APRIL 6, 2004



The regular meeting of the Lower Makefield Township Zoning Hearing Board was held on Tuesday, April 6, 2004 in the Lower Makefield Township Municipal Building.  Ms. Kirk called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.



                                                                                                RUDOLPH MAYRHOFER

                                                                                                DAVID MALINOWSKI

                                                                                                DARWIN DOBSON

                                                                                                JOHN HRICKO


                                    OTHERS                                             ALLEN TOADVINE

                                                                                                JOHN KOOPMAN

                                                                                                PETE STAINTHORPE

                                                                                                SALLY DORNER

                                                                                                DREW WAGNER





This matter is continued form the last meeting at which time a surrounding property owner was allowed to testify since they could not be present this evening.  Mr. Murphy advised that since the last meeting they have met with John Koopman, Esq. to review the application.  At the last hearing John Koopman, on behalf of the board of supervisors indicated interest in the application.


Affidavit of posting was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Application and plan were marked as Exhibit A-2.


John Vincent Genovesi of G.J. Park was called to testify and gave testimony regarding his background.  He advised he is familiar with the property referred to in the application and advised this is under development in a residential area.  The property front River Road and is 2800’ north of Black Rock Road.  The property is approximately .86 acres of which .63 is the parcel on the southwest side of river road with the remaining being between River Road and the river.  The property is located in the RRP zone.  Application indicates property as two tax parcels but as part of the application the parcel on the river is not proposed to have any development now or in the future (tax parcel 20-64-198.001).  The property has been zoned RRP since 1988 when the ordinance was adopted to change from prior designation of R-2.  Topographical photo of the property shows the larger parcel which is the subject of development slopes down toward the river and is heavily wooded.  Parcel across the road is steep and there are a few trees, but mostly consist of tall grass and brush.  The extent of woodlands qualifies as woodlands as defined in the ordinance. There are also natural resources including 100 year flood plain which runs at an angle fr4om the front into the rear corner of the property.  Mr. Genovesi explained location of the flood plain on the property. He noted the surrounding properties are all residential.


Nature of the application is for proposed two story single family welling of wood frame.  Driveway will go to River Road with a side entry garage.  In the area between Manor Gate and Manor Lane there are no other undeveloped properties along River Road.    Given the wooden nature of the property Mr. Genovesi explained primary factor in situating the home on the lot  was the flood plain.  They want the home to be out of the flood plain..  The garage is on the easterly side so garage being constructed would encroach slightly into the flood plain.  The house, with a basement would be out of the flood plain.


Mr. Genovesi noted there are two large trees (33’ and 60’ calibers) on the south side of the property. There is also a cluster of trees where the driveway turns. 


This property today is subject tot existing non-conformities.  Minimum lot area is 3 acres and this lot is substantially less than 3 acres.  Minimum lot frontage required is 250’ and this is 161’.  Deducting natural resources minimum lot area would be .11 acres.  River Road is also a collector road which requires an 80’ setback from the ultimate right of way.  They do comply with this special setback with the house being proposed to be 80’.  Rear set back is 100’ which cannot be complied. From the back of the house to the boundary is 48’. Side yard is 25’ and is complied with.  If they apply all setback requirements (front and rear) there would be no building envelope because the depth of the lot is 175’. 


Mr. Genovesi explained type of home to be constructed and reason for not having front entry garage.  Mr. Murphy noted front entry garage would reduce impervious surface.  Mr. Genovesi explained the main reason for the side garage is not to cause damage to the trees.  Maximum impervious allowed is 234% and property is proposed to have 17.5%.  Front entry garage would only reduce impervious to 15.4%.


Base plan of A-2 showing different house configuration and driveway was marked as Exhibit A-3.  A-3 was plan prepared by J.G. Park dated 12/15/03 last revised 12/23/03.  Mr. Mayrhofer noted his plan is diff3erent from A-3.  After review it was determined that A-3 is same as A-3 with side entry garage.  Base plan A-2 with front entry garage was marked as Exhibit A-4. 


Mr. Genovesi noted there are a number of trees situated in front of the dwelling.  If the driveway is brought straight they would lose several trees.  They did not move house either way because there is an existing culvert as well as two large trees by the eastern boundary. If they flip the house they would have to move it toward the flood plain.


Exhibit A-3 has no portion of the structure which would be habitable in the flood plain and the only portion in the flood plain would be the garage.  Prior to 1988 this property was R-2 which allowed 20% impervious.   


Same plan as A-3 and A-4 with all surrounding properties with existing impervious was marked as Exhibit A-5.  Mr. Genovesi advised through aerial photographs and site surveys they have located residences on adjacent  properties and sketched in each of the driveways to show what the impervious surface areas are.  Mr. Genovesi reviewed the impervious amounts of each of the lots in question. 


Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Genovesi if he reviewed  the township engineer’s letter dated 3/1/04 regarding Section 200-12 – maximum density.  Mr. Toadvine advised the variance request for minimum net lot would cover this issue.


Mr. Mayrhofer asked about the soil and Mr. Genovesi advised it is decent. There would be no impact on surrounding properties.  The proeprty has been graded so water would go into the sale along the driveway. There is a pipe under this swale and water would be discharged through the existing culvert under River Road down to the river.  Mr. Murphy stated he would have no objection to having this as part of condition of approval. 


Mr. Toadvine noted impervious calculations were based on the main lot only. Mr. Murphy stated 17.5% is only regarding developed lot and exclusive of ultimate right of way.  Mr. Koopman noted if they take both parcels together they would meet the impervious.  Based on this and if the applicant agrees to deed restrict the parcel between the river and River Road from Development, the township would have no objection to the application. He would like to see any grant conditioned into entering into agreement that 20-46-198.1 would be restricted from further development, which restriction would be in a form acceptable to the township e3ngineer.  Mr. Murphy agreed. 


Motion made by Mr. Kirk granting variance from Section 200-13 regarding minimum net lot area, minimum lot width and minimum rear yard setback as set forth in the application; granting variance From section 100-14 to allow an impervious surface ratio on the buildable lot identified as tax map parcel 20-46-198 to be 17.5%; granting variance from Section 200-51B(1)(b) which would allow a development within the resource protection ratio for a flood plain as set forth in the application; variance from Section 200-57.E which would allow a residential use within the flood plain distract; and variance from Section 200-61C which would permit development of a single family home on land with resource restrictions and measurement of minimum building setbacks with the following two conditions: a) that the applicant prepare and submit to the township, in a form satisfactory to the Township engineer and Township solicitor for a deed restriction which would prohibit the construction of any structures, buildings or other developments on tax map parcel 20-46-198.1; and b) condition that the application will use the existing culvert system from the buildable lot identified as tax map parcel 20-46-198 to the lot adjacent to River Road for water run off and no other changes to that water run off system shall be permitted.  Motion seconded by Mr. Hricko and carried.



  • John Koopman left the meeting at 8:05 p.m.





T.J. Walsh, Esq. appeared on behalf of the applicant and advised this is a variance request from Section 200-70A(4) regarding width of spacing between picket son fence surround pool.  Affidavit of posting was marked as Exhibit A-1.


Mr. Walsh asked if the board would prefer a summary of the application which can be confirmed by the owners.  Ms. Kirk advised she would like testimony instead.


Mr. & Mrs. Tumolo advised they own the property in question.  There is pool in the rear yard which is surrounded by a fence.  They are here for permission to permit 360’ of existing fence to have picket spacing at the top 7 ½’  which would be greater than spacing allowed.  Also, there is a portion of the fence in the rear which they want to replace due to wind damage to the aluminum panels.  This would be replaced with the same type of fence on the other portions.


In 1996 applicant applied for a permit for the pool and fence.  At that time they put up 425’ of fence, 350’ of which is picket and 85’ solid fence on Oxford Valley Road.  They submitted schematic to the township and received building permit #24,799 and installed the fence according to the same. The permit did note the spacing could not exceed 2” but they installed the fence submitted with the permit. This fence e complied with all other criteria.  The only portion which violates ordinance was top 7 ½” which is 3 13/16” spacing.


Schematic prepared by Garith Mfr Co dated 4/1/85 #R-301-60 was marked as Exhibit A-2.  One page document of aluminum fence e depicting fence on property circled was marked as Exhibit A-3. 


Motion made by Mr. Mayrhofer granting request as submitted.  Motion seconded by Mr. Hricko and carried.





Stephen Goldstein, Esq. Appeared together with Mr. & Mrs. Lisa.  This is a parcel located at Silverwood Drive in Dolington Estates which has an existing fence. They plan to build a pool in the yard and during the course of same it came to their attention that the fence on the berm did not have a permit.  Mrs. Lisa advised they paid the contractor for a permit. The fence is pre existing and in the special setback.  There is also an existing doll house and concrete pad located within the 100’ special setback from Lindenhurst Road. 


Application was marked A-1.  Plan prepared for lot 23 for Dolington Estates dated 9/29/99 was marked A-2.  It was noted fence in easement is the issue. Ms. Kirk asked who holds the easement.  Mr. Goldstein advised this is a drainage easement and a buffer easement.  Drainage easement goes to the township.  Mrs. Dorner advised the other two items are located within the special setback.  Mrs. Lisa advised she took pictures of the property from Lindenhurst Road. 


Mr. Goldstein advised with landscaping this fence and the top of the doll house are barely visible.  As the application indicates if they had to move the fence e it would cut off m ore of their yard.  Mr. Mayrhofer noted the fence is on the west side of the berm and cannot be seen from Lindenhurst Road.  It was also noted the fence is in code for a pool.


