ZONING HEARING BOARD
MINUTES – SEPTEMBER 20, 2005
The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the
Zoning Hearing Board: Barbara Kirk, Chairman
Rudolph Mayrhofer, Vice Chairman (left meeting in
David Malinowski, Secretary
Paul Bamburak, Member
Greg Caiola, Alternate Member
Others: Nancy Frick, Director Zoning, Inspection & Planning
Robert Habgood, Code Enforcement Officer
John Koopman, Township Solicitor
Drew Wagner, Township Engineer (left meeting in
Allen Toadvine, Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor
Steve Santarsiero, Supervisor Liaison
APPEAL #05-1327 – STEVEN J. AND BARBARA L. SANTUCCI
Mr. and Mrs. Santucci were sworn in. Ms. Kirk asked that the Application which was
submitted be marked as Exhibit A-11. Attached to that was a two-page, hand drawn Plan
for the property entitled “existing porch with foundations and steps” and the second part
showing the front of the property. This was marked as Exhibit A-2.
Mr. Santucci stated they would like to obtain approval for the reconstruction of the front
porch. The reconstruction will consist of the same size and footprint as the existing
porch. They would also like to add a roof and railing. The existing porch is 8’ by 21’.
Mr. Santucci stated some of this is concrete and some is brick. Mrs. Santucci stated the
top surface is fieldstone, some of which has settled so it is not level. There are three steps
leading up to the porch, and they will have three steps after the reconstruction.
They will substitute brick/concrete for the fieldstone and on the edge they will have
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 2 of 30
bluestone border. The steps after the reconstruction will come out no further than the existing steps. They will add a roof and a railing.
Mr. Toadvine stated the setback will be 60’ once the construction is complete, and
Mr. Santucci stated it will be the same as it is now. Ms. Kirk stated one corner is 60’ and
the other is 66’. The steps do not count for the setback according to Mr. Toadvine.
Mr. Koopman stated the Township has no position on this Application.
Ms. Kirk stated this is a request for a Variance from the special front yard setback along
due to the existing front porch.
There was no public comment.
Mr. Dobson moved, Mr. Mayrhofer seconded and it was unanimously carried to approve
a 60’ setback under Section 200-63 of the Special Setback Collector.
APPEAL #05-1328 – EDWARD AND SHARON GRIBBIN
Ms. Sharon Gribbin was present. She noted her husband who was on the Application
passed away last week.
Mr. Ronald Richardson,
present to provide Ms. Gribbin support this evening with regard to the Variance request.
Ms. Gribbin and Mr. Richardson were sworn in.
The Application that was submitted was marked as Exhibit A-1. Attached to the
Application was an 8 ½” by 14” Plan for the property identified as Edward and Sharon
Gribbin for 761 W. Melissa, date stamped by the Township 8/17/05. This was marked as
Ms. Gribbin stated they are applying for a 10’ by 14’ shed. It would be a pre-built shed
to match the house. They were going to put it on a stone base.
Ms. Kirk stated the Variance was needed because the edge of the shed would be closer to
The shed will be to the left of the deck. Ms. Kirk asked if she spoke to any of her
neighbors and if they had any opposition. Ms. Gribbin stated she did speak to her
neighbors, and they did not have any objection.
Mr. Toadvine stated the shed according to the Plan will be 90’ from the edge of the right-
of-way, and Ms. Gribbin agreed. Ms. Kirk stated since this property has reverse frontage,
they are required to be 100’ from the right-of-way.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 3 of 30
Mr. Koopman stated the Township has no position on this Application.
There was no public comment.
Mr. Dobson moved, Mr. Bamburak seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant the
Variance to Section 200-63A to allow a 90’ setback from the Special Setback Collector.
APPEAL #05-1329 – RICHARD GEERS
Mr. Richard Geers and Ms. Louise Geers were sworn in.
Ms. Kirk had the Application which had been submitted marked as Exhibit A-1.
