ZONING HEARING BOARD
MINUTES – JANUARY 4, 2005
The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the
Zoning Hearing Board: Barbara Kirk, Chairman
Rudolph Mayrhofer, Vice Chairman
David Malinowski, Secretary
Paul Bamburak, Member
Greg Caiola, Alternate
Paul Kim, Alternate
Others: Robert Habgood, Code Enforcement Officer
John Koopman, Township Solicitor
James Majewski, Township Engineer
Allen Toadvine, Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor
Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor Liaison
REORGANIZATION OF ZONING HEARING BOARD FOR 2005
Mr. Mayrhofer moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Barbara Kirk as Chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board for the year 2005.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint Rudolph Mayrhofer as Vice Chairman of the Zoning Hearing Board for the year 2005.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Mayrhofer seconded and it was unanimously carried to appoint David Malinowski as Secretary of the Zoning Hearing Board for the year 2005.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to re-appoint Bucks County Court Reporters as the Court Reporter for the Zoning Hearing Board for the year 2005 under the same terms and conditions.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to re-appoint Allen Toadvine of the law offices of Marte and Toadvine as the Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor for the year 2005 for an hourly rate of $115 subject to approval of the Board of Supervisors.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 2 of 25
APPEAL #04-1292 – THOMAS J. MACK CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Mr. Caiola acted as the Zoning Hearing Board Alternate for this Appeal.
The Application was marked as Exhibit A-1. Attached to that was a Plot Plan prepared
by J. G. Parks for Tax Parcel #20-22-107 which was marked as Exhibit A-2.
Mr. Thomas Mack and property owners Mr. Ken and Mrs. Kim Jankowitz were sworn in.
Mr. Mack stated the property is Tax Parcel #20-22-107 and is
located at 1021
Drive in the Sandy Run II Section. Mr. and Mrs. Jankowitz have owned the property
since 1992. The property is zoned R-2 and is 16,500 square feet. They are requesting a
Variance to erect a 162 square foot addition to the rear of the home to be an extension of
the kitchen and breakfast area. They are asking for relief from Section 200-23B – the
Impervious Surface requirement. The maximum permitted in this area is 15% and the
existing property is currently at 26.16%. The existing dwelling, driveway, walks, etc.
was built in 1969; and the original property exceeds the limits of the impervious surface
in its original form. The original property exceeds both the 1979 and 1994 Ordinance,
but the property pre-exists those Ordinances. They are proposing to reduce the ratio to
24.65%. They will remove 401 square feet of existing brick patio which they have been
able to determine has been there in excess of twenty-five years. They will also remove
178 square feet of railroad tie steps and ten square feet of railroad tie wall. This will
reduce the existing impervious by 589 square feet.
Ms. Kirk asked about the 200 square foot note on the Plan. Mr. Mack stated there was
discussion whether the rip-rap was pervious or impervious. They originally felt it was
impervious, and it was subsequently decided it was impervious.
Mr. Koopman stated the Township is taking no position with respect to this Application.
There was no public comment.
The property owners indicated that the testimony given by Mr. Mack was correct.
Mr. Mayrhofer moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to
approve as presented at 24.65%.
APPEAL #04-1293 – KRISTINE AND KEVIN WOJNOVICH
Mr. Caiola acted as the Zoning Hearing Board Alternate for this Appeal.
Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Kristine Wojnovich were sworn in. The Application was marked as
Exhibit A-1. The Plan of the proposed shed was marked as Exhibit A-2. Mr. Wojnovich
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 3 of 25
stated the property is located at
constructed before 1986 have 18% impervious surface and thereafter it is 25%. They are
trying to get 1.87% to install a shed at the rear of their property. They originally
considered this approximately three years ago. He stated the Application process calls
for hardships and they have two – one being that his wife’s parents are splitting time
between her sister’s house and theirs in Yardley as her father has had a massive stroke
and they do not want to put him in a home. They have hired a nurse to come in full-time.
Her mother has also had hip replacement recently. They would like to move some items
from their garage into the shed so that they can convert the garage into living space. He
stated there is also a lack of space in the house as it exists. They have no basement.
Mr. Wojnovich stated as far as the height and dimensions are concerned, he noticed that a
number of his neighbors are present so he would be willing to modify the request.
Ms. Kirk stated they are requesting a Variance to permit the building height of the shed to
be higher than the permitted limit of 15 feet. Mr. Wojnovich stated they wanted to build
an 18 foot high shed. Mrs. Wojnovich stated they wanted loft space for storage. She
stated the area where they want to install the shed is rather unsightly with brush and is
overgrown, and they would agree to make this area look nicer.
Ms. Kirk stated the Plan does not show the type of shed they plan to install.
Mr. Wojnovich stated it would be all wood, and the siding and the roof would match the
house. It would have a barn roof. Mr. Wojnovich stated they would plant additional
trees next to it. He stated there is a run off concern, and they would agree to put in silt
fencing to make sure this is mitigated. Ms. Kirk asked about the run off on the property,
and Mr. Wojnovich stated seven years ago the previous property owner had the property
graded and it does drain very well especially when they clean out the gutters. He stated
the property drains left to right, and they have it bermed down their driveway into the
back yard between the houses and down into the Canal.
Mr. Bamburak asked about adjacent properties. Mr. Wojnovich stated there is a house to
the right and to the rear of their property as well. Mr. Bamburak asked what is in their
neighbors’ yards at those locations. Mr. Wojnovich presented a picture of the property
showing the rear yard. This photo was marked as Exhibit A-3. Mr. Wojnovich stated the
property is higher in the front and lower in the rear.
Ms. Kirk stated based on the Plan submitted, they have 19.5% impervious surface, and
Mr. Wojnovich stated this is correct.
Mr. Mayrhofer asked how they would modify their request, and Mr. Wojnovich stated
they could withdraw the request for building height. He stated they would be willing to
keep to the 15 foot requirement.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 4 of 25
Ms. Kirk asked if there is any way they can reduce the impervious coverage since they
already exceed the impervious coverage. Mr. Wojnovich stated they could take out the
walkway in the front and replace it with pea stone. Mr. Mayrhofer stated this may still be
considered as impervious surface. Mr. Majewski stated if it was loose and free-draining,
it would not be considered impervious. Mrs. Wojnovich stated they could also take out
the brick patio in the rear. Ms. Kirk asked the size of this, and Mr. Wojnovich stated he
feels it is 380 square feet. It does not go under the wood deck. Ms. Kirk stated if the
shed is 374 square feet, and if they are willing to remove the brick patio which is 380
square feet, she questions if they would still need a Variance. Mr. Toadvine stated they
would since they still exceed the maximum impervious surface permitted.
Mr. Mayrhofer stated they may not have to lose their brick patio and stated if they
removed the walkway, he would be satisfied with that rather than requiring them to
remove the brick patio. Ms. Kirk asked the square footage of the walkway, and
Mr. Wojnovich stated he calculated this to be 222 square feet. Mr. Habgood stated he has
done some calculations but no building permit was submitted. He calculated the front
walk to be 140 square feet.
