TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES – JANUARY 3, 2007

 

 

The reorganization meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on January 3, 2007.  Chairman Kirk called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  She welcomed Jerry Gruen as the newest member of the Zoning Hearing Board. 

 

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

                                               

Absent:                                    Ron Smith, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

REORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD

 

Mr. Toadvine called for nominations for Chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board for the year 2007.  Mr. Bamburak moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to elect Barbara Kirk as Chairman.

 

The meeting was turned over to Ms. Kirk.

 

Ms. Kirk called for nominations for Vice Chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board for the year 2007.  Mr. Bamburak moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to elect David Malinowski as Vice Chairman

 

Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to elect Paul Bamburak as Secretary of the Zoning Hearing Board for the year 2007.

 

 

APPOINTMENT OF SOLICITOR

 

Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Allen Toadvine as Solicitor for the Zoning Hearing Board for the year 2007.

January 3, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 2 of 23

 

 

 

APPOINTMENT OF COURT REPORTER

 

Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Bucks County Court Reporters as the Zoning Hearing Board Court Reporter for the year 2007 under the same terms and conditions as the previous year.

 

 

APPEAL #06-1401 – WILLIAM AND PAMELA RAUH

 

Mr. William and Mrs. Pamela Rauh were present and were sworn in.  Ms. Kirk stated

Mr. and Mrs. Rauh were before the Board on 11/21/06 and have since submitted a

revised Plan last dated 12/26/06.  This Plan was marked as Exhibit A-3.

 

Ms. Kirk stated the Board was concerned as to the amount of impervious surface they

were requesting and asked what revisions have been made to the Plan.  Mrs. Rauh stated

they reduced the coping and decking and will remove the walkway to the back yard. 

Mr. Rauh stated 81 existing square feet will be removed, and they will eliminate 79

square feet of impervious surface from what was previously proposed. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated at the last Board meeting there was a question about whether the concrete

equipment pad had been included in the initial calculation.  Mrs. Rauh stated it was

included, but it was not shown that way.  She stated they have clarified it on the revised

Plan. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated the increase in impervious surface is going to go from 22.2% existing up

to 24.2% which is less than the 25.1% which they were originally requesting.  Mr. Smith

asked how much impervious surface is permitted; and Ms. Kirk stated while 18% is

permitted, the property already exceeds this at 22.2%.  Ms. Kirk noted the existing

walkway that goes from the concrete patio to the side of the yard will be removed, and

Mrs. Rauh agreed.

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township is not participating, but noted the area where they have

shown the equipment pad is not a permitted location.  He stated they will have to move it

to meet the side yard setback requirement.  Mr. Rauh stated they understand this and will

move it.

 

There was no public comment.

 

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

Variance for impervious surface of 24.2%.

 

 

 

January 3, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 3 of 23

 

 

APPEAL #06-1405 – LIBERTY PROPERTY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP

 

John Fenningham, attorney, was present.  He stated the Application was filed

November 6, 2006.  He stated the property was the subject of a Final Plan approval by

the Board of Supervisors in July, 2004.  He stated there was a Development Agreement

executed between Liberty Properties Limited Partnership and the Township dated 5/2/05. 

He stated the building remains unoccupied.  He stated the Application this evening is for

a Special Exception to allow joint use.  He stated the existing approved use is under

General Business/Professional Office Use of the Zoning Ordinance.  He stated this

Application seeks by Special Exception to add a joint use for Medical Office Occupancy

under Section 48B(3) of the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

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

was a copy of a Special Warranty Deed showing the property has been transferred to the

Applicant, and this was marked as Exhibit A-2.  Also submitted was an 8 1/2” by 11”

photocopy of a Plan for the property at 777 Township Line Road which was marked

Exhibit A-3.  Ms. Kirk stated the Zoning Hearing Board also received a memorandum

from the Township’s Planning Commission regarding this Application dated 12/12/06,

and this was marked as Exhibit B-1. 

 

Mr. Fenningham stated the property was posted by the Notice provided by the Township

on 12/26/06.

 

Mr. Patrick Dorris was called and sworn in.  He stated he is a Chief Operating Officer for

Clinical Care Associates which is a physician network group that is part of the University

of Pennsylvania Health System.  He stated they have approximately 150 physicians and

50 locations in the five-County area in Pennsylvania and three Counties in New Jersey. 

There are 700 total employees.  He stated they focus on primary care physician office

practices. 

 

Mr. Dorris stated they have entered into a Lease with Liberty Property in connection with

777 Township Line Road, the site at issue.  The Lease is subject to the Applicant

obtaining a Special Exception for joint use. 

 

Mr. Dorris stated they currently have two practices which are long-established practices

in the area.  One is Bucks County Internal Medicine which is presently located at 444 S.

State Road in Newtown.  They have five Internal Medicine physicians, and they have

been operating at that site for a number of years.  He stated the other practice is Yardley

Family Medicine which is located at 62 S. Main Street in Yardley Borough where they

have four full-time physicians and two nurse practitioners.  Their goal is to move these

practices into the new facility and offer a better environment for providing their services

than they are currently able to at the existing facility including access for patients.  It will

also allow them to improve efficiencies in the office including computerized records.  He

January 3, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 4 of 23

 

 

stated if the Special Exception is granted, the two practices would move in and occupy

the premises.

 

Mt. Fenningham stated the Planning Commission had asked about the location of the

proposed use and asked if there is a dedicated area in the building where these practices

would be located.  Mr. Dorris stated it will be at the north end of the building.  It is for

use of not more than 30,000 square feet.  The medical office would be primarily on the

second floor although they would have the option to move people onto the first floor at a

later date.  He added they are close to having an agreement to have their phlebotomy

service located on the first floor as well as a small cardiology practice.  Phlebotomy

would be the area where you go to have blood drawn. 

 

Mr. Fenningham asked about the hours of operation, and Mr. Dorris stated currently their

hours are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday,

and 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.  They are also looking to possibly have 8:00 a.m. to

1 p.m. on Sunday.  He stated the extended hours – those in the evening and weekends –

are typically ones where they would have one or two physicians at most seeing patients. 

He stated the bulk of the patients would be seen during the 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. time

slots. 

 

Mr. Fenningham asked how may employees would be on site in a typical day.  Mr. Dorris

stated both practices together currently have 65 individuals and their schedules would be

staggered throughout the day depending on the number of physicians seeing patients

versus those that would be at one of the hospitals seeing patients. 