Attached to this was an 8 ½” by 11” sketch estimate for the proposed garage which was
marked as Exhibit A-2. She noted with the Application was a Variance Plan prepared for
the property by J. G. Park Associates dated 5/5/05 with a revised date of 8/5/05. This
was marked as Exhibit A-3.
Mr. Geers stated they want to build an addition which would require a Variance for the
impervious surface. They want to build onto the back of their home and a 22 by 22
square foot detached garage with driveway leading back to it. They are also requesting a
Variance for the height of the garage. He stated he wanted to increase the roof pitch and
he feels the 15’ permitted would allow them a three in twelve pitch and he wanted to go
Ms. Kirk stated the proposed garage seems to be 484 square feet, and Mr. Geers agreed.
He stated the addition to their home would be 591 square feet and the driveway would be
1,154 square feet. Ms. Kirk stated according to the Plan it appears that the proposed
driveway would be 1,830 square feet which is almost triple what is existing. Ms. Kirk
asked if they could move the proposed garage closer to the property so that the
impervious surface for the driveway would be less. Mr. Geers stated this would not
allow much room for them to pull out of the driveway given the swing necessary. He
stated if they tried to back out of the garage, it would be very tight.
Ms. Kirk stated they are permitted under the Ordinance to have 29% impervious surface
which is a substantial amount. With the proposed additions, they are looking for almost
another 10% above this which is a substantial amount of impervious surface coverage.
Ms. Geers asked if they could plant trees or do something to help absorb the water.
Ms. Kirk asked if they could reduce the existing driveway that is there to reduce some of
the impervious coverage. Mr. Geer stated there is a garage existing which will become
part of their dining room in the remodeling. Ms. Kirk asked if they would need the
driveway to lead up to the front of the house. Mr. Geers stated it is currently a double
wide driveway; and if it would become a single lane driveway, if a car was parked in that
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 4 of 30
passageway, they would have to move out onto the street in order to let a car out. He
stated they wanted to leave the existing driveway the way it was in order to facilitate
movements. He stated it would also require a curb cut because of the angle at the end of
the driveway. He stated he was told that this would require additional permits to make a
Mr. Mayrhofer asked when they purchased the property, and Mr. Geers stated they have
owned it since 1991. He stated they have two children and were considering moving
particularly because of the airport noise but since this problem has abated they would like
to stay in this home as they love the neighborhood. Mrs. Geers stated there are a lot of
children in the neighborhood and they would like to remain. Mr. Geers stated they live in
the Maplevale Development and in the split levels, 99% of the living space is upstairs.
They wanted to be able to use their downstairs as well. Mr. Geers stated the way the
houses are built it is like living in a two-bedroom apartment.
Ms. Kirk asked if they could turn the proposed garage to remove some of the widened
area. She stated if they bring the proposed garage forward and turn it so that the garage
doors would be facing the Harkins’ property, they could reduce at least 500 square feet of
additional impervious surface coverage. Mr. Geers stated they would lose a tree and he is
not sure that they would have room to swing a vehicle around. Mr. Wagner stated if they
made it a side-entry garage with doors facing the Harkins’ property, he feels they could
still save the tree, but he is not sure what they would gain by doing that as they would
still need between 20’ and 24’ to back a vehicle out of the garage.
Mr. Toadvine stated the property is zoned R-RP and the maximum permitted impervious
surface is 13%. He stated there was an R-2 zoning comparison on the Plan and this does
not apply. Mr. Habgood stated it does apply because if this was a non-conforming lot
when R-RP was created, it falls back to R-2 requirements for setbacks and impervious
surface. Mr. Koopman stated the Township has interpreted the Ordinance so that when
R-RP was adopted if these were originally R-2 lots, they could take advantage of the R-2
impervious surface, but this would only give them 29%; and while they are under that
slightly currently, with the additions proposed it would increase it to approximately 39%.