Mr. Koopman stated the Township is taking no position with respect to this Application.
Ms. Ann Kimble and Mr. Edward Kimble,
Ms. Kimble presented a map to the Board. Ms. Kimble stated the current dwelling is in
itself an exception to the Zoning laws. At the time the house was built, the neighbors had
to grant special permission because the size of the current dwelling exceeded the zoning.
She stated it is a matter of record that the Township has always considered the lot at 101
proposed is the size of a two-car garage. She stated she is also concerned about water run
off because the subject property is on higher ground. She showed pictures of the area.
Ms. Kimble stated removing impervious surface in the front will not really help because
the problems are in the back.
Mr. Bamburak asked if there are pictures showing the damage that has been done such as
swales, etc. Ms. Kimble stated she does not have any photos of any current damage. She
noted a photo of the proposed location where the shed is to be located.
Mr. Malinowski questioned how a shed of this size could create so many problems.
Ms. Kimble stated they already have terrible water problems at the current time, and they
are concerned that any additional impervious surface will just add to the problems. She
stated the proposed Plan also calls for a silt fence and a drainage trench which suggests
that there is the potential for water run off problems. They do not feel this will help the
situation and could in fact add to the problems to the subterranean streams. She stated
the silt fence will border three properties and could also present undesirable effects by
funneling the water into 102
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 5 of 25
Mr. Mayrhofer stated the silt fence would only be up during construction.
Mr. Wojnovich stated it is proposed that the fence will be permanent and will be under
the ground so that the water drains into the ground. The silt fence will be totally under
Ms. Kimble stated both the silt fence and the trench could become clogged, and they have
no assurance that these will be maintained. She stated in order to erect the shed they will
have to take out bushes and trees which could also cause problems with water. They are
also concerned about the impact on the root systems of their own trees. She stated they
are also concerned about the impact on the retaining walls
and 1804 Westover and
Ms. Kimble stated Westover is one of the most highly-valued neighborhoods in the
Township and the wooded nature of the area is a strong selling point. She stated this building which is the size of a two-car garage will be only ten feet from two adjacent lots.
She stated the homeowners of
bearing branches from three trees in the rear yard, and she is concerned about the
environmental damage this may have caused. The Board noted the homeowner is
permitted to trim trees on his property.
Ms. Kimble stated she does have a number of alternatives which they should consider
that would not impact the environment or property values in the neighborhood. She
stated a two-story, two-car garage could be constructed in the current area where the
garage is located. Ms. Kirk stated the Board can only hear testimony as to what is being
requested under the Zoning Ordinances and any alternative proposals should have
been discussed with the property owner or suggested beforehand. Ms. Kimble stated she
has many other alternatives to suggest. Ms. Kimble asked how they could become parties
to the Application and Ms. Kirk stated they can request party status.
Mr. and Mrs. Kimble requested party status at this time.
Ms. Caiola asked where they are with impervious surface at this point. Ms. Kirk stated
the Applicant has indicated that they are willing to remove 380 square feet of existing
impervious surface which would leave them at the current impervious surface.
Mr. Bamburak asked if the ten foot side setbacks for the shed are correct for this
property, and Mr. Habgood stated they are.
Mr. Barrett Levine and Mrs. Rosealee Levine,
Mr. Barrett stated they catch all of the subject property’s water. He stated in a moderate
to major storm he gets a significant amount of water in his rear yard; and if they destroy
all of this watershed, it will create a problem. He stated he has also talked to Realtors and
they feel this project will destroy the property values in the neighborhood. Mr. Levine
stated what they are proposing is not really a shed, it is a garage.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 6 of 25
Mr. Phillip Mitchell,
concerned with the grading and the slope of the hill. He is lower on the slope and is
concerned about the run off into his yard. He stated he had to spend several thousand
dollars to help alleviate water.
The following requested Party status although they did not speak at this time:
Pat Soltis –
Mr. Toadvine stated those who have requested Party status will be notified of the
decision of the Board in writing.
Ms. Kirk stated the testimony has now been concluded. The meeting was recessed for
five minutes in order for the Board to discuss a legal issue with Mr. Toadvine.
The meeting was again called to order. Mr. Toadvine asked Mr. Wojnovich if they are
committed to the size of the shed being 17’ by 22’. Mr. Wojnovich stated they could
make it smaller. Ms. Kirk suggested that rather than make a decision on this tonight,
they could have the matter continued so that they could go back and re-calculate what
they would like to propose. Mr. Mayrhofer stated they should also consider having a
zero effect on the impervious surface and what they would be able to eliminate in the
form of the existing impervious surface. Mr. Wojnovich stated they would be willing to
agree to a condition that whatever the size of the shed would be, they would remove an
equal amount of existing impervious surface. Mr. Wojnovich stated they could agree to a
12’ by 12’ shed. Ms. Kirk stated she felt that the Applicant was agreeing to proceed with
the proposed shed which is 374 square feet, and they would be willing to remove 374
square feet of impervious surface elsewhere on their property. Mr. Mayrhofer stated if
they agreed to a zero effect, he could make the building smaller and he would then not
have to take as much out from the patio, etc. Mr. Wojnovich stated they would be willing
to amend the request to a 12’ by 12’ shed which would be 144 square feet.
Mrs. Wojnovich stated she would prefer to take existing impervious out and then install
the shed which would result in a zero impact.
It was suggested by the Board that Mr. and Mrs. Wojnovich take some time to consider
this further to determine what they need. Ms. Kirk stated they would be put on the next
Agenda which would be held on January 18 and come in and present to the Board any
modifications to the proposed Plans and Variances that they have requested.
Mr. Wojnovich stated they would like to do this. Ms. Kirk stated if they revise the Plans
and show new calculations, it would be good to submit them a week before the Hearing
so that they can be reviewed by the Zoning Hearing Board prior to the meeting.
Mr. Bamburak stated he would also like to see a sketch of the proposed building.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 7 of 25
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Mayrhofer seconded and it was unanimously carried to continue the
matter to January 18, 2005.
APPEAL #04-1294 – ROBERT D. QUINN
Mr. Caiola acted as the Zoning Hearing Board Alternate for this Appeal.
The Application was marked as Exhibit A-1. Attached to the Application was a Building
Permit Plan for Tax Parcel #20-53-53 and #20-53-67 dated 10/21/04 which was marked
as Exhibit A-2. Mr. Robert Pelke from J. G. Parks, Mr. Ronald Vaughn, Jr., architect,
and Ms. Sandra Quinn were sworn in.
Mr. Pelke stated the Quinns would like to remove an existing garage and shed
combination. Pictures of the existing shed were presented and marked as Exhibit A-3.