 

Mr. Fenningham asked if there will be medical waste generated and asked how it would

be removed from the property.  Mr. Dorris stated they have a medical waste vendor.  He

added there are two types of medical waste – one would be needles or “sharps” which are

items that would have the ability to puncture someone; and these must be disposed of in a

certain way.  He stated the other type of medical waste would be dressings, gloves, etc.

and these are put in separate labeled containers.  He stated certain procedures must be

followed by the staff with regard to medical waste and none of it is co-mingled with

normal trash.  He stated nothing would be put out in a dumpster.  Mr. Dorris stated they

do not use mercury any longer.  He stated they also have a special procedure that must be

followed for replacing computer equipment, and this is handled by a certified vendor. 

The vendors operate pursuant to State and Federal regulations.  Mr. Dorris stated Penn

also has a very strict safety program. 

 

Mr. Fenningham stated the practices that will occupy the site will be under the auspices

of the University of Pennsylvania, and Mr. Dorris agreed.

 

Mr. Fenningham stated on Exhibit A-3, the site Plan, there is a drop-off driveway shown

at the north end of the building.  Mr. Fenningham stated this was what was proposed

January 3, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 5 of 23

 

 

previously.  He stated as a result of the Planning Commission meeting, the Applicant will

present an alternate configuration of that driveway.  Mr. Fenningham asked the reason for

adding the driveway.  Mr. Dorris stated a certain percentage of patients would be using

walkers, may be in a wheelchair, or need assistance with walking; and it is easier for

them to have a spot where they could be dropped off by a family member and then come

in the separate entrance and take the elevator rather than be dropped off at the main

entrance of the building and access the building with other tenants.  Mr. Fenningham

asked the percentage of those needing this, and Mr. Dorris stated he would estimate it to

be less than 1% or 2%.  Mr. Fenningham stated the driveway would provide anyone who

comes to the office a location indication and a way to come by to drop someone off, and

Mr. Dorris agreed.

 

Mr. Fenningham asked if there is any expectation that there will be ambulances coming

to drop people off at this location, and Mr. Dorris stated there is not.

 

Ms. Kirk stated Mr. Dorris indicated that there was the possibility for the lab to be

located on the first floor, and asked when they will know whether this will occur; and

Mr. Dorris stated he anticipates they will know within the next few months.  Ms. Kirk

asked the hours of operation for the lab, and Mr. Dorris stated they would be similar to

the office hours, although they would probably not have evening hours.  He stated this is

not a lab where blood samples would be taken and analyzed, but would strictly be for

drawing blood.  Ms. Kirk stated she is aware of the lab at Yardley Medical Center, and

the Lab is open earlier than the doctor’s office.  Mr. Dorris stated they anticipate that they

will have the same hours as the office.  Ms. Kirk asked for more information about the

possibility of a cardiologist operating the first floor, and Mr. Dorris stated this would be

one doctor working one or two days during the week.  Ms. Kirk asked if they would be

willing to agree to a Condition that if there is a cardiologist, they would be limited to

fewer hours than the general office hours.  Mr. Dorris stated if the demand for this service

would increase, they would try to accommodate their patients, although initially it will

not be more than one or two days a week.  This would be non-invasive studies such as

basic EKG and Ultra-Sound.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if there were any restrictions or conditions imposed by the Final Plan

approved for Liberty Property Limited Partnership by the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Fenningham stated the Development Agreement required that there be a monitoring

of traffic on Township Line Road following full occupancy, and the Applicant/Owner has

already agreed to this.  He stated there was discussion when they went before the Board

of Supervisors whether there would be general business or medical; and their

representative indicated that they did not anticipate medical use, but they did want to fill

the building.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if this is a stand-alone building on Township Line Road, and

Mr. Fenningham stated it is a stand-alone building on the south side.  Mr. Majewski

January 3, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 6 of 23

 

stated it is across the street from the Lower Makefield Corporate Center and was

previously the Keystone Water Company.  It backs up to the condominiums located in

Middletown.

 

A Plan of the original Site plan was shown.  Mr. Fenningham stated the original Plan

called for 550 off-street parking spaces.  With the addition of the drop-off driveway, even

as re-configured, they have 544 off-street parking spaces and still comply with the

Ordinance requirements. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked about lighting and safety issues.  Mr. Fenningham stated the Applicant

feels the lighting is adequate; but they will add another pole with a light within the curb

of the proposed drive-way.  This will illuminate the drop-off area at the location of the

north end entrance for the joint use. 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township is participating in this matter to clarify some issues

including some of those already raised by the Planning Commission.  Mr. Donaghy stated

at the present time the uses indicated are two medical practices, and Mr. Dorris agreed.

Mr. Dorris stated the cardiology services that they would like to move in already exist at

the Bucks County practice and phlebotomy as a basic service exists at both practices so

they are really moving in like practices into a better building.  Mr. Donaghy asked if the

proposed uses fill the entire 30,000 square feet, and Mr. Dorris stated they will not. 

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if the Lease is for the entire 30,000 square feet, and Mr. Dorris stated

it is for 25,000.  Mr. Donaghy asked if the 25,000 square feet they are renting could be

used for other medical purposes, and Mr. Dorris agreed it could.  Mr. Donaghy noted the

requested approval is for any medical offices, and Mr. Dorris agreed.  Mr. Fenningham

stated it would be within the definition of Medical Office Use.  Mr. Donaghy stated it is

not necessarily limited to the proposed use, and Mr. Fenningham agreed but noted that

these are committed practices but there is a Plan to grow, and not more than 30,000

square feet.  The expectation is that the uses would be complimentary.  He stated

assuming this is granted, they will make an effort to fill the 30,000 square feet with

medical use under the definition of Medical Offices.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if the Applicant would agree that any future medical services within that

additional 5,000 square feet be limited to out-patient medical services only, and both

Mr. Dorris and Mr. Fenningham agreed.  Mr. Toadvine stated the definition of Medical

Office would cover this as it states, “Office or Clinic for medical, psychological, or

dental examination or treatment of persons in the area of physical, mental health, as

outpatients including laboratories incidental thereto.” 

 

Mr. Gruen asked if they foresee the possibility of physical therapy as part of the

cardiology practice.  Mr. Dorris stated they do not at this time although if there was a

need, they would evaluate this.  Mr. Gruen stated if they would have this use, it would

require more parking since they would be servicing more than one patient at a time. 

January 3, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 7 of 23

 

 

Mr. Dorris agreed that those patients would stay at the office longer than the typical

patient.  Mr. Fenningham stated they would still stay within the parking ratio called for in

the Ordinance.  Mr. Toadvine stated the Ordinance does not differentiate between

physical therapy and general medical. 