Mr. Toadvine asked how much of the existing macadam driveway could be removed if
they limited the width of the driveway to 12’ as opposed to 19’. Mr. Wagner stated it
would be approximately 240 to 280 square feet. Mr. Wagner estimated this reduction
would bring them to approximately 35% to 36% impervious surface. Mr. Mayrhofer
asked if a 12’ driveway in the front suit them, and Mr. Geers stated he does have a large
Ms. Kirk suggested that they ask for a continuance and go back to J. G. Parks to see
where they could reduce impervious surface. Mr. Koopman stated the Township would
be in support of this and he feels the Township engineer and Township staff would be
willing to work with the Applicant to see if there is a way to bring this down to
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 5 of 30
something which is more in line with what the Board of Supervisors is comfortable with.
He stated the Board of Supervisors is uncomfortable with a 10% impervious surface
increase over what is permitted.
Mr. Toadvine noted the height of the proposed garage and Mr. Geer stated it would be
16’. Mr. Koopman stated the Township would not have a problem with this request.
Mr. Toadvine asked if there is any possibility of coming up with a pervious area for the
proposed driveway next to the garage. Mr. Wagner stated there are alternative paving
technologies; however, the Ordinance states that vehicles have to be parked on a hard
surface. Mr. Koopman stated the Township may be more receptive to a Variance for
parking a vehicle on a hard surface if there is a practical way to create a pervious
driveway that would work, and they could discuss this. Ms. Frick stated she would happy
to work with them on this as well.
Ms. Kirk noted they have eight matters scheduled for the next meeting of the Board
which is to be held on October 4. She asked if they would agree to continue the matter
until October 18 which would give them thirty days to try to come up with a solution.
Mr. Geers agreed.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Mayrhofer seconded and it was unanimously carried to continue the
matter until October 18, 2005.
Mr. Mayrhofer and Mr. Wagner left the meeting at this time.
APPEAL #05-1311, APPEAL 305-1312, APPEAL #05-1313 –
Mr. Bernard Schneider, attorney, and Mr. Regis Champ were present.
Ms. Kirk stated in accordance with the Municipalities Planning Code, the Applicant has
one hundred days from the date of the first Hearing to finish testimony unless an
Extension has been granted. She stated Mr. Schneider has submitted a letter to the
Township Solicitor and Mr. DeGrezia who is representing some of the residents
requesting such an Extension. Ms. Kirk stated she understands that Mr. Koopman has
objection to the Extension on behalf of the Township, and Mr. Koopman agreed.
Ms. Kirk noted Mr. DeGrezia is not present this evening. Mr. Steve Pastor stated he is
present this evening to represent the residents, and they have no objection to the
Extension. Ms. Kirk asked if any members of the audience who have requested Party
Status have an objection to the Extension, and none were noted.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 6 of 30
Ms. Kirk moved and Mr. Bamburak seconded that the Applicant’s request for an
Extension to complete the presentation before the Zoning Hearing Board be granted in
accordance with the Municipalities Planning Code.
Mr. Toadvine stated he feels it would be prudent to include a time for the Extension since
under the Code if an Extension is granted to the Applicant, the same amount of time must
be afforded to all other Parties. Ms. Kirk asked how many more witnesses he plans to
call, and Mr. Schneider stated he has one medical witness, one fact witness, possibly a
second fact witness, and a real estate expert. He also plans to call Ms. Frick for some
records of the Township. Ms. Kirk asked for an estimate as to how many more Hearings
he will need before he completes his case, and Mr. Schneider stated it would be at least
one more, and possibly two. Mr. Toadvine stated he is assuming he is counting on a full
three and a half hours, and Mr. Schneider agreed. Mr. Koopman suggested that they
provide a thirty-day Extension; and if they need additional time, they can give this at a
Ms. Kirk moved to amend the Motion to grant the Extension until the end of November,
2005. Mr. Bamburak seconded and the Motion as amended carried unanimously.
Mr. Toadvine asked when the one hundred days is up, and Mr. Schneider stated he
believes it is on September 29, 2005.