Ms. Kirk stated there are two photographs on one sheet. Mr. Pelke stated they would like
to replace this with a new garage and will need two Variances. One is from Section
200-13 for the impervious surface and the other is Section 200-51(B)(1)(b) for
disturbance of the floodplain. The new garage will be 1200 square feet versus the
existing which is 856 square feet. They are calculating the impervious surface of the
driveway which is gravel at 100%. If they could calculate the driveway at 70%, and use
the little if strip of ground which is across
13.6% impervious surface. They will also move the garage further to the rear for the
additional driveway they will need to put in. With regard to the floodplain, the existing
garage and shed are in the floodplain so to remove it and replace it with another garage,
they will have to disturb an area inside the floodplain.
Ms. Kirk stated the Plan that was submitted shows the proposed driveway is coming from
the front of the house and veering toward the left and then looping back to the back of the
proposed garage and then coming back up to the right. Mr. Pelke stated there will be a
garage door on the side because it is a garage/shed combination. There will not be
another building at the end of the driveway behind the property. After review of the Plan,
it was noted that this is not a driveway – it is a contour line.
Mr. Toadvine asked if they used both Tax Parcels when they calculated the impervious
surface and Mr. Pelke stated they only used one. They did not use the parcel on the other
across the street, and Mr. Pelke stated it would be 3,327 square feet. Mr. Mayrhofer
stated he feels this is irrelevant since it is on the other side of the road.
Mr. Malinowski asked about their hardship. Mr. Vaughn stated while the existing garage
is not dilapidated, it is showing age and this was an opportunity for the Quinn/Millers to
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 8 of 25
replace the garage. The existing building is 856 square feet and was done in three stages
so it was done piecemeal. He stated it will also give a cleaner entrance to the garage as
the cars approach. He stated they will comply with all height requirements. It will be a
garage downstairs with unfinished storage space upstairs. The new garage will be a
three-car garage. He showed the front and side elevations.
Mr. Bamburak asked about the gravel driveway and asked the technical reason for this
being considered 70% impervious surface. Mr. Pelke stated for the soils they have, there
are engineering handbooks giving this recommendation. Mr. Majewski stated the
Township considers gravel for a driveway to be 100% impervious. Two photos on one
sheet showing the existing driveway were presented and marked as Exhibit A-4.
Mr. Pelke stated the compacted area of the driveway will only be where the tires go
Mr. Koopman stated the Township has no position on this Application.
Ms. Judy Curlee,
the elevations. She stated she was concerned with the aesthetics and she is now satisfied.
Ms. Quinn stated she concurred with the testimony given.
Mr. Caiola moved and Mr. Mayrhofer seconded to accept the Application as presented.
Motion carried with Mr. Malinowski opposed.
APPEAL #04-1295 – B & H SOLARIUMS
Mr. Caiola acted as the Zoning Hearing Board Alternate for this Appeal.
Mr. Brian Wolfgang, and homeowners Mr. Richard and Elizabeth McLaughlin were
The application was marked as Exhibit A-1. Attached to the Application was a three-
page Plan of Lot #44 showing the house location, Plan prepared by Tri-State
Engineering, last revised 10/6/76 which was marked as Exhibit A-2.
Mr. Wolfgang stated they would like to add a sunroom addition to the rear of the home
on top of an existing patio. There will be no change to the impervious surface. The
existing impervious surface already exceed what is permitted under Section 200-23B of
18%. The existing patio is larger than the proposed addition, and they will remove a part
of the patio and reduce the impervious surface from 22% to 21%.
Mr. McLaughlin stated they have owned the property for one year.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 9 of 25
Mr. Wolfgang stated they did talk to the next-door neighbor who indicated they felt the
existing patio had been there for fifteen years and at least and was installed without
knowledge to the Township. They propose a one-story sunroom. Mr. Wolfgang stated it
will be an octagonal shape in order to meet the side yard setbacks.
Mr. Koopman stated the Township has no position on this matter.
There was no public comment.
Mr. Mayrhofer moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to
approve the request as presented.
APPEAL #04-1290 – ANDREW AND WENDY KRAUS
Mr. Caiola acted as the Zoning Hearing Board Alternate for this Appeal.
Mr. and Mrs. Kraus were sworn in. The Application submitted was marked as Exhibit
A-1. Included in the Application was a one-page impervious surface breakdown which
was marked as Exhibit A-2. The 8 ˝” by 11” Plan of the property entitled Proposed
Building Addition was marked as Exhibit A-3.
Mr. Richard Gelate, attorney, stated this is an Application for an impervious surface
Variance for the property at
Subdivision. Mr. Gelate stated erroneous information was given to his clients by the
were constructed in June of 2004. They have since found out that these should have been
considered impervious surface. These were completed as part of a full renovation of the
house. He stated subsequent to June, 2004 they have had heavy rains, and there was no
run off, no pooling of water, and no detrimental impact as a result of the patios and
two walkways. He stated they are not seeking to excuse the construction of the walkways
or patio noting that it was an honest mistake.
Three pages of photographs were presented and marked as Exhibits. Exhibit A-4 consists
of two pictures showing the front and a view of the rear walkway. Exhibit A-5 consists of
two pictures – a view of the rear patio and the view facing the rear. Exhibit A-6 is one
picture from the rear edge of the property.
Mr. Kraus stated he would like to clarify that the renovations were completed in June of
2004 but this work under discussion tonight was not initiated until September, 2004 and
was not part of the original renovation project. They did get a Building Inspection
Approval and Certificate of Occupancy in June, 2004. He stated they were doing
landscaping, re-grading, and hardscaping. He stated they were told that this did not
involve any electricity, plumbing, or concrete and the walkways and patio were rolled
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 10 of 25
into the entire process of trees, bushes, etc. He stated the front walkway, back walkway
and patio are blue stone that is sitting on top of crushed stone and there is no base.
Mr. Kraus stated there were severe rains in September after the walkways and patios
were completed. There was no run off, pooling, or puddling, and their basement
Mr. Gelate asked who they relied on to construct the walkways and patio without a
permit. Mr. Kraus stated they felt they had imposed on their neighbors throughout the
construction process; and while they were in favor of the improvements to the property, it
was clear that they had to move forward with cleaning up the property. They got three
bids from landscapers for trees, shrubs, walkways, patios and were advised that this was
all considered landscaping/hardscaping particularly because there was no concrete
foundation. Prior to the construction of the new walkway, there was a walkway that had
been ripped up. In the back there had been a porch that was ripped out. As of
September 1, there was only dirt at that point. He stated to get from the driveway to the
house there was only a dirt path to the back where the garage is located. There is access
to the patio from the kitchen onto the deck and then onto the patio. The distance from the
patio to the rear of the property is approximately 60’ of setback. Mr. Kraus stated one of
the reasons they have submitted the pictures is that it give some understanding of the
neighborhood. He stated their house is outside the 100 year floodplain and a small
section of their back yard is outside the 500 year floodplain. Their neighbors on one side
and to the back are one and a half size lots. The back of their property is now owned by
another family that goes to
letters from these neighbors indicating that they have no issues with regard to water or
Ms. Kirk noted the Plan submitted and particularly the darker lined areas showing the
walkways and patio. She asked if this was the Plan that was submitted to the Zoning
Hearing Board in 2003 when they came in for the Variance. Mr. Kraus stated it is not.