 

Mr. Toadvine asked the square footage of the entire building; and Mr. Fenningham stated

it is 116,000 square feet, and it is currently vacant.  Mr. Toadvine asked how will the

30,000 proposed for the medical use on the north end of the building be differentiated

from the rest of the building.  He asked if there will be internal partitions.

 

Mr. Tony Nichols, Liberty Property Limited Partnership was sworn in.  He stated they

will create a side entrance for the medical practice which will be very visible to those

coming to the practice.  He stated the building main lobby will have the other tenants

more typical of an office building.  He stated they will also have their own bathroom and

elevator space.  He stated this will keep the two uses separate. 

 

Mr. Toadvine asked Mr. Fenningham if they are required to go through the Township’s

Land Development Approval process in connection with this project.  Mr. Fenningham

stated he feels the Zoning Hearing Board has the ability to address those issues under

Section 99 A and B and can make the determination that this joint use as a Special

Exception is permitted.  He stated the facility and the Site Plan have already been through

the Land Development process, and his expert witnesses will say that there is no change

in the Traffic Study that was performed, but for the driveway in regard to the site.           

 

Mr. Toadvine stated his question was more concerned about the issues of lighting and

traffic and whether they had to go back through the Land Development Process.  He

stated if they are not going to go through this process again, the Zoning Hearing Board

would need to know this.  Mr. Fenningham stated they hope that they will be able to

answer all the Zoning Hearing Board’s questions, and the matter would stop there.

Mr. Donaghy stated he feels the Township may have a different opinion on whether or

not they need to go through the Land Development Process.  Mr. Fenningham stated they

did appear before the Planning Commission December 11, 2006; and the Planning

Commission voted in favor of this subject to conditions listed in the 12/12/06 memo

which they feel they can address to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board.

 

Mr. Eric Ostimchuk was sworn in and stated he works for Traffic Planning & Design.  He

stated he is a Registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

focusing on traffic engineering.  He has been with the firm for approximately nine years

and is a principal and owner of the firm as well.  He stated he prepared a Traffic Study

Report in 2003 for the site.  He re-evaluated this at Mr. Fenningham’s request for this

joint use.  He stated when evaluating traffic and preparing traffic impact studies, the

critical time period evaluated would be the morning and evening peak hours specifically

on Township Line Road.  He stated the original study did evaluate those time periods and

January 3, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 8 of 23

 

 

the traffic to be generated by the previously-approved site.  He stated they re-evaluated

the traffic to be generated during such time periods to do a comparison of the difference

in light of the new Application; and they found with the reduction in size from the

previously-approved Application and the changes in use, there will be a very minimal

change in the traffic to be generated. 

 

Mr. Fenningham noted Exhibit A-3, and noted the north side of the site where there is a

dotted line.  Mr. Ostimchuk stated the previous Application was approved for 132,000

square feet of office space; and the Plan before the Board is for 116,000 square feet of

space, 30,000 of it for Medical Office and 86,000 for General Office Use.  There was a

reduction in the originally-approved envelope of the building.  Mr. Ostimchuk stated in

addition to this, a Medical Office generates a different type of trip than a General Office. 

In evaluating the peak hours, they feel they will see a reduction in traffic generated by the

site during the morning peak hour and only a very minimal increase of less than 6% in

the evening peak hour which would equal approximately one new vehicle every five

minutes. 

 

Mr. Fenningham noted Mr. Dorris’ testimony regarding the expected hours of operation

for the Medical Practice, and asked if Mr. Ostimchuk’s conclusions took these hours into

account.  Mr. Ostimchuk stated they did consider those hours in their calculations. 

Mr. Fenningham noted the traffic study he prepared in support of the Final Plan

Approved in 2004 and asked if those conclusions would still be applicable despite a joint

use, and Mr. Ostimchuk stated they would.  Mr. Fenningham asked if the lay-out and

circulation is generally still within the scope of the traffic study, and Mr. Ostimchuk

stated it is.  He stated the Plan has changed very little from the original with respect to

traffic circulation.  He stated the two uses will be separated, and there will be two access

points to allow for a great dispersal of traffic throughout the site. 

 

A new Exhibit was presented by Mr. Fenningham which contained the Alternate Site

Plan depicting the re-located driveway, a blow-up of the legends that indicate the

requirements for lot area and impervious surface area, and a blow up of the proposed

alternate driveway to address the Planning Commission’s concerns.  This was

collectively marked as Exhibit A-4.  Mr. Fenningham stated the Applicant still prefers the

original crescent-shaped driveway, but they have submitted this alternative to be

responsive to the Planning Commission concerns. 

 

Mr. Toadvine asked if the Zoning Hearing Board was inclined to grant the Special

Exception, would the Applicant to agree as a Condition that the ultimate configuration of

the drop-off area and the traffic flow would be determined at the sole discretion of the

Township engineer; and Mr. Fenningham stated they would.  Mr. Toadvine noted the

Zoning Hearing Board is not necessarily equipped to deal with traffic flow, traffic

patterns, and driveway configuration issues as well as the Township engineer is. 

 

January 3, 2007                                                          Zoning Hearing Board – page 9 of 23

 

 

Mr. Fenningham stated they believe that the addition of a stop or yield sign on site no

longer requires PennDOT approval, but that the Township could authorize that; and they

have considered this in looking at the drop-off driveway.

 

Mr. Ostimchuk stated he did review Exhibit A-4 as part of his re-examination and he has

no traffic concerns given the minimal use of the drop-off area. 

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if the original traffic study was submitted as part of the Land

Development Approval process, and Mr. Ostimchuk stated he understands that it was.   

Mr. Ostimchuk stated changes to the traffic flow given the new request would be

extremely minimal and well within the margin of error.  There will be a slight decrease in

volume in the morning peak and a slight increase in the evening peak.  Mr. Donaghy

asked with Medical Office Use, given the hours of operation that were testified to, would

this change the evening hours beyond the peak hour; and Mr. Ostimchuk stated they did

not investigate those hours and typically the peak hours are the most critical. 

Mr. Donaghy asked if he looked at weekend hours, and Mr. Ostimchuk stated they did

not look at these as no comparison could be drawn between the previous Application and

the current Application.  Mr. Donaghy stated there could therefore be a difference

between General Office and Medical, and Mr. Ostimchuk agreed there could.

 

Mr. Fenningham asked if the question raised by Mr. Donaghy regarding off-peak hours

would alter his conclusions with regard to traffic safety and circulation, and

Mr. Ostimchuk stated it would not since the critical times are the peak hours. 