Ms. Kirk stated a letter was sent by the Zoning Hearing Board’s Solicitor to the Counsels
involved attempting to schedule a special meeting. October 3, October 12, October 13,
November 22, November 23, and November 29 were suggested. After prior discussion,
Ms. Kirk stated she understands that October 12 is a date that is convenient. Ms. Marilyn
Stein noted October 12 is a Jewish Holiday. Ms. Frick, Ms. Kirk, Mr. Dobson, and
Mr. Malinowski stated they were not available on October 12. Mr. Schneider asked if
they could re-schedule the matters that have already been scheduled for the second
meeting in October since Allegheny has had to do this a number of times. Ms. Kirk
noted they currently have two new Appeals and one matter continued from this evening.
Scheduled for October 18. She stated perhaps any new matters that come in could be put
off until the first meeting in November.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Malinowski seconded and it was unanimously carried that should
testimony not conclude tonight, that this matter be continued until October 18, 2005.
Ms. Kirk stated she had requested in July that Mr. Schneider provide the Zoning Hearing
Board with a copy of the Federal Fair Housing Act regarding reasonable
accommodations. Mr. Schneider provided this tonight.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 7 of 30
Mr. Koopman noted Mr. Champ was previously discussing the
particularly homes with five bedrooms so that they can take one of the bedrooms and
convert it to a handicap bathroom and that houses with a large number of bedrooms allow
them to do this. Mr. Koopman asked if they are familiar with the three homes that
He stated he saw them before they were purchased. Mr. Koopman asked if Mr. Champ
was aware before they purchased the homes that
Ordinance had a provision in it that allowed a maximum of only five unrelated people
living together in a single-family home, and Mr. Champ stated he was not aware of this.
Mr. Koopman stated the question had been asked of Ms. Dean as to whether the State
investigates any local Zoning and she testified that they do not. Mr. Koopman asked
again if he did any investigation of local Zoning, and Mr. Champ stated he did not.
Mr. Koopman noted the
home, and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Koopman stated it was a three-bedroom home, and
Mr. Champ stated he felt there were four bedrooms with one bedroom being used as an
office/laundry room. Mr. Koopman asked if this room was being used as a bedroom
when they purchased it, and Mr. Champ stated it was not. Mr. Koopman stated there
would then be three rooms being used as bedrooms when they purchased it, and
Mr. Champ agreed adding that the owner explained to them that the office/laundry room
was the fourth bedroom. Mr. Koopman noted this home has a full basement and he
understands that they plan to use the full basement space and convert the lower level into
three bedrooms for the house parents and the family of the house parents. Mr. Champ
Mr. Koopman asked what Allegheny has budgeted or projected as costs for the
improvements to the
because of what has happened at
Permit process and unanticipated expenses; however, he estimated it to be approximately
$150,000 in renovation costs. Mr. Koopman stated they were previously discussing the
fact that the numbers sent to the State were projections including the cost of the home to
be about $600,000 including renovations. Mr. Champ stated that the average cost for the
entire project of fourteen homes was $600,000 per home. Mr. Koopman stated
Mr. Champ had indicated that many of the purchase prices of the homes were
significantly less than that and all of the
under $500,000, and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Koopman stated he had also explained that
the difference was the estimated renovations, and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Koopman
asked if there was ever a written budget for improvements to the Big Oak Road Home,
and Mr. Champ stated when they sent the projections to the State, they had not seen any
historical data on homes recently purchased in a number of areas and this is how they
based their projections to the State. When the costs are finalized, new Budgets are
developed and they submit them to the State after the house is licensed and in operation.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 8 of 30
Exhibit A-29 was noted – Capital Summary Costs. Mr. Koopman noted the purchase
price of $545,000 for property, land for $40,000 and a sub-total of $585,000.
Mr. Koopman asked if this includes renovations, and Mr. Champ stated it does.
Mr. Koopman stated where they have indicated “purchase price” this does not actually
mean the price paid as it also includes the projected renovations. Mr. Champ stated he
feels Ms. Dean understood that this included renovations. Mr. Koopman stated he
indicated $150,000 was the projected renovation cost for the
Mr. Champ stated he was asked about this and he indicated that the projected average
cost was $600,000 a home. Mr. Champ stated he cannot guarantee that the improvement
costs for this property will be $150,000. Mr. Koopman stated when they submitted the
Budget to the State, they did indicate a number for renovations, and Mr. Champ stated
they estimated $150,000 a home for renovations.
