; and in addition, the language indicating they are waiving the time limits has not

been included.   Ms.  Kirk stated she is also concerned that if they are proceeding through

the Bucks County Conservation District, it may not be necessary that this Application be

pending before the Board.  Mr. Toadvine stated the Board would have to act on it at some

point.  Mr. Toadvine suggested that the Board grant the continuance to the first meeting

in March; and Mr. Habgood will contact the Applicants asking them to send a more

definitive letter waiving the time limits and advising them of the situation with the

Conservation District suggesting to them that they request that the matter be taken off the

Board’s Agenda until sometime in August or September, and waiving the time limits for

that as well. 

 

Mr. Gruen asked if there is a stop order on the property for no further clearing of the

trees; and Ms. Kirk stated they were issued a Cease and Desist which is what brought the

matter before the Zoning Hearing Board.  Mr. Habgood stated they have also been

advised that if any additional work is done, the Township may file a Citation at District

Court. 

 

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

matter at the request of the Applicants to March 6, 2007 with the further direction that

Mr. Habgood contact the Applicants as has been discussed.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Terence & Shannon Poulton Extension Request Approval

 

Ms. Kirk noted the letter received requesting an extension of time to the Grant of

Variance for the construction of an addition to their home which was granted by the

Board on 8/1/06.  They have requested a six-month Extension.  Mr. Toadvine suggested

that they grant it to 7/31/07.  Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was

unanimously carried that the grant of the Variance be extended to 7/31/07.

 

February 6, 2007                                                         Zoning Hearing Board – page 7 of 7

 

 

Change of Meeting Date

 

Ms. Kirk noted the memo received from Barbara Ellison indicating that the first meeting

in April is the first day of Passover; and the meeting room has been reserved for

Thursday, April 5 so that there is not a conflict.  Mr. Malinowski moved, Mr. Gruen

seconded and it was unanimously carried to change the meeting date to April 5, 2007.

 

 

Cancel Meeting of February 20, 2007

 

Due to lack of Agenda items, Mr. Malinowski moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to cancel the meeting of February 20, 2007.

 

 

There being no further business, Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                        Paul Bamburak, Secretary