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if the Board were to grant this Approval and Condition it upon

submission of the traffic impact study to the Township professionals for review, would

this be acceptable, and Mr. Fenningham stated it would. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated the original Conditions imposed by Land Development would still be in

existence, and the Zoning Hearing Board has no authority to modify those Conditions. 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated while this is correct, the Planning Commission indicated that the

earlier considerations were based on certain types of uses as far as traffic and internal

traffic patterns; and this has now changed.  He stated they may have to make an

Amendment to the Land Development Plan.  Ms. Kirk stated if the Board of Supervisors

is concerned with the configuration or the traffic flow presented by the proposed use, the

Township has enforcement mechanisms in place; and she feels the owner should go back

before the Board of Supervisors for an Amendment of the Land Development Plan. 

Mr. Donaghy stated Mr. Fenningham already indicated that he did not feel it was

necessary to submit an Amended Land Development Plan.  Mr. Fenningham stated the

Ordinance has authorized the General Business Use by right; and then contemplated if

there is a desire for joint use, the owner comes before the Zoning Hearing Board to seek a

Special Exception, and the Zoning Hearing Board has the right under Section 98 to

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 10 of 23

 

 

review this and add Conditions they feel are appropriate.  He stated the driveway is the

only change in the configuration and this still complies with impervious surface and does

not impact off-street parking.  He does not feel the Applicant should go through a further

Land Development review process. 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Zoning Hearing Board could grant the relief requested without

requiring any changes to the Plans, but once a proposal is made to change the Plans, the

lighting, potentially change the drainage patterns, etc. by installing the new driveway, this

is a change.  Mr. Fenningham stated they are only addressing lighting because the

Planning Commission asked them to.  He stated their testimony is that the lighting is

adequate already.  He stated drainage is also not an issue.

 

Ms. Kirk stated if the Zoning Hearing Board were to impose it, the Applicant would

submit a revised Traffic Study Report, but asked what this would get the Township. 

Mr. Donaghy stated it would be part of the submission for a change to Land

Development.  Mr. Donaghy stated if they are going to change the configuration on the

site, they cannot do it be going in the “back door” and getting a Special Exception. 

 

Mr. Fenningham stated they want to work with the Township. 

 

Mr. Smith asked if the Plan which was approved by the Township included the horseshoe

shaped driveway, and Mr. Fenningham stated the Plan that was approved is for the

building as constructed without any north end driveway whatsoever.  Mr. Fenningham

stated they would lose six parking spaces, but would still be in compliance with the

parking requirements.  Mr. Fenningham stated because they decreased the size of the

building, they actually added open space; and this is the area where the driveway would

be.  He stated there could have been building structure in that entire space; but they have

decreased the building by over 20,000 square feet, and this is where the driveway would

come in.  He stated they are adding the driveway within an area that would have been

building consistent with the approved Plans.  Mr. Toadvine stated he feels that this would

require them to file an Amended Plan, and Mr. Fenningham stated he does not feel that it

does.  Ms. Kirk stated this would be a matter to be discussed between the Applicant and

the Township.

 

Mr. John Hunt was called and sworn in.  He stated he is a professional engineer in the

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employed by  Fore Site Land Services as a Senior

Project Engineer, and he has been with them for ten years.  He stated he participated in

the drafting of the Site Plan and engineering review associated with the Preliminary and

Final Plans for the site.  He stated he also prepared Exhibit A-4 showing a re-configured

drop-off driveway; and in doing so, took into account the requirements set forth on Page

2 of Exhibit A-4.  Mr. Hunt noted the off-street parking required which he reviewed

related to the Application for 40,000 square feet of medical office use and designed the

alternate and re-configure drop-off driveway.  He stated the parking requirements are the

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 11 of 23

 

 

same for both.  He feels if the Zoning Hearing Board were to grant the Application and

the Township approved the drop-off driveway as configured, the off-street parking would

meet the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance.  He stated there would be 544 off-street

parking spaces – 344 for the General Office Use and 200 for the Medical Office use. 

Those figures are in compliance with the ratios set forth in the Ordinance. 

 

Mr. Hunt stated he drafted the original crescent-shaped driveway shown on Exhibit A-4. 

As a result of the Planning Commission review, at Mr. Fenningham’s request he attempt

to re-configure the driveway to bring it in proximity to the northernmost main artery on

the site.  Page 3 of Exhibit A-4 was noted, and Mr. Hunt stated he configured the

driveway in the alternate fashion, but the Planning Commission was concerned with flow

through the parking lot and how people would get from Township Line Road to the

proposed medical office use and the fact that they would have to drive in and drive

through a parking lot to get to the drop-off driveway and then exit into the parking lot

back out to the main driveway and back out to Township Lien Road.  He stated with the

alternate, they held the entrance location of the drop-off at the same location so that

people using the drop-off would enter to the front of the building with the passenger side

facing the doorway into the facility.  The exit location of the drop-off was moved to the

east so that it was closer to the main driveway for the office complex.  The alternative

showed a “stop” word on the Plan, and Mr. Hunt stated they placed a stop bar at the exit

of the drop-off driveway to avoid conflict at that intersection.  He stated he feels the

addition of the stop bar is within the purview of the Township rather than any State

agency.  This alternate configuration is an attempt to respond to the Township Planning

Commission’s comments.  Mr. Hunt stated he would endorse the alternate Plan which he

feels works as well as the horseshoe drive and answers the concerns of the Planning

Commission. 

 

Mr. Fenningham noted paragraph 3 of the Planning Commission’s letter, and asked

Mr. Hunt if he has proposed any additional lighting around the drop-off driveway; and

Mr. Hunt stated the alternate plan (Exhibit A-4) shows an additional single head light

pole placed near the drop-off driveway.  This is shown on page 3 of Exhibit A-4. 

Mr. Hunt stated he feels this is adequate lighting to allow for evening and other uses

associated with the drop-off driveway.

 

Ms. Kirk asked how many of the parking spaces will be handicap spaces, and Mr. Hunt

stated there are twenty-two which meet the Township Ordinance requirements of one

handicap space per twenty-five total spaces in the parking lot. He added this well exceeds

the ADA regulations which would only require eleven.  Ms. Kirk asked if the handicap

spaces comply with the dimensions for design set forth in the Zoning Ordinance, and

Mr. Hunt stated they do.  Mr. Hunt stated the entire parking area is a common area for the

building – 344 are required for general office and 200 for the medical use. 

 

 

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 12 of 23

 

 

Mr. Smith asked if the entire square footage of the building were to be for medical use,

how many parking spaces would be required.  Mr. Fenningham stated it would be 750. 