Mr. Koopman asked the projected improvement costs for the other two homes, and
Mr. Champ stated they have submitted in the Building Permits actual bids that they have
from contractors which they feel are good. He cannot testify tonight exactly what those
are although Ms. Frick should have this information. He stated the
improvements would be substantially less than $150,000. Mr. Koopman stated he
understood that at that location the residents would all be ambulatory, and Mr. Champ
agreed. Mr. Champ stated the Township has those amounts on the Building Permit, but
he does not have those numbers with him this evening. He stated he feels $150,000 is a
good estimate for the
feels it would be approximately $100,000 to $120,000 and for the Yardley-Morrisville
Road property, he would approximate those costs for renovations to be $35,000.
Mr. Koopman stated if they add those numbers to the purchase price, they are all under
$600,000; and Mr. Champ agreed.
Mr. Koopman noted the N. Crescent property and asked if he is familiar with this
property. Mr. Champ stated it is a traditional two-story home. Mr. Koopman asked if it
had four bedrooms, and Mr. Champ stated he feels there are two on the first floor and
three on the second floor.
Mr. Koopman noted the
three or four bedrooms, and Mr. Champ stated there are three bedrooms on the first floor
and an in-law apartment upstairs which would make it a four-bedroom home.
Mr. Koopman stated it appears that his testimony is that one home had five bedrooms
when they purchased it but the others did not, and Mr. Champ agreed.
Mr. Koopman noted the N. Crescent home and asked if they are converting the fifth
bedroom (assuming there is a fifth bedroom) to a bathroom facility, and Mr. Champ
stated they did not need to convert any of the bedrooms in any of the homes to bathroom
facilities since because of the lay-out, there was substantial space outside of the bedrooms
to provide the adaptive bathroom.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 9 of 30
Exhibit A-29 was again noted, and Mr. Koopman stated he had asked Ms. Dean questions
about the proposal and the Operating Budget which compared the four, five, and six
bedroom homes. He asked how they arrived at the depreciation numbers.
Mr. Champ stated the CFO provided this. Mr. Koopman asked who is the CFO, and
Mr. Champ stated it is Jerry Parfitt. Mr. Champ stated he uses the formula that is
established by the Office of Mental Retardation. Mr. Koopman stated they are using the
same number whether it is a four, five, or six bedroom home, and Mr. Champ stated he
feels they used the $600,000 average and depreciated it over twenty-five years according
to the regulations. The numbers will change when they submit the actual Budgets.
Ms. Kirk asked if Mr. Champ prepared any of the figures shown on Exhibit A-29, and
Mr. Champ stated he did not. He stated they were prepared by the CFO of Allegheny
Mr. Parfitt as a witness. Mr. Koopman asked whether a 501C3 uses straight line or
accelerated depreciation, and Mr. Champ stated he does not know. Mr. Koopman asked
if Mr. Champ would be able to explain specifically how any of the numbers on
Exhibit A-29 were arrived at, and Mr. Champ stated he would not. Ms. Kirk stated
Mr. Champ has already indicated that he does have any personal knowledge on this. She
stated if the Township wishes to proceed with this line of questioning, they will need to
call a different witness. Mr. Champ stated the numbers are derived from historical
numbers they have based on operations of existing facilities
that, he feels they should discuss this with Mr. Parfitt.
Mr. Koopman noted the last page of Exhibit A-29 which looks like the houses are shown
to have $40,000 allocated to land value and asked if he feels this is accurate for Lower
Makefield. Mr. Champ stated he did not know. He stated when this was presented, they
were not considering
value, and Mr. Champ stated they do not. Mr. Koopman stated if this $40,000 is low, and
the land number is in fact higher, the depreciation number will be lower on the second
page, and Mr. Champ agreed.