He stated the Plan is the same but they did not show the walkways or the patios.
Ms. Kirk noted it does state on the Plan “proposed brick walkway, to be removed – a
brick walkway”, and in the rear there are sections that read “to be removed and
bituminous … to be removed”. Mr. Kraus stated this was in fact removed.
Mr. Mayrhofer stated the request in 2003 was for 22.5% including all the additions.
Mr. Kraus stated it did not include the patios and walkways.
Mr. Kraus stated they have lived in the house since 1994 and are familiar with the area.
Mr. Gelate asked if it is true that when they measured the impervious surface on the lots
this without knowing how the calculations were made and who made them. Ms. Kirk
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 11 of 25
Mr. Gelate stated there were portions of the driveways that were removed and the
original walkway was removed as part of the construction under the Plan submitted in
2003, and Mr. Kraus stated this is correct. Ms. Kirk stated it does also state “proposed
brick walkway” on the Plan for 2003. Mr. Kraus stated it was proposed that they would
at some point have a walkway. Ms. Kirk asked if the bluestone walk is comparable to
what was proposed, and Mr. Kraus stated the existing walkway is a little less than was
Mr. Kraus stated he would like to address why they went ahead and did this without
obtaining Variances. He stated that this was the feedback from the landscapers and that
other neighbors had done this without permit and they got the impression that because
there was no plumbing, electric, or concrete, this was, in fact, acceptable. He stated he is
not one to take shortcuts as can be evidenced from the Variance Application for the
original construction. Mr. Kraus stated the landscapers did not comment on the Plot Plan
and only used it as a tool for projected budgets.
Mr. Bamburak asked why they came in for this after the fact. Mr. Kraus stated there was
a neighbor who ultimately did not appreciate the level of noise in the cutting of the stone.
He stated it is bluestone and it was cut on site and this individual took objection to this
and reported it to the Township. He stated this was not an immediate neighbor. It was an
individual residing on
Mr. Habgood came out to the property and stated what they had done qualified as
impervious surface, and they would therefore need a Variance.
Ms. Kirk stated having gone through the process for the 2003 Variance request, she
questions why he did not call the Township to see if he needed a permit, and Mr. Kraus
stated he did not since it was his assumption from speaking to the landscapers and seeing
other neighbors do similar work, that a permit was not required. He stated there are now
a number of people who are in a similar situation as it was not common knowledge that
to put in a patio you would need a Variance and/or a Permit. Mr. Mayrhofer stated he
agrees that this is true and feels there are many times when work is done for which
people should have obtained Permits and possibly come before the Zoning Hearing
Board. He stated possibly this information should be included in a Township Newsletter
or communicated in some way to the residents what the requirements are. Mr. Caiola
stated people also have misconceptions about replacing things. Mr. Santarsiero stated
they do put out two Newsletters a year, and he will take this up with the Board of
Mr. Koopman stated he agrees oftentimes people do not recognize permits are needed for
impervious surface, but Mr. Kraus was certainly aware of this since he had been through
the process in 2003 and knew that brick walkways were imperious. He was familiar
firsthand with the requirements of the Township. Mr. Koopman stated the Township is
opposed to this Application and the Township is requesting Party status.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 12 of 25
Mr. Koopman asked the name of the contractor, and Mr. Kraus stated it was
Mr. Marrazzo from
ever made an inquiry to the Township about whether this would be considered
impervious surface, and Mr. Kraus stated they did not. Mr. Koopman noted Mr. Kraus
used the term landscaping and hardscaping and asked if the bluestone was hardscaping.
Mr. Kraus agreed. Mr. Koopman stated he would feel the term hardscaping would
indicate that it is a hard surface that may not be pervious. Mr. Kraus stated Mr. Marrazzo
stated that it was not resting on concrete but was resting on crushed stone.
Mr. Mayrhofer asked if the bluestone has openings between the stone so water can drain
in, and Mr. Kraus stated it does have a space which he estimated to be approximately one
Mr. Gelate stated he has five letters from neighbors not present this evening and three
letters from neighbors who are present this evening, all in favor of the Application.
Exhibit A-7 was marked which consists of five letters from neighbors including
the Nolans at
Mr. Toadvine stated they are representing that all the letters are in favor of the
Application, and Mr. Gelate stated they are in favor and indicated that there was not any
adverse run off, etc. as a result of the walkways and patios which were constructed.
Mr. Charles Dickert was present and submitted a letter as well. Mr. Dickert was sworn in
and stated he has lived at his home since 1992 and is familiar with Mr. and Mrs. Kraus.
He stated since the renovations of the house and the installation of the walkways/patio
that are the subject of the Application, his property has had no adverse impact despite
heavy rains. There has been no run off from their property onto his. He stated his
driveway is on the same side as the Kraus’ and is visible to the patio. No water has come
onto his property. He is in favor of the Zoning Hearing Board granting this Variance.
He stated he was surprised that they needed a permit to install a patio.
Ms. Aimee Toadvine was sworn in and stated she has lived on
and a half years. She stated they are directly across the street from Mr. and Mrs. Kraus.
They did discuss the renovations, the walkways, and the patio with her. The work has
had no adverse impact on her property from the patio and walkways, and she is in favor
of the Variance being granted.
Mr. Gelate stated there are two other neighbors present and they would make similar
Mr. Koopman called Mr. Habgood who was sworn in and stated he is employed as the
Code Enforcement Office and has been so for four months. Mr. Koopman noted the
2003 Application which was submitted which resulted in the grant of the Variance.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 13 of 25
Mr. Gelate stated he would object since Mr. Habgood had nothing to do with that
Application. Mr. Habgood stated he did review the original Application and the Plan that
was attached to the original Application. Mr. Koopman noted the reference to a proposed
walkway on that Plan on the lower portion of the Plan. Mr. Habgood was asked to read
the note. Mr. Gelate objected. He stated there is no reason for a witness to read
something that the Zoning Hearing Board can read for itself. Ms. Kirk stated the
document speaks for itself. Mr. Koopman asked Mr. Habgood if a complaint came to his
attention from neighbors of the Kraus’ and Mr. Habgood stated a resident complained
about the noise of stone being cut and the dust created. As a result he inspected the
property and found that a patio was constructed in the rear of the property that was not
shown on the Plan. He stated he checked the records and found that no permit was issued
for the patio or the walkway from the patio to the driveway. Mr. Koopman asked if a
determination was made as to whether the walking and patio were impervious, and
Mr. Habgood stated he did and issued a Cease and Desist dated 10/12/04. As a result of
this, the Application was filed with the Zoning Hearing. Board.
Mr. Koopman noted the close up photos of the bluestone paved patio and walkway, and
these were marked as Exhibit T-1 and Exhibit T-2. These were shown to Mr. Gelate.
Mr. Habgood noted T-1 and stated this is a picture of the patio and accurately depicts the
bluestone patio. T-2 is a picture standing on the patio taking a picture of the walkway
from the patio to the driveway and accurately shows the spacing between the bluestone.