They are, however, only applying for up to 30,000 square feet for medical use. 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated this Applicant received approval from the Township based on a

Land Development Plan as depicted on the easel being presented this evening and

subsequent to that Approval decided to modify the use of the proposed building so that

30,000 square feet would be devoted to Medical Office Use; and Mr. Fenningham agreed. 

Mr. Toadvine asked when the Applicant appeared before the Planning Commission on

12/11/06 and the Planning noted their concerns as outlined in the memo was this because

there was no pick-up or drop-off shown.  Mr. Fenningham stated they did show the

crescent -shaped driveway to the Planning Commission but this was not on the Plan

approved by the Township in 2004.  This modification was shown for the first time to the

Planning Commission in connection with the present Application.  Mr. Toadvine stated

when the Planning Commission expressed concern with traffic flow and drop-off/pick-

up, those concerns were based on a modification of the Approved Plan, and

Mr. Fenningham agreed.

 

Mr. Fenningham stated the Applicant felt that because there was a decrease in the size of

the building which was built, there was a balancing of that intensity of use within each of

the areas that had to be reviewed for the Joint Use Application.  Ms. Kirk stated the

building as constructed is 116,000 square feet; and Mr. Fenningham agreed noting that

the Approved square footage was 132,000.  The portion that was eliminated is at the

north end where the driveway is proposed. 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated A-3 is a re-configuration of what was on the Approved Final Plan,

and Mr. Fenningham stated it adds the drop-off driveway.  Exhibit A-4 was also a change

by adding the re-configured driveway as there was no driveway on the north end on the

Approved Plan.

 

Ms. Kirk asked what is presently at the site of the north end where that portion of the

approved building was not built, and Mr. Nichols stated it is grass. 

 

There was no public comment.

 

Mr. Fenningham stated their main focus was to provide a drop-off driveway for the

benefit of the medical office users.  He stated the building could have been built up to

132,000 square feet; and in that same location, they propose the drop-off driveway.  They

feel this use will be beneficial to the planned occupants and their patients.  He stated the

Applicant is willing to work with the Township.  He stated they feel they are in

compliance with each of the requirements of Section 98 that would allow for a Special

 

 

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 13 of 23

 

 

Exception.  He stated a Special Exception is contemplated in the Ordinance if the

Applicant complies, and this is what they are seeking to do in the most time efficient way

that they can.

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township did not come in to oppose the relief, and their main

concern is with the statement requesting the Zoning Hearing Board to approve the

submitted Plan with the driveway and avoid having to file an Amended Final Plan.  He

stated their only objection would be to grant an Approval which would provide a basis

for the Applicant to avoid proceeding in the way the Township feels is appropriate.  He

stated the Applicant may be able to prove to the Township that an Amended Final Plan is

not necessary.  He stated the Zoning Hearing Board should act on the request for the

Special Exception and not go beyond that with regard to any configuration. 

 

Mr. Toadvine noted the easel which shows the existing building at 110,000 square feet,

and Mr. Nichols stated there are common areas which are not rented so there would be

30,000 square feet of medical office and 80,000 of general use with 6,000 square feet of

common area. 

 

Mr. Smith moved and Mr. Malinowski seconded that the Special Exception requested authorizing use of up to 30,000 square feet of gross floor area for medical offices be granted.

 

Ms. Kirk moved to amend the Motion that the 30,000 square feet of medical office be designated to the northern end of the building as presented.  Mr. Malinowski seconded.

 

Motion as Amended carried unanimously.

 

 

APPEAL #06-1406 – FRANK STILLITANO

 

Frank and Adrian Stillitano were present and were sworn in.  They noted they reside at

193 River Road. 

 

Mr. Toadvine noted the letter in the file from Jonathan P. Mundy, 194 River Road,

Yardley, PA, who was present this evening.  Mr. Mundy stated he wishes to request Party

Status. 

 

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

was a Plan dated 11/6/06 entitled, “Elevation of Existing Structure,” and this was marked

as Exhibit A-2. 

 

 

 

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 14 of 23

 

 

Mr. Stillitano stated their property has been flooded three times over the past twenty

months.  He stated they want to elevate the house so that it will be safe for his family. 

He stated he is one half mile from the Township’s northern boundary.  The existing building is currently in the floodplain and is between River Road and the Canal.    

Ms. Kirk noted the notations on the Plan which indicate a proposed driveway will be installed, and Mr. Stillitano stated they propose the elimination of the current driveway which is along the side of the house and instead have a smaller driveway in the front of the house.  He stated when the house is elevated, you are only permitted to have garage and storage space under the house so the garage will be in the front of the house rather than the side.  The whole section of existing driveway as shown in the Plan will be removed, and the proposed driveway that will be installed will be considerably less than the existing driveway. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked about the proposed addition along the side of the house.  Mr. Stillitano

stated currently they have a full finished basement which was 960 square feet of living

space.  They will lose this when they elevate the house as you are not permitted to have

living space on ground level.  They wanted to recoup a small portion of this by adding an

addition of 12’ by 20’. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked how high they are proposing to elevate the house, and Mr. Stillitano

stated it is 1 ½’ above the 100 year flood mark which will be approximately 11 feet. 

Ms. Kirk asked if this will be consistent with the other houses along River Road which

have been elevated, and Mr. Stillitano stated none of the homes in his area have been

elevated since the floods.  He stated there is one two-story house and there is one house

that was constructed elevated. 

 

Ms. Kirk stated they are asking for a Variance from the Section of the Ordinance that

permits floodplain disturbance.  She stated they are also seeking a Variance from a

permitted use in a floodplain under Section 200-57B, and Mr. Habgood stated this is for

having a Residential Use within the 100 year Floodplain.  There was discussion as to the

need for the Variance from the side yard setback.  Mr. Toadvine stated the Plan shows a

minimum side yard setback of 15’, but the existing is 8.4’.  Mr. Stillitano stated to the

north there is an existing non-conforming, and to the south would be the larger

room/enclosed deck where they would meet the requirements.  Mr. Toadvine stated the

width at the building setback line is also an existing non-conformity of 75’ as opposed to

the required 85’.  Mr. Toadvine stated it does not appear that they are asking for any

Variances that do not already exist, and Mr. Stillitano stated this is correct except for the

actual construction which would be the disturbance of the floodplain area.

 

Mr. Majewski stated since they are enclosing the addition on the side of the house, he

feels this would be part of the structure and subject to the 25’ side yard setback. 

 

 

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 15 of 23

 

 

Ms. Kirk stated the Plan shows a 15’ side yard setback required.  After review it was

noted they are required to have a 25’ side yard setback since they are in the R-RP

District.  Ms. Kirk stated they would therefore need a side yard Variance since the

proposed addition will be 15’ from the side yard line as opposed to 25’, and

Mr. Majewski agreed.