Mr. Koopman stated his original impression was that the
people from the
facility were going to be moved into the fourteen new homes; but he now has the
impression after the last Hearing that they also have a
Makefield from that facility and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Koopman asked about the
Mr. Schneider questioned the relevancy. Mr. Koopman stated what is now happening is
that the people are not just coming from
also coming from
many people are coming from
different per diem costs he would assume for Veree and this becomes relevant to the cost
of the facilities, the State’s numbers, and what they are paying for these facilities.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 10 of 30
Mr. Schneider stated the only thing that is relevant about the people coming here are that
they have mental retardation. He noted that if they were only proposing four people in a
group home, they would not have had to be in front of the Zoning Hearing Board. He
stated under the Ordinance, mental retardation is not an issue and the only thing that is
relevant is that they are mentally retarded. He stated Ms. Dean has already testified that
each location has its own per diem based upon the needs of the people at that location so
the per diem for
Mr. Koopman stated this is totally incorrect.
Ms. Kirk stated she is going to overrule the objection and allow the Township some
latitude in this line of questioning but limited.
Mr. Koopman asked about the
ICF MR facility and falls under the same regulations as
physical plant is different and it is updated, modern, and clean. Mr. Champ stated the
clients served at this facility are basically the same as
those served at
Mr. Koopman asked out of the fourteen group homes how many clients are coming from
people and he feels approximately 72 of the them are going to the group homes.
He stated some people from
He stated they will replace the people who leave Veree. It is therefore ten to twelve
people who are coming from Veree and going into one of the fourteen group homes and
ten to twelve will go from
reason for this in terms of the level of abilities or disabilities, and Mr. Champ stated they
are trying to make homogeneous groupings and trying to accommodate the requests of
Mr. Koopman asked how long
Mr. Champ stated they have owned it since 1987. Mr. Koopman asked the per diem for
Veree, and Mr. Champ stated it is approximately $185 a day. He stated Mr. Parfitt would
have more specific information on this.
Mr. Koopman asked if there are plans to purchase a fourth
group home in
Mr. Schneider objected due to relevance.
Mr. Koopman stated they would like to know if there is a proposal to purchase a home
that may impact the financial and cost aspects.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 11 of 30
Mr. Schneider stated he does not see how it would effect the financial cost aspects any
more than any other home. He stated the issue is not whether there are other homes
to be built, rather the matter before the Board is their Appeals from Denial on three
Ms. Kirk sustained the objection.
Mr. Koopman stated the Applicant has a burden of proof and they have to prove
Ms. Kirk stated there three Applications before the Board, and she has sustained the
objection. Ms. Kirk asked if Mr. Pastor had any questions of Mr. Champ.
Mr. Pastor noted the testimony on vehicular traffic and parking and asked for an
overview of the number of permanent in-house personnel and the staffing coming each
day to each of the homes. Mr. Champ stated there would be a house parent and possibly
a house parent and their family living at the home as permanent residents. In addition,
you would have two staff on first shift from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., two staff on second
shift from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., and one staff on third shift from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Mr. Pastor asked if any specialized personnel will be arriving weekly or monthly, and
Mr. Champ stated any specialized services would be done at the ATF (Adult Training
Facility) which is away from the home. They will go there Monday through Friday.
Mr. Pastor asked if each home would have a vehicle to transport the residents other than
the in-home workers vehicles, and Mr. Champ stated there would be one vehicle for the
house. This would be an InterVan which is an adapted Caravan.
Mr. Pastor asked the roles of the staff at each facility. Mr. Champ stated the shift
workers are responsible for the support and supervision of activities of daily living –
feeding, toileting, dressing, socialization and basic care issues. He stated the first shift
people will leave with the residents to go to the workshop and stay with them during the
day. The workshop is located in Trevose.