Mr. Gelate stated Mr. Habgood testified that he has worked for the Township for
approximately four months and asked for his start date. Mr. Habgood stated he started on
September 7, 2004. Mr. Gelate asked when the patio was completed, and Mr. Habgood
stated he felt it was approximately mid-September. Mr. Gelate asked the purpose of
issuing the Cease and Desist Order. Mr. Habgood stated the letter that was sent to them
dated October 12, 2004 indicated that they needed to file an Application with the Zoning
Hearing Board for an increase in the impervious surface, and they did do this. Mr. Gelate
asked who took the pictures shown on T-1 and T-2, and Mr. Habgood stated he took
them. Mr. Gelate asked if they were taken on October 8, and Mr. Habgood stated they
were taken on the date listed on t he photos. Mr. Gelate asked what day of the week this
was, but Mr. Habgood did not recall. Mr. Gelate stated it appears that four days later he
sent the Cease and Desist, and Mr. Habgood agreed. Mr. Gelate asked if the Kraus’ were
with Mr. Habgood when he was on the premises, and Mr. Habgood stated Mrs. Kraus
was there. Mr. Gelate asked if he told her at that time she was violation and would have
to file an Application, and Mr. Habgood stated he did. Mr. Gelate asked if they did
anything other than what he told them to do, and Mr. Habgood stated they did not.
Mr. Gelate asked if he saw spaces between the bluestone when he made his physical
observations of the premises. Mr. Habgood stated there were spaces. Mr. Gelate asked
what the weather conditions were like on October 8, 2004, and Mr. Habgood stated it was
a clear day – possibly with some clouds. Mr. Gelate asked if it had rained a day before
this, but Mr. Habgood was not aware of this. Mr. Gelate asked if there was any water or
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 14 of 25
standing water on the walkway or patio when he inspected the premises on October 8,
2004; and Mr. Habgood stated he observed none.
Mr. Koopman asked Mr. Habgood to estimate the spaces between the bluestones, and
Mr. Habgood estimated it to be 1/2”.
There was no further public comment.
Ms. Kirk stated the testimony is concluded, and asked the attorneys if they wished to
make brief closing arguments.
Mr. Gelate stated they understand that this work was already done and as soon as they
found out that something was wrong, his clients did make the proper Application to the
Township. He stated they are not arguing that the patios and walkways are not
impervious surface, but they were under misinformation as told by the various
landscapers. He stated when Mr. and Mrs. Kraus made their Application to the Township
in 2003, they followed all the rules and have made a wonderful addition to the
neighborhood. They did not undertake the construction of the walkways or patio with
any intention to deceive or flaunt the laws of
understand that the Township is asking to be a party because they do not want to set a
precedent. Mr. Gelate stated he does not feel they are establishing any precedent, and
the Township is basing this on the numbers because it is 27% which is a red, blinking
light to them. He stated there is no evidence that this increase in impervious surface has
caused any problems to the Kraus’ residence or to the neighbors. Mr. Gelate stated he
resides in this neighborhood and drives up Glenolden every day and under the worst
conditions, there is no water coming from the Kraus driveway, walkways or patio that
effect anyone. He stated he feels the Township is taking a formulaic objection because of
the impervious surface and does not feel they should be required to rip up the additions
which have enhanced the appearance of the neighborhood and is not the purpose of the
Ordinance. He stated the Ordinance is there to protect against damage that could result
from impervious surface, and they have provided proof that this is not the case.
Mr. Koopman stated they have a situation where the Township is not suggesting that they
attempted to deceive, but there is a history when the Kraus’ were previously before the
Zoning Hearing Board and there was discussion about pervious and impervious and what
had to be removed. There was clearly discussions that a brick walkway was pervious.
He stated the Plan reflected the walkways would be mulch that would be installed in the
future which were clearly not impervious. He stated the term “hardscape” would indicate
that what has been installed is clearly impervious. He stated if you look at the
photographs, it is clear that there is a significant amount which has been installed that is
impervious. He stated they are requesting an increase from what is permitted which is
18%. They obtained a prior Variance to go to 22.5% and are now requesting a Variance
to go to 27%. He stated there was discussion that there was a rain storm in the fall and it
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 15 of 25
did not result in any immediate flooding; but it is important to remember about that
incident is that most of the rain that caused the flooding
up-State so just because there was one flood event of the
there will not be impervious surface problems in the future in this area. Mr. Koopman
stated they must also consider the concept of not filling a lot up with impervious surface.
He stated this is an increase which has never, to his knowledge, been accepted by the
Township or the Township Zoning Hearing Board. He stated the Township has taken the
position that a 1% or a 2% increase in impervious surface is proper, but to go beyond
that goes well beyond the requirements of the Ordinance. He stated this is a Variance
request and questions the hardship other than an economic hardship and that fact that they
would have to remove something; but this is not the grounds for a Variance. He stated he
does not feel the property owner intentionally deceived the Township; but knowing what
the property already knew, he feels they should have made an inquiry. The Township
would like to see the Variance denied in its current form. The Township would be
willing to attempt some compromise; but object to grant of a 27% impervious surface.
Mr. Mayrhofer asked Mr. Majewski about the soils in the area and the drainage
capability. Mr. Majewski stated he is not entirely familiar with the soils in that area.
Mr. Mayrhofer stated he lives further down the road from this property, and it does drain
Ms. Kirk stated she agreed that the Applicant had prior knowledge of what needed to be
done, was before the Zoning Hearing Board previously requesting a significant increase
in impervious surface, and is now far exceeding that. Ms. Kirk moved that the
Application be denied. There was no Second.
Mr. Bamburak moved and Mr. Mayrhofer seconded to grant the Variance as requested.
Motion carried with Ms. Kirk opposed.
APPEAL #04-1274 – SUNRISE DEVELOPMENT, INC.
Mr. Kim acted as Zoning Hearing Board Alternate for this Appeal.
Mr. Edward Murphy, attorney, was present. Ms. Kirk stated this matter was continued
from 12/7/04. She stated Mr. Kim is now serving as the Alternate as he heard the prior
testimony in this Application. Mr. Toadvine stated Mr. Dobson is not present this
evening but was present for the other two meetings. Mr. Toadvine stated he understands
the Township attorney and the Applicant’s attorney discussed this and have agreed that
subsequent to tonight’s Hearing, the Notes of Testimony will be transcribed and provided
to Mr. Dobson so that he can participate in the decision. Mr. Murphy and Mr. Koopman
agreed. Mr. Murphy stated Mr. Toadvine did call him and advise him that Mr. Dobson
would not be available this evening. Ms. Kirk stated that the notes that will be
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 16 of 25
transcribed are the notes by the Court Reporter – not the notes done by the Recording
Secretary, and this will be paid for by Mr. Murphy. Mr. Murphy stated the Chairperson
was not present at the last meeting, and he did make arrangements for the transcript of the
last meeting to be provided to Ms. Kirk. Ms. Kirk stated she did review the notes by the
Board’s Recording Secretary already as well.