 

Mr. Habgood noted Section 200-59B for existing structures within the 100 year

floodplain, which notes that if work being done is 50% or greater, they have to meet the

requirements of the Zoning District they are currently in.  He stated when the Applicant

came in to the Township Building, they were advised to put down the requirements for

Section 200-13 for the side yard setback to be on the safe side.   He stated he does not

feel they need a Variance for impervious surface, but he does feel they need a side yard

setback Variance. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked the fair market value of the property in its current condition, and

Mr. Stillitano estimated it to be $180,000 although pre-flood he had it appraised at

$350,000.  Mr. Stillitano stated they have not lived in the property since June 28 after the

last flood. 

 

Mr. Toadvine asked the height of the house relative to ground level prior to the flood, and

Ms. Kirk stated according to the Plan it appears that it was 17.5’.  They are proposing to

go up 11’.  The peak will be 28’ if they are granted relief from the Zoning Hearing Board. 

Ms. Kirk stated according to the Plan, the proposed height is 25’ and she asked if this

needs to be modified.  Mr. Toadvine stated they can go to 35’ so they would not need a

Variance for this. 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township would like to participate but only to clarify some

points.  He stated in the Application they mention the addition of closed and open decks

and he asked where the enclosed deck would be.  Mr. Stillitano stated it would be on the

south side of the house and is identified on the Plan as the “proposed addition.” 

Mr. Donaghy stated on the Plan to the rear of the house next to the steps it indicates

“mechanical,” and he asked the make-up of this area.  Mr. Stillitano stated it is a masonry

porch.  He stated FEMA requires all mechanicals to be on the same level of the living

space, and they cannot be on ground level.  He stated they are proposing to make this

masonry porch the mechanical room, and it will contain the heater, washer/dryer, and

well pump.  Mr. Donaghy asked if this is existing, and Mr. Stillitano stated the porch is

existing and will be within the same footprint.  Instead of a porch, they will have a

mechanical room.

 

Mr. Jonathan Mundy was sworn in.  He stated he would like to support the Application. 

He stated he is the property owner across the street from the Applicant and has a similar

condition.  He stated he has seen a number of changes in the River in the fifty years he

 

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 16 of 23

 

 

has been in the area.  He feels he will be applying before the Zoning Hearing Board at

some point in the future to make a request for elevation.  He stated the area is

magnificent, and he is in support of the Application.

 

Mr. James Novack, 192 River Road, was sworn in. He stated he is adjacent to the subject

property.   He stated there have been three floods in two years and based on the amount

of water that has filled their homes, he feels he and the Stillitanos need to elevate their

homes.  He stated they are opposed to the addition Mr. Stillitano is proposing to construct

on the side next to their garage.  Mr. Novack stated, with the Township’s approval, he is

planning to convert his current garage to living area when it is raised; and he is concerned

about noise, privacy, fire safety, and lighting since it will only be 17.5’ from his property

when it is elevated.  He stated Mr. Stillitano is planning on installing pavers underneath

the addition which will be a seating area; and he is concerned that when he goes from his

front yard to the rear yard, he will pass directly along side of the Stillitanos.  He stated

they feel this will look out of place aesthetically to have a room on the side this close to

his home.  He stated he feels the closeness could affect future resale of both properties.

He stated he is also concerned with the amount of earth that is being converted to

manmade material and the effect on the water run off during rain storms as well as

drainage onto his property.  He stated the rear yard on the side of the house adjacent to

the Stillitanos is where his septic tank and drainage fields are currently located.  He stated

this has started to flood with the drain system Mr. Stillitano has put in front of his garage

and the cement around the shed next to the property.  Mr. Novack stated he now get three

to four inches of standing water when it rains.  He feels development in the floodplain is

partially responsible for the flooding, and allowing conversion of earth to manmade

material next door will cause additional water on his property because of the high water

table.  He stated he does not feel it is in anyone’s best interest to build homes this close to

one another. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked how Mr. Novack’s property was effected by the flooding, and

Mr. Novack stated the first time they had 1’ of water in one area of the house, the second

time 3 1/2’ and the last time 2’.  They are still not back in their home.  Ms. Kirk asked if

the Novack property is higher than the Stillitano property, and Mr. Novack stated his

property is 11/2’ to 2’ lower than the Stillitano property.  Mr. Novack stated they have

applied to have their home raised.  Mr. Toadvine asked if they could not shift the

property when they raise their property.  Mr. Novack stated they cannot as they are 8’ off

on one side and 2 ½’ on the other.  Mr. Toadvine asked if they could move it four feet so

it would be six and six.  Mr. Novack stated his home is built in four pieces so this could

not easily be done.

 

Mr. Stillitano stated Mr. Novack stated because Mr. Novack is only 2.2’ from the

property line, Mr. Novack cannot egress from his front yard to his rear yard without

walking on Mr. Stillitano’s property.  Mr. Novack stated he has done this for years, and

the Stillitanos had no problem with this.  He stated with regard to Mr. Novack’s concern

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 17 of 23

 

 

with manmade material, they will be eliminating the entire side driveway; and it will be

lawn in that area.  He does not feel this will impact any drainage on the Novack property. 

 

Mr. Stillitano stated Mr. Novack indicated the proposed Florida room will be looking to

his property and at the current time Mr. Novack has no living space windows facing the

Stillitano property, but rather he has a garage with two windows and an attic window

which face the Stilllitano property.  He stated Mr. Novack’s proposal to have living space

above the garage is a change to what is existing.

 

Mr. Frank Stillitano, Sr. was sworn in.  He stated Mr. Novack does not reside in the

property, but lives in Cranbury, New Jersey.    He stated he rents out the house.

Mr. Frank Stillitano, Jr. stated the Novack house has been vacant for over five years. 

Mr. Stillitano, Sr. stated he is in support of the Application. 

 

Mr. Tom Hunsinger, 198 River Road stated he is in favor of the proposal as submitted. 

He stated it will be an improvement.  

 

Ms. Kelly Sweeney, 196 River Road, stated she is in support of the Application.

 

Ms. Lillian Smith, 191 River Road, stated she is in favor of raising the house.

 

Mr. James Novack stated a statement was made that there was nothing facing their home,

but he noted that when the house is elevated, they will build a bedroom over the garage.

Ms. Mary Lynn Novack stated she is very concerned about the room to room.

 

Testimony was closed at this time.

 

Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant the relief requested from Sections 200-51B(1)(b), 200-57, 200-59, 200-86B(1), 200-13 as requested in the Application. 

