TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

ZONING HEARING BOARD

MINUTES – FEBRUARY 15, 2005

 

 

The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on February 15, 2005.  Chairman Kirk called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

 

Those present:

 

Zoning Hearing Board:  Barbara Kirk, Chairman

                                                Rudolph Mayrhofer, Vice Chairman

                                                David Malinowski, Secretary

                                                Paul Bamburak, Member

                                                Greg Caiola, Alternate

 

Others:                                     Robert Habgood, Code Enforcement Officer

                                                John Koopman, Township Solicitor

                                                Drew Wagner, Township Engineer

                                                Allen Toadvine, Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor

 

Absent:                         Darwin Dobson, Zoning Hearing Board Member

                                                Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor Liaison

 

 

APPEAL #04-1254(A) – JOHN C. MCGINN, J.C.MCGINN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

 

Ms. Kirk stated this matter had been continued from the prior Board meeting of January 18, 2005 and since that time a letter was sent to the Zoning Hearing Board’s Solicitor dated 2/10/05 from the Applicant’s attorney, John VanLuvanee.  This was marked as Exhibit B-2.  This letter is requesting that the Hearing be continued to March 15, 2005 and that the Township is not opposing this continuance request.  Ms. Kirk stated when Mr. VanLuvanee previously requested that the Hearings in this matter be continued, he did grant an extension through 3/31/05.

 

Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the continuance until 3/15/05.

 

 

APPEAL #04-1282 – MIKE AND BARB GRAFELD, ETAL

 

Ms. Kirk stated this matter was continued from 1/18/05.  The Board requested that both the Applicant’s attorney and the attorney for the property owner submit proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law which were received by the Township prior to

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Tonight’s Hearing.  Based on that, the Board is in a position to render a decision with respect to the Application.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer moved and Mr. Malinowski seconded to deny the Appeal.  Motion carried with Ms. Kirk, Mr. Malinowski and Mr. Mayrhofer in favor, Mr. Bamburak opposed, and Mr. Caiola abstaining.

 

 

APPEAL #04-1296 – SAM VIRGILLO

 

Ms. Kirk stated this matter had been continued form the January 18, 2005 meeting.

 

Mr. Sam Virgillo was sworn in.  He stated he lives at 504 Countess Drive.  Ms. Kirk stated this matter had been continued because the property had not been posted for January 18, 2005.  She asked if the property was posted to advertise tonight’s Hearing, and Mr. Virgillo stated it was.  Mr. Habgood confirmed this.  The Application that was submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Attached to that Application was an 8 ½” by 11” Plan of the property entitled, “Plan of Lot 186” last dated 8/12/69 but there are hand-written modifications.  This was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Virgillo stated he is requesting a Variance for impervious surface so that he can install a storage shed on the property.  The shed is 8’ by 14’ and is a single-story shed.  Ms. Kirk asked how much impervious surface is currently on the property, and

Mr. Virgillo stated the total is 3567 square feet which is 18.2%.  Ms. Kirk asked if this is just for the house or if it includes the other impervious surface; and Mr. Virgillo stated it includes the house, driveways, and walkways.  This proposal would increase the impervious surface 112 square feet so it would result in 18.77% impervious surface. 

Ms. Kirk asked if he included the square footage of the Township property that is behind his property, and Mr. Virgillo stated he did not. Mr. Habgood was asked if he feels this is an accurate assessment of the impervious surface, and Mr. Habgood agreed that it is.

 

Ms. Kirk asked if he discussed the proposal with his neighbors on either side, and

Mr. Virgillo stated he did.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer asked what will be under the shed, and Mr. Virgillo stated it would be resting on concrete blocks.  Mr. Mayrhofer asked if it will be earth underneath, and

Mr. Virgillo agreed.  He stated the shed has four by four beams below it, which would rest on the concrete pads.  Mr. Mayrhofer asked if water could go under the shed, and

Mr. Virgillo stated it could and it would not be a complete concrete pad.

 

Mr. Koopman stated the Township has no position on this matter.

 

There was no public comment.

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Mr. Bamburak moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant the Variance as requested.

 

 

APPEAL #04-1298 – BENJAMIN AND MICHELLE WIEGAND

 

Mr. Benjamin and Ms. Michelle Wiegand, 55 Rickert Drive, were present and affirmed to tell the truth.  The Application that was submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1.  Attached to this was a five-page Site Plan prepared for the Wiegand residence by James H. Hefelfinger and Associates last dated January, 2005.  This was marked as Exhibit A-2.

 

Mr. Wiegand stated in November of 2003 they purchased the residence at 55 Rickert Drive and were aware that there was water damage to the back wall; but they did not know the extent of the damage when they purchased the house.  After residing in the home they found that the damage was significant and would require replacement of the back wall.  During that time they decided, if possible, they would like to make a small addition to the kitchen which is behind and a small addition to the bathroom which is where the water problem was located.  They realized after they started the process, that there were impervious surface requirements.  They are currently at 40.7%.  He noted this is how it was when they purchased the property.  This is a thirty-seven year old home, and they felt it was “grandfathered.”  They are proposing to remove parts of the driveway as well as the existing gravel walks in the back to try to get the impervious surface down.  If they were required to go to 18%, they do not feel they would be able to have any kind of driveway.  He stated they are only adding 270 square feet with the proposed additions.  The proposed walkways and proposed patio shown on the plan will be pavers. They do not intend to replace the existing gravel walkways.  After construction, they would be at 34.8% impervious surface.  The architect who prepared the plans did the calculations.

 

Mr. Habgood was asked how the property got to 40.7%.  Mr. Habgood stated after review they found there were permits for the new home, but no other permits for the gravel walkway in the rear of the home. Based on that, he indicated that they would have to go for a Variance.  Mr. Mayrhofer stated probably when the house was built thirty-seven years ago, the home, driveway, and walkway in the front were constructed at that time and there were probably driveways in the back that were added at some point.

 

Ms. Kirk noted on the side of the plan where it states “existing gravel (erosion control): and asked what type of problem exists.  Mrs. Wiegand stated when the inspector looked at the house, he indicated it was probably there because of erosion concerns and it was done to create a swale.  They were advised that the basement had flooded at some point.  She stated her property does not slope down to her neighbors, and in fact it is actually the reverse.  Mr. Wiegand stated the neighbors are approximately three feet above them.

 

 

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Mr. Koopman asked if the area of the driveway to be removed will be replaced with lawn area, and Mr. Wiegand stated this is correct.  Mr. Koopman stated the Township has no position on this matter.

 

There was no public comment.

 

Mr. Mayrhofer moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve the request for 34.8% impervious surface.

 

 

There being no further business, Mr. Caiola moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        David Malinowski, Secretary