Ms. Kirk stated she understands that Mr. Koopman will be presenting his case and there
are several witnesses who will be called. Ms. Kirk stated the Board will stop at 11:00
p.m. and rather than having all members of the audience have to come back again, she
would recommend that those people be permitted to speak so that they do not have to
appear if they do not want to come to the next meeting. Mr. Koopman stated the
Township has no objection to that; but he does understand that there may be some
residents who were not able to attend tonight, and he would not want to preclude those
residents from commenting at a future date. Upon question from Ms. Kirk, three
members of the audience who had not previously had an opportunity to speak, indicated
they wished to make a statement.
Mr. Zachary Rubin,
Makefield Glen. He stated he is present as the Democratic Committee person for Lower
Makefield North 5, the President of
resident that lives near the subject property. He stated, speaking as the Democratic
Committee person, he would support this Application and
would like to see the
Assisted Care facility at this location on the grounds that the Matrix tract will have 55+
Age-Restricted housing which he might need to move into, and subsequently into an
Assisted-Care facility; and as the Committee Person he could be the Democratic
Committee person for the next thirty to forty years. He stated as President of Aspen
Woods Homeowners Association and a resident in the area, he would oppose the
construction of this building on this lot on the grounds that he does not feel the
intersection infrastructure can handle the existing traffic or any increase in traffic from
this use. He stated when the railroad crossing is down, there is a large back up of cars,
and it would create a burden to put such a facility in this location. He stated people
and when they come to the intersection going toward the
becomes a two-lane highway; and unless there is a change on the two-lane highway, they
cannot support this project.
Mr. Thomas Kurowski,
property on the same side of the street. He stated he is in favor of the development. He
stated he and his wife moved to this location in October, 1992 and Mr. McFadden has
been trying to sell the property for many years. He stated he now understands that the
Board of Supervisors is opposed to this project because they want to purchase it for open
space and install a Park. He stated he is opposed to a Park because it will bring in a lot of
parking and increase the traffic flow. He does not feel the traffic flow will be impacted
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 17 of 25
that much with the assisted-living facility because most of the residents will not be
traveling to and fro.
the traffic flow, and the report indicates the impact would be negligible. He would also
like to see the tract developed because all the trash from the Supermarkets across the
street continually gets stuck on this property, and having someone develop this would
alleviate this problem. He stated there was also discussion about floodplain in the rear
and the creek in the area. He stated it has been susceptible to flooding in large storms.
engineer. Mr. Koopman objected to this testimony. Ms. Kirk stated the Board will listen
to this statement being made from a member of the audience and take it for what it is
work. Mr. Kurowski stated that individual told him that what they are planning to do will
help is own property.
Mr. Koopman asked where Mr. Kurowski’s property is located, and Mr. Kurowski stated
he is within 300’ of the corner property heading east on
driveway coming out onto
contact with the representatives of
Mr. Koopman asked if Mr. Kurowski’s property is currently served with public water and
sewer, and Mr. Kurowski stated they do have public sewer but do not have public water
and instead have a well. Mr. Koopman asked if they have had discussions with
the development goes through, and Mr. Kurowski stated they have. Mr. Koopman asked
if having public water will increase the value of their property, and Mr. Kurowski stated
he would have to pay for the public water bill.
Ms. Judy Curlee,
Mr. Murphy objected since she is not an immediate neighbor. Ms. Curlee stated she uses
this road and feels it is a very bad idea to approve this.
Mr. Koopman stated the Township is opposed to this Application. He stated Paragraph 3
of the Application describes the use and development of a property for a proposed two-
story , ninety-four bed assisted living facility to be constructed in accordance with
Exhibit A. He stated the original Exhibit A has been amended, and the latest Plan is
Exhibit A-11. He stated the Applicant has also requested a Variance from the impervious
surface regulations, acknowledging that the proposed two-story Plan before the Zoning
Hearing Board does not comply with the impervious surface regulations. Mr. Koopman
stated there are several criteria that need to be met in order for the Zoning Hearing Board
to grant a Special Exception.
Ms. Kirk stated she believes that Mr. Koopman has already covered this in his cross-
examination of the witnesses.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 18 of 25
Mr. Koopman stated he wanted to direct the Board’s attention not just to the specific
standards regarding nursing homes but the standards contained in Section 200-98.
It is the Township’s position that this Application does not comply with the various
Ordinance provisions of the Zoning Ordinance or the Subdivision Ordinance and also has
other public and traffic safety considerations based upon the Plans before the Board for
Mr. Koopman called Mr. Jim Yates who was sworn in. Mr. Yates stated he works for
Emergency Services in
Township since the fall of 2001. He reviewed his background in terms of his expertise as
a Fire Safety Consultant/Inspector. He stated he is familiar with the Fire Codes in Lower
Makefield which are the 200 Edition of the International Fire Code. He has reviewed
various Subdivision Developments and other Plans submitted to the Township that have
been submitted for approval to the Township since the fall of 2001. He estimated he has
reviewed approximately forty plans for fire safety in
performs this same type of work in
resume, but Mr. Yates had not. Mr. Koopman offered Mr. Yates as an expert in Fire
Safe, and Mr. Murphy stated he had no objection.
Mr. Koopman asked if Mr. Yates reviewed the proposed
question as depicted on Exhibit A-11, and
dated 4/12/04, last revised 12/2/04. He is also familiar with the property that is the
subject of the Application and the existing nursing home
particularly the Manor Care and Sunrise Alterra facilities. Mr. Yates described Manor
Care which is an Assisted-Living, single-story facility
He noted at that location there is 90% perimeter access. He stated this means there is
impervious surface 90% around the building – that surface being asphalt approximately
twenty feet in width that would permit fire apparatus to gain access to the building for
fire safety and evacuate the facility. This paved access goes around the back of the
facility. Mr. Yates also commented on the Sunrise Alterra facility located on Township
similar in that it is a single-story, assisted living facility which has 90% paved access.
Based on the review of the Fire Code and in comparison to the other facilities just
referenced, Mr. Yates stated that the proposed
provide adequate perimeter access for fire safety. He stated they have proposed a two-
story building and have proposed approximately 30% of perimeter access. Mr. Koopman
asked if there is any way to get to the rear of the building where the Alzheimer patients
would be living, and Mr. Yates stated there is not as proposed.
Mr. Murphy stated he understands that the 2000 Edition of the Fire Code that is in effect
does not require fire lanes as described by Mr. Yates, and Mr. Yates stated this is correct.