 

 

APPEAL #06-1407 – KIRAN VIBHAKAR

 

Mr. Kiran Vibhakar, Ms. Jyotsna Vibhakar, Mr. Robert Frehafer, Project Manager, and

Mr. David Hammes, General Manager were sworn in.

 

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

copies of Plans of Survey for the subject property dated 10/21/77.  Page 1 deals with the

existing condition of the property, and the second page has the proposed sunroom.  This

was collectively marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

 

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 18 of 23

 

 

Ms. Kirk stated she asked Mr. Habgood earlier about the need for this Application to be

before the Zoning Hearing Board.  She stated the Application indicated the lot size was

15,066 square feet; and based on that lot size and the dimensional requirements under the

Ordinance, there would be no need for a Variance.  Mr. Habgood stated the lot size is at

least 17,000 square feet and based on that calculation, the Application does require them

coming before the Board.  Mr. Majewski stated his office has calculated the area to be

23,115 square feet.  The Applicants stated they now understand that their lot size is as

indicated by the Township. 

 

Mr. Vibhakar stated they are proposing to construct a sunroom on the rear portion of their

property to be 16 ½’ by 20’.  This will be over the existing brick patio.  They are required

to have a fifty foot setback, but the construction as proposed will result in a setback of

43.5’.  They comply with all other requirements of the Ordinance including impervious

surface.  They will use the room for their personal use.  The existing dwelling is a two-

story dwelling.  Approximately 325 square feet of additional living space will be created

by the addition of the sunroom. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if the addition will be only one floor, and Mr. Vibhakar stated this is

correct. 

 

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

public comment.

 

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

Application for a Variance from Section 200-22 for encroachment in the rear yard

setback be granted as requested.

 

 

APPEAL #06-1408 – JERRY AND CONNIE GRUEN

 

Ms. Kirk stated the Applicant is the same Mr. Gruen that has recently been appointed as a

Board member, and he will recuse himself from the Decision  in this matter.

 

Mr. Jerry Gruen was sworn in.  The Application submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1. 

Attached is a one-page Plan dated 9/20/06, and this was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Toadvine stated they need a Variance for the overhang over the front porch, and

Mr. Gruen agreed.  This will intrude into the front yard setback by 3’.  In lieu of a 40’

setback as required, they will have a 37’ front yard setback.  The overhang is going to be

constructed over an existing porch.  Mr. Gruen stated two years ago, he decided to

enlarge the house and hired a surveyor and architect.  He instructed them to prepare Plans

for expansion of the house that would involve no Variances.  He stated when they applied

for the Building Permit they were advised that the overhang over the front door would

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 19 of 23

 

 

require a Variance.  He stated it was too late to change the Plans so they decided not to

construct the overhang at that time.  The overhang does not protrude any further than the

existing porch.  He stated they need this overhang over the front door to eliminate an

icing condition in the winter as the house faces west.  It will not be enclosed.

 

Mr. Gruen stated he does have letters from three immediate neighbors, and these were

presented to the Board. 

 

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 as requested to permit a 3’ encroachment into the front yard setback. 

 

 

APPEAL #06-1409 – NIHAD AND AZRA HADZOVIC

 

Nihad and Azra Hadzovic were sworn in. 

 

The following requested Party Status:  Jonathan Harris, 402 S. Milton Drive, Yardley

                                                              David Provost, 394 S. Milton Drive, Yardley

 

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

was a copy of an As-Built Plan dated 8/9/83 which was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Toadvine stated they are requesting a Variance from impervious surface coverage,

and Ms. Hadzovic agreed.   She stated they installed a patio without benefit of a Permit

not knowing that this was a violation of the Zoning Ordinance.  Attached to the

Application was an impervious surface break down prepared by Ms. Hadzovic, and this

was marked as Exhibit A-3.  Mr. Habgood stated he reviewed the calculations and agrees

with them.  Mr. Toadvine stated according to Exhibit A-3 the existing impervious surface

coverage prior to the installation of the patio was 16.1% and subsequent to the

installation of the patio, the impervious surface increased to 21.4%; and Ms. Hadzovic

agreed.  They installed 1040 square feet of patio.  Ms Hadzovic stated it is an e.p. Henry

patio which was installed by Mr. Hadzovic.   Mr. Hadzovic stated it was installed over

stone, and all pavers have spaces between them.  The rain can go through to the ground. 

The pavers are 6” by 6” and 6” by 9”.

 

Mr. Toadvine asked if they or their neighbors experience any drainage problems when it

rains, and Mr. Hadzovic stated he is not sure about his neighbors.  He stated behind his

property there is a swale.  Ms. Hadzovic stated they have not had any water problems and

have been there since July.  They installed the patio approximately two moths ago, and it

is not completely finished.  She stated the Township sent them a Notice that they needed

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 20 of 23

 

 

to apply for a Permit.  Mr. Bamburak asked how much of the patio is yet to be completed,

and Ms. Hadzovic estimated that 15% still needs to be completed.  The patio is 40’ by

26’.  Mr. Gruen asked if there is a roof, and Ms. Hadzovic stated the patio which was

there was covered.  The existing patio was 19’ by 12’ and was concrete.  There are no

walls.  The roof is only over a portion of the new patio.  Mr. Toadvine asked if the

calculations for the existing impervious would therefore be correct.  Mr. Habgood stated

they did not take into consideration the existing roof, and instead included it all as part of

the “new.”  Existing therefore would have been closer to 18%.  Mr. Toadvine stated it

appears there would therefore be only a 2.1% increase as opposed to a 4.1% increase. 

 

Mr. Smith asked if the portion that is finished is under the roof, and Ms. Hadzovic stated

it is.  She stated it has not been completed to the right of the overhang. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked if they have done any other work to the property other than the patio, and

Ms. Hadzovic stated they have not.  She stated originally they were going to put in a

sidewalk from the patio to the existing Florida room and a patio for the hot tub but they

are no longer going to do this.  The Florida room was existing. 

 

Mr. Donaghy stated the Township would like to participate to consider if there is a way

to have less impervious surface.  Mr. Donaghy asked if the only additional work being

proposed is to increase the size of the patio, and Ms. Hadzovic stated this is correct. 

Mr. Donaghy asked if there are any existing walkways, and Mrs. Hadzovic stated there

are not.  There are no sheds or concrete pads.    Mr. Donaghy asked if they stopped the

work now, would it be usable; and Ms. Hadzovic stated it would not since the portion

they did is the raised portion which is 18” high, and they now need to fill in the pavers. 

Mr. Hadzovic stated the raised portion is a retaining wall. 

 

Mr. Gruen asked if they could reduce it by 5’ to 10’ and install a garden around the patio. 