Mr. Pastor noted the Budget for AVS which is prepared on a year by year basis, and
Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Pastor stated expenses occurring during own year would not
carry over to the next, and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Champ stated they have to re-Budget
each year. Mr. Pastor asked about Management and asked if the Management/
Supervisory control rests with Mr. Champ, and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Pastor asked if
issues regarding the health, safety, and welfare of the residents rest with Mr. Champ and
Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Pastor stated Mr. Champ previously testified that there is no
adverse impact if there are six residents per home as opposed to four residents per home,
and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Pastor asked if the staff they have can handle the number of
people in the home, and Mr. Champ stated they can. Mr. Pastor asked if there is a
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 12 of 30
requirement that the in-home caregiver have a family, and Mr. Champ stated it is not a
requirement but it is an
School is one of the few operators that uses house parents. Mr. Pastor asked if they have
a family in the homes he feels there may be some distractions of the in-house caregivers
because they would have their own children to care for. Mr. Champ stated the house
parent is the manager. They are the management representative for the facility. They
also have two other staff working with them on the shifts except for the night shift. If
there is a distraction from their own child, they have staff available to help. He stated the
house manager’s role is to manage or if someone would call out and a replacement staff
cannot be secured, the house manager would cover for that staff member. Mr. Champ
stated they have done this for many years and the average length of stay for house parents
is eight years and most of them have children and this has not been a problem in the past.
Mr. Pastor stated there were questions about
was a 128 bed facility with approximately ten to twelve people moving from that facility
into one of the fourteen group homes. Mr. Pastor asked if there are available beds at the
Veree facility such that if one of the homes in
be space at the Veree facility.
Mr. Schneider objected based on relevance.
Mr. Pastor stated the relevance is that this is not mandated that they have to have six
residents, and in fact they indicated four is preferable and it is their choice to ask for six.
He noted if there is another facility that can house these people, it makes that choice
completely voluntary as opposed to necessary.
Mr. Schneider stated it is not voluntary as they entered into a Contract with the State
which they are bound by and whether or not there is housing elsewhere, does not change
the fact that they are asking for six in the
Ms. Kirk allowed the question to be answered.
Mr. Champ stated they are licensed for 128 beds at
Mr. Pastor asked if they have other clients coming in that they have not discussed.
Mr. Champ stated the residents are currently housed either
The fourteen new facilities comprise 84 beds.
Mr. Pastor noted the
previously that he believed this property is a three to four bedroom facility, and
Mr. Champ stated
add bedrooms in the basement for the houseparent families. Mr. Pastor asked if any of
the renovations planned will be for the house parent family.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 13 of 30
Mr. Schneider stated he feels they may be getting into the Building Code issues over
which the Zoning Hearing Board indicated they have no jurisdiction. Ms. Kirk stated if
this is a general questions, she will allow the answer.
Mr. Champ stated in the basement there is an existing large living area and an eat-in
kitchen area. They will add a bathroom and three bedrooms. There is also an area for the
furnace and the sprinkler system.
Mr. Pastor stated Mr. Champ has testified that they did no research on the Lower
Makefield Zoning and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Pastor asked if any research was done as
to what permits and approvals were necessary to undertake the types of improvements
just described by Mr. Champ, and Mr. Champ stated they knew they had to get a
Building Permit. Mr. Pastor asked if any work was commenced prior to applying for the
Building Permit, and Mr. Champ stated there was work done by the Contractor.
Mr. Pastor asked why work was done before the Permit was obtained.
Mr. Schneider objected to this as it is a Building Code issue. Ms. Kirk sustained.
Mr. Pastor noted the pool at the
indicated that the pool would be made available to the residents and the workers, and
Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Pastor asked about the pool dimensions, and Mr. Champ stated
he feels it is approximately 15’ by 30’. Mr. Pastor asked the depth of the pool, but
Mr. Champ did not know. Mr. Pastor stated his questions with respect to the pool have to
do with safety issues which are within the purview of Zoning. He asked if the residents
of the facility are going to have access to the pool, and a staff member would have to be
with them, would this not pose an additional danger to the other residents who would
then have less supervisory control. Mr. Champ stated he does not feel this would reduce
the level of supervisory care for the other residents. Mr. Pastor asked if other staff
members will come in when the pool is in use and Mr. Champ stated they will not.