Mr. Murphy stated his view is really his discretion, and Mr. Yates that it is his
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 19 of 25
professional opinion that this would be required. Mr. Murphy asked if Mr. Yates is
aware whether the building is intended to be sprinklered, and Mr. Yates stated he is
aware of this. Mr. Murphy asked if he is aware that there is proposed a 20’ wide
emergency access out to
Mr. Murphy asked if he feels they need another 60% perimeter coverage, and Mr. Yates
stated he does feel this is necessary. Mr. Murphy asked if this type of fire lane needs to
be impervious or could there be an alternate means. Mr. Yates stated he feels it should be
impervious since during inclement weather with snow or ice, another surface would not
be treated or plowed. Mr. Murphy asked if this is true for all fire access lane in Lower
Makefield. Mr. Koopman objected since he stated the discussion here is about an
assisted-living facility for dementia patients and patients who would have limited
mobility. Mr. Murphy asked if only a paved surface would be adequate for a facility such
as this, and Mr. Yates stated this is his judgment. Mr. Murphy asked if the testimony
would be the same regardless of the height of the building, and if the testimony would be
the same if it were a three-story building. Mr. Yates stated he would then feel 100%
would be required because if the building is higher, it would require even greater need for
fire protection to make evacuations and to get access to the building. Mr. Murphy asked
if the minimum width would need to be 20’, and Mr. Yates stated he would defer this to
the Fire personnel of
Mr. Murphy asked if the Fire Company typically reviews Plan, and Mr. Yates stated he
does provide them a copy; but they do not prepare a review. He stated he would confer
with them and include their comments in his review.
Ms. Kirk stated Mr. Yates indicated that his opinion regarding the fire access was not
necessarily based on the Fire Code adopted in
this is correct. He stated the Township has adopted the 2000 version of the Fire Code.
Mr. Kim stated the 2000 Fire Code mostly addresses lifesaving, and Mr. Yates stated it
comments on buildings after they have been constructed. Mr. Kim stated the fire lane is
covered but in addition to that in the 2000 Code, the emergency egress route for the
paved impervious is not covered and asked if this is correct. Mr. Yates asked for
clarification of Mr. Kim’s question. Mr. Kim stated the fire lane – impervious space –
that covers the area 90% when the emergency evacuation alarm is triggered, normally
that impervious space is utilized to evacuate the personnel out of the building in a more
safe manner. Mr. Yates stated it is to provide access for the Fire Department for their
vehicles. Mr. Kim stated they can also use it to safely use it as a lane of stable ground to
safely evacuate the occupants, and Mr. Yates agreed. Mr. Kim asked how the occupants
would evacuate if there was only 30% impervious surface, and Mr. Yates stated this
would impede their evacuations.
Mr. Toadvine stated they have testified that A-11 complies with the 2000 Fire Code
currently in effect, and Mr. Yates stated there is not enough information on the Plan to
make this judgment.
Mr. Toadvine asked if the Code in effect in
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 20 of 25
requires an impervious road surface to be 90% around the building, and Mr. Yates stated
it does not. Mr. Toadvine noted Mr. Kim’s comments about evacuation purposes, and
asked Mr. Yates if they considered the walkways shown on the Plan when they discussed
evacuation, and Mr. Yates stated he did not. Mr. Toadvine asked if the impervious
surface were installed as he has recommended, would it loop around the building or also
carve in and out as this is a cross-type structure, and Mr. Yates stated it would just loop.
Mr. Koopman noted Exhibit A-11 showing the walking trails, and asked Mr. Yates if the
existence of these walking trails would resolve his concerns. Mr. Yates stated they do
not. Mr. Koopman stated the Township Fire Code does not address the issue of
emergency access directly, and Mr. Yates agreed. Mr. Koopman asked whether that
issue is normally addressed by someone in his position, and Mr. Yates stated through his
years of experience they recognize that a number of fire protection measures are
necessary - some built into the Fire Code and others that are not. He stated they look for
a permanent access for fire equipment to get access to the building and this is something
he routinely reviews as part of the Subdivision process. Mr. Koopman stated the 200’
width was referred to as it relates to the other facilities in the Township and Mr. Yates
stated he did not measure those two facilities but feels that they are approximately this
Mr. Toadvine asked if the Department of Labor and Industry would review the Plan for
safety, and Mr. Yates stated they would for the internal features.
Mr. Murphy asked in what group would the proposed structure be considered, and
Mr. Yates stated it would he H-2 (High Hazard 2) or Institutional. Mr. Murphy asked
how this relates to whether or not the building would be compartmentalized. Mr. Yates
stated he does not have enough information to make an opinion on the actual use group.
He stated if they are discussing compartmentalization, he would be considering moving
residents from one part of the building to another; and on the surface this a good way to
address fire safety, but at some point in a fire in the building, you must consider the
removal of the residents and this is where they would need access to the building. He
stated he does not have enough information from the site plan on whether or not it is
Mr. Koopman asked if this were compartmentalized or not, would this change his opinion
on what is necessary as far as driveways around the building for fire equipment access
and evacuation of the residents, and Mr. Yates stated it would not.
Mr. Mayrhofer asked if Mr. Yates has been to any of the other facilities owned by
Mr. Robert Gregory Richardson was sworn in. He stated his firm, Traffic Planning &
Design, has offices throughout
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 21 of 25
as Exhibit T-1, and a copy was provided to Mr. Murphy. Mr. Richardson stated he is a
licensed professional engineer in
experience in planning, design, and review of nursing home facilities and assisted-living
facilities such as the facility proposed. He stated in his fifteen plus years of experience,
he has worked with private clients, such as Manor Care and a number of independent
assisted-living facilities throughout
traffic generated by these types of facilities. He has done traffic engineering work in
Occupancy Permits for access on State roadways. Mr. Koopman stated he understands
that PennDOT contracts out review work to private engineering firms such as
Mr. Richardson’s, and Mr. Richardson indicated this is correct. Mr. Richardson stated he
has been in charge of this program for his firm for over ten years and is familiar with
PennDOT’s requirements for improvements to State roads for facilities such as that under
Mr. Richardson stated he was asked to perform a traffic study to examine the potential
traffic impact of the proposed Sunrise Development to be located at Heacock and Stony
Hill Roads which are both State roads. He was also asked to review the traffic study
Mr. Richardson’s traffic study review was marked as Exhibit T-2 and provided to the
Zoning Hearing Board. It was noted that Mr. Murphy had been provided a copy of this
previously. Mr. Richardson noted the Executive Summary which includes conclusions
and recommendations for improvements. He stated the Executive Summary discussed
the fact that the site will have a single access on
Road which is a significant intersection. The use itself is not a high generator of traffic
volume and during the peak hours, the site would generate approximately sixteen new
trips in the A.M. peak and approximately twenty-one new trips during the P.M. peak.
Mr. Richardson stated the next step was to complete an analysis of the intersection in
terms of the capacity of the roadway to handle any increase in traffic. Based on their
work they feel due to the volumes themselves with the existing, pre-construction levels of
service, and construction of this facility added to the traffic volume, it would remain the
same level as they have today. The driveway itself from a level of service standpoint
would operate at a Level of Service C which in terms of PennDOT’s criteria would be
acceptable. Mr. Koopman asked if he analyzed the driveway in the configuration shown
on Exhibit A-11, and Mr.
analyzed the entrance assuming it would be directly across from a road going into an
interior development which is Chestnut Woods. Mr. Richardson stated Level of Service
C would be an acceptable level of service with A being the best and E being the worst.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 22 of 25
Level of Service C would result in a waiting time of approximately twenty-five to forty
seconds. Mr. Koopman asked if they took into account the fact that some of the traffic
may be elderly people who may not have the same driving skills as the normal motorist,
and Mr. Richardson stated they did. He stated the site itself would generate less than 1%
of the projected volume.