Mrs. Lisa stated she needs another fence perpendicular to split the yard with the pool   Mr. Toadvine stated if the board grants variance from this type of fence one condition is if it needs to be removed it would be done at the applicant’s expense.  Applicant agreed. 


Mr. Goldstein stated they would like to amend application to include request for variance to include perpendicular fence running from existing fence to tie into the house for protective purposes. 


Motion made by Ms. Kirk granting variances from Section 200-63A and B and Section 200-69A(14)©, with the understanding that should the applicant install a perpendicular fence that it be permitted to encroach into the special setback area and the easement area, to be attached to the existing fence; subject to the condition that the applicant will be solely and completely responsible  at their own cost and expense for removal of the fence and any other structures within the easement area in the event the easement holder needs access to that area.  Motion seconded by Mr. Mayrhofer and carried.



Recess was called at 8:25 p.m.  Ms. Kirk reconvened the meeting at 8:35 p.m.




Application was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Mr. Magilton advised they reside at 1721 Powderhorn Drive and are requesting variance to Section 200-68A(2).  They moved here from California and have 4 dogs.  They were unaware of the requirement regarding the number of dogs.  All dogs are more than 76 months old and they will not be breeding the same. Dogs are obedience trained. There will be no selling or breading of the dogs for a fee.  Dogs consist of a mastiff, two bull terriers and one maltese.  All are pets and live in the house. 


Mr.Hricko asked why this is before the board.  Mr. Magilton stated the requirement was pointed out by one of his neighbors.  Mr. Hricko noted applicant indicates there are no complaints by neighbors.  Mr. Magilton noted the neighbor in question has since moved. Ms. Kirk noted the description of this section of the ordinance is not applicable and no variance is needed.


Ms. Kirk stated that based on her interpretation of what she is reading that this is not applicable to this application  Mr. Toadvine noted sentence states sale or boarding has to apply to pets.  Ms. Kirk stated that based on the testimony in this case she does not think it is applicable.


Motion made by Ms. Kirk determining that Section 200-68A(2) does not apply to this applicant and therefore there is no need for the variance requested.  Motion seconded by Mr. Mayrhofer and carried.







Stephen Goldstein, Esq. Appeared together with Jim McCaffrey and Kevin Keston of  VanCleef Architects.


Mr. Goldstein explained that lot 20-16-678-3 is requesting two variances  - one related to impervious and one for special setback of Stony Hill Road.  The requirements arise as a result of the fire and plans to reconstruct expeditiously.


Application was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Plan submitted with application prepared by VanCleef dated 3/18/04 was marked as A-2.  Property in question is 7.42 acres and applicant is proposing addition to building which will have a net increase of 828 s. ft of impervious surface.  This is also a variance request for front yard set back because new addition will encroach 24 1/5’ into special setback.  Impervious surface of 828 sq. ft  is increase from 71% to 71.2% which is deminimus. 


Ms. Kirk noted application states 1,390 sq. foot of impervious and the plan states 829 sq. ft.  Mr. McCaffrey 1390 is total of new addition but only 829 is above impervious. 

Mr. Goldstein advised variance and plans have always talked about going from 71% to 71.2%.  Technically when the original variance was granted in 9184 it permitted up to 68% and permitted calculations would be done to the edge of the road. They decided to use 71 and 71.2% because this is what the board has seen in the based as calculated fro ultimate right of way. There is pre existing variance which was ever changed which allowed 68% and if measured to edge of the cart way it would be less than 68%.  For this application he calculated from existing right of way.  Mr. Kirk noted variance runs with the land and questioned why they are here.  Mr. Goldstein stated since 1984 they have been here for minor additions and somewhere they started showing 71% and he did not want to have plans showing 68%.  Technically he does not think they need a variance. 


Mr. McCaffrey stated back in 1984 they permitted them to go to property line for purpose of donating land where Heacock Road exists.  Part of the section of building indicated was a smaller tenant and was a lower building.  They intent to replace 40’ of the building back and put in all new footings and steel.  In the planning process it was noted it would be easier to construct buildings at the same height.  They have existing building which was added on in 1992.  They would like to square off the building and make it solid.  Mr. Toadvine noted area in front is parking.  Mr. McCaffrey stated in 1984 the set back on Stony Hill Road was 50’.  Assuming setback has something to do with visual affect it was noted tre3es along Stony Hill Road are 20’ in height.


Motion made by Mr. Dobson granting request as set forth in plan marked A-2.  Motion seconded by Mr. Mayrhofer and carried.





Motion made by Mr. Mayrhofer canceling meeting scheduled for 6/1/04.  Motion seconded by Mr. Dobson and carried.



There being no other business motion made by Mr. Mayrhofer to adjourn.  Seconded by Mr. Malinowski and carried.  The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,




                                                                        David Malinowski, Secretary