Mr. Pastor stated he finds this confusing as a resident using the pool would need
supervision and this would reduce the one-to-one supervision of the residents.
Mr. Schneider objected as he feels he is testifying rather than asking questions.
Mr. Pastor stated his question is he is questioning Mr. Champ’s answer. Ms. Kirk stated
Mr. Champ has answered this question.
Mr. Pastor asked if they have any plans to make safety modifications to the Pool, and
Mr. Champ stated there are no changes to the Pool required or necessary.
Mr. Pastor noted the N. Crescent Road property, and asked if work was commenced prior
to obtaining a Building Permit.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 14 of 30
Mr. Schneider objected. Ms. Kirk allowed the Applicant to answer the question.
Mr. Champ stated demolition was done to the building.
Mr. Pastor asked if work was done to the
issued, and Mr. Champ stated the contractor did demolition at that property as well.
Mr. Pastor noted all three properties border major road
Township, and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Pastor asked if
undertaken any traffic studies, and Mr. Champ stated they have not. Mr. Pastor asked if
they have undertaken a study to determine if the shifts should change so as not to conflict
with heavy traffic times, and Mr. Champ stated they do not feel this is required or
necessary and they did not undertake such a study.
Mr. Pastor noted the
vehicles they have discussed to be accommodated on the property and turn around so that
they can pull out onto
Mr. Pastor asked the size of the driveway, but Mr. Champ was not sure. He stated he has
been to the property many times and pulled into the driveway and backed his vehicle
around. They also had a van there and parked a number of cars there and were able to
back the vehicles around and pull out straight onto the road. He stated they do not want
to back out of the driveway. He stated they tested this with three vehicles and a pick-up
Mr. Pastor asked if they have inquired as to the School bus schedule and routes, and
Mr. Champ stated they have not. Mr.
Pastor noted the N. Crescent and
properties are both on bus routes. He asked if this would cause Mr. Champ to want to
change the shift schedules so as to keep additional traffic off the road at this time.
Mr. Schneider objected since Mr. Pastor has not established that it is on the bus route.
Mr. Pastor offered this as a hypothetical question, and Mr. Champ stated the School bus
schedules would not cause them to change their shift schedule.
Mr. Pastor stated Mr. Champ indicated that they try to keep the residents homogeneous,
and Mr. Champ stated they try to make sure the groupings are homogeneous which
includes personality, social factors, medical complications, likes and dislikes, and what
the families want. Mr. Pastor asked if the groups could change over time, and
Mr. Champ stated they could. Mr. Pastor asked how often they would change, and
Mr. Champ stated probably it would not change as often as the neighbors would.
He stated some of their residents will be at the same location for their entire lives.
He stated many of their residents have been at the same location for twenty-five to thirty
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 15 of 30
years. They consider it a lifetime placement, and it would have to be something very
dramatic to change that.
Mr. Pastor asked if any of the residents are predisposed to running away, and Mr. Champ
stated they are not. Mr. Pastor asked if they are predisposed to inappropriate behaviors,
and Mr. Champ asked for a definition of “inappropriate.” Mr. Pastor stated his definition
would be physical abuse or sexual abuse, and Mr. Champ stated they would not be so
predisposed. Mr. Pastor stated the Pennsylvania Department of Health provides
information regarding facilities throughout the State and there are incidences where
residents of Allegheny Valley Schools have eloped. He noted a facility in Elmwood with
citation dated 1/25/05 indicating that when an individual eloped, the staff was not always
available to prevent them from running into traffic. Mr. Pastor noted that Mr. Champ has
just testified that their residents are no predisposed to this.
Mr. Schneider objected noting this misstates the record and is without foundation as
Mr. Champ indicated that none of the residents of these homes were predisposed to this.
Ms. Kirk sustained the objection.
Mr. Pastor stated his prior question was that the residents may change over time, and he
is concerned that these homes