Mr. Koopman asked if they found any Levels of Service D in any of the movements, and
Mr. Richardson stated they looked at the intersection of
Road as well as the intersection of
Shopping Center drive.
Level of Service D existed at the intersection with the
the evening peak hour. This would be determined to be acceptable but is not as desirable
as Levels A, B, or C. Mr. Koopman asked if the determination that there were Levels of
Service D differed from the determination reached in the
Mr. Richardson stated there was one discrepancy at Heacock and Stony Hill which he
feels was based on the difference in signal timing.
Mr. Koopman asked when Mr. Richardson did the study, and Mr. Richardson stated it
was done in September after School was in session.
Mr. Koopman asked if the
proposed driveway into the facility, and Mr. Richardson stated it did not. He stated a site
distance analysis would be required by PennDOT before a Highway Occupancy Permit
would be issued for an access for this type of facility on to a State road. Mr. Koopman
asked in reviewing the proposed A-11, what was the proximity of the driveway to the
approximately 245’ from the stop bar on the northbound approach to the center line of the
proposed driveway. Mr. Koopman asked based upon the traffic study, would through
intersection back up to the proposed intersection during rush hour, and Mr. Richardson
stated during the two peak hours, based on their analysis, they feel it would back up to
the driveway. This could create a conflict for the through traffic and those trying to enter
and exit the driveway.
Mr. Koopman asked if he has an opinion as to whether certain traffic improvements
should be made to
make it acceptable, and Mr. Richardson stated he does and these are contained in the
Executive Summary. He stated the first is the provision of a separate left turn lane on
as an exclusive right turn deceleration lane in the eastbound direction to facilitate the
right turn movement into the driveway. They would also recommend, due to the nature
of the business and the fact that there is need for certain type of emergency equipment to
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 23 of 25
be able to access the site, that there be a larger radius such as 35’ minimum radius. He
would need PennDOT approval for any of these recommendations to be implemented.
Mr. Koopman asked if the recommendations he has made are consistent with what he
would anticipate PennDOT would require for a Highway Occupancy Permit, and
Mr. Richardson stated based on his history and knowledge of their policies, a left turn
lane and a separate right turn lane would be required as part of the construction of the
Ms. Kirk stated she feels PennDOT policies change everyday and their Departments are
being modified as is the Highway Occupancy Permit Review Board. She stated she does
not feel there is a set standard at this point. She stated they are in the process of
undergoing a comprehensive review and modification of their Policies. Mr. Koopman
stated this witness can testify to what the current policy is and whether this is reflected in
writing. Mr. Toadvine stated he does not understand the nature of the testimony as he
does not feel the Zoning Hearing Board will go through the Land Development and
Subdivision Approval. He stated they cannot impose those conditions on this
Application. Mr. Koopman stated the Zoning Hearing Board can and has a duty to do
so. He stated according to the Sections he has quoted, there are provisions showing that
one of the determinations the Zoning Hearing Board has to make if they are going to
grant a Special Exception is whether the use before them as depicted on A-11 contains
improvements and provisions that will provide for highway and traffic safety. He stated
this is a specific requirement. He stated the Applicant’s testimony was that they did not
anticipate any improvements and are not proposing any. Mr. Koopman stated he has the
right on behalf of the Township to present testimony from an expert who has expertise in
terms of what PennDOT does and does not require and he would refer to PennDOT
written guidelines that support what will be required. Mr. Koopman stated if the Zoning
Hearing Board grants a Special Exception, the requirements for a Special Exception
include the requirement that they comply with Township Ordinance as well as
requirement that the use provide for and accommodate probable effects on traffic. He
stated this also relates to fire safety as well. Mr. Koopman stated the Zoning Hearing
Board must review the Plan that is before them; and if they find that the Plan does not
meet the requirements for accommodating traffic concerns and fire safety concerns, they
cannot approve it. Mr. Toadvine stated they could require that the Applicant comply as
one of the conditions. Mr. Koopman stated the Applicant has indicated no improvements
will be made.
Mr. Mayrhofer stated the Applicant would have to take the Plan before various reviewing
agencies including PennDOT irrespective of what the Zoning Hearing Board says.
Mr. Koopman stated the Zoning Hearing Board has an independent obligation as part of
the Special Exception proposal to see if they meet the requirements. He stated they
cannot defer this to PennDOT.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 24 of 25
Mr. Richardson noted a Policy from PennDOT which was marked as Exhibit T-3.
Mr. Kim stated at the last meeting, they had this discussion and they asked if in the
current traffic studies, were there any plans for a left turn or right turn on those two roads,
and he feels the answer they gave was the service level did not require this modification.
Mr. Koopman stated this is correct, and Mr. Richardson is now disagreeing with that.
Exhibit T-3 was noted which is the Highway Occupancy Permit Procedures and Design
Presentation Packet. This presentation was put on by TP&D for PennDOT to consultants
and is the outline for procedures and policies when they make presentations to PennDOT.
Mr. Murphy stated he would object only from the standpoint that he questions whether
there is any written statement that PennDOT accepts this. Ms. Kirk noted this objection.
Mr. Richardson noted the specific policy for left turn lanes – A under #4 and B related to
Mr. Koopman stated he has no further questions for the witness. Mr. Murphy stated he
assumes that they will have to cross-examine this witness on February 8 because of the
hour. Mr. Murphy asked that the Court Reporter generate a transcript for Mr. Dobson.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Mayrhofer seconded to continue the matter until February 8, 2005.
(Later on in the meeting, it was noted that the correct date of the first meeting in February
was February 1, 2005, and Mr. Murphy was so advised.)
APPEAL #04-1242 - MICHAEL/SUSAN SPEVAK – APPROVE REQUEST FOR EXTENSION
Ms. Kirk stated Michael and Susan Spevak have submitted a letter to Mr. Habgood dated 12/21/04 requesting an Extension of the Variance that was granted on 2/26/04. They are requesting a six-month extension. Mr. Malinowski moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant a six-month extension. Mr. Habgood was asked to notify the Spevaks.
APPEAL #04-1261 – VINCENT A. PIACENTE – APPROVE REQUEST FOR EXTENSION
Ms. Kirk stated Vincent A. Piacente has submitted a letter dated 12/28/04 requesting an Extension of the Variance that was granted on 6/15/04. He is requesting a six-month extension. Mr. Malinowski moved, Mr. Mayrhofer seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant a six-month extension. Mr. Habgood was asked to notify the Applicant.
January 4, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 25 of 25
There being no further business, Mr. Mayrhofer moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 11:15 p.m.
David Malinowski, Secretary