Mr. Hadzovic stated they have already installed the walls around the patio.  Mr. Gruen

suggested they put in plants within 5’ around the patio which would not involve removal

of the wall.

 

Ms. Hadzovic showed pictures of the patio.  Mr. Gruen asked the height of the retaining

wall, and Mr. Hadzovic stated it varies from 12” to 18”.  Mr. Gruen asked Mr. Habgood

at what point would a railing be required, and Mr. Habgood stated in a rear yard, you can

have a wall up to seven feet high.  Even though it is around a patio, it is still considered a

wall.  Ms. Kirk stated just because this matter is before the Board on Zoning, it does not

necessarily mean that there may not be other issues related to the Building Code which

the Building Code Inspector could address.

 

The pictures were submitted and were marked as Exhibit A-4, A-5, A-6, and A-7. 

 

 

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 21 of 23

 

 

Mr. David Provost, 394 S. Milton Drive, was sworn in and requested Party status. 

He stated he lives caddy-corner to the rear.  He stated he does not have a problem with a

patio being built; however, he stated he has lived in his home for nine years, and there is

a considerable water problem as the whole section where they live was a swamp.  He

stated there have always been drainage problems there, and the original property owner

of his home took the builder to Court to do a lot of extra drainage work including

installation of an extra length of drain between his property and the property behind him. 

He stated any increase in impervious surface could make the water situation worse.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if there is a swale in the rear of the property, and Mr. Provost stated there

is no public land in that location.  He stated the land comes together there, and the water

does pool along the property line behind the two homes.  He stated it appears to him that

since the deck was built, the water is sitting there.  He stated he believes some other

construction was also done.  He stated some stone walls and decorative pavers were put

in on either side of the driveway in the front.  He also feels the deck is higher than 18” as

it is level with the floor of their house.  Ms. Kirk stated the only issue before the Zoning

Hearing Board is the impervious surface, and the height of the patio may fall under a

different Township Code over which the Zoning Hearing Board has no jurisdiction.

 

Mr. Jonathan Harris, 402 S. Milton Drive, was sworn in and requested Party status.

Mr. Harris stated the rear of his property abuts the rear of the Hadzovic property, and he

is adjacent to Mr. Provost. He stated Mr. and Mrs. Hadzovic moved in July of this year

and there were several periods of heavy rain over the summer and there was standing

water.  He stated they have noticed a significant increase over the past six weeks which

he assumes is related to the patio.  He stated the rain takes several days to absorb into the

ground.  He stated they do not have an issue with the patio structure unless it impacts the

impervious surface and the increase in standing water. 

 

Ms. Kirk asked how the water flows on his property, and Mr. Harris stated it flows from

the front to the rear.  Ms. Kirk stated any standing water would collect along the rear at

the property line, and Mr. Harris noted where the Township installed a storm drain in the

front where water collects.  He stated in the rear where the deck is to the back of the

property line it is fairly flat and there is not really run off except for the sides of the

property.    Ms. Kirk asked how the water flows on the Hadzovic property, and

Mr. Harris stated they cannot tell how it runs because there is a fence.

 

Mr. Charles Ogitis, 405 Trend Road, was sworn in.  He stated he lives next door to

Mr. and Mrs. Hadzovic.  Facing their home, he is on the right.  He stated the drainage

problem has existed since the houses were built in 1983.  He stated if there is a problem

with the drainage it is the fault of the Township and the builder.  He stated the deck they

have built could add to the problem.  He stated standing water sits in the back for months. 

He does not agree with what they are doing, but feels they have the right to do it. 

 

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 22 of 23

 

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if they have done any work on the front driveway, and Ms. Hadzovic

stated they put in two piers at the front of the driveway.  On the side of the driveway 2’

on each side, there are pavers.  Ms. Hadzovic stated the driveway is approximately 18’

wide.  It is a two-car driveway.  Mr. Donaghy stated on the impervious surface

breakdown it is 900 square feet for the driveway, and they are showing a depth of 45’ so

he assumes it would be 20’ wide.  He asked if the walls and pavers are in addition to the

900 square feet, and Ms. Hadzovic stated it was included in the width.  She stated when

she measured, she went from paver to paver.  Mr. Smith asked if anyone from the

Township has gone out and measured the impervious surface of the property, and

Mr. Habgood stated the Applicant would have to hire a surveyor if there was a concern

about what is existing.  Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Habgood what he used to confirm that the

driveway is 900 square feet, and Mr. Habgood stated when they applied for the Building

Application, the Plot Plan they included showed the width of the driveway at 20’ with a

depth of 45’.  Ms. Kirk stated this would be 900 square feet not including the two feet of

pavers.  Mr. Toadvine stated they indicated they included the two feet of pavers. 

 

Ms. Hadzovic stated the properties in the rear are higher than her property.  She stated the

existing porch was sloped toward her house and they were getting water in the house

when it rained. 

 

Mr. Donaghy asked if they could take out the pavers on either side of the driveway as this

would reduce the impervious surface.  Mr. Toadvine asked if they could remove the

pavers without impacting the pavers that were installed, since if they took out the pavers

on either side of the driveway, it would reduce their impervious surface by 180 square

feet.  Mr. Hadzovic stated they could do this if they had to.

 

Ms. Kirk moved and Mr. Bamburak seconded to grant the Variance to increase

impervious surface subject to the Condition that the pavers installed on either side of the

driveway be removed.  Motion carried with Mr. Bamburak, Ms. Kirk, and

Mr. Malinowski in favor and Mr. Gruen and Mr. Smith opposed.

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Ms. Kirk stated the Board must review the Settlement concerning the matter of 

Weyrick & Ram versus the Board of Supervisors with regard to the Matrix property. 

 

Mr. Toadvine stated the Zoning Hearing Board has been asked to sign off on the

Stipulation.  He stated the impact on the Board is that they are extending the Appeal

period to 8/31/07 or possibly further.  He stated assuming Matrix complies with the

Agreement, RAM will not pursue any type of Appeal before the Zoning Hearing Board. 

They do want the ability to come back before the Board to reactivate the pending Appeal

if necessary.  He stated there is also a provision that they can send the Zoning Hearing

January 3, 2007                                                        Zoning Hearing Board – page 23 of 23

 

 

Board notice prior to 8/31 and request a further extension.    The document was signed

this evening by the Zoning Hearing Board.

 

 

Ms. Kirk stated the Board has been advised that there are no Appeals scheduled for January 16, 2007.  Mr. Smith moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to cancel the meeting of January 16, 2007.

 

There being no further business, Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Smith seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:20 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Paul Bamburak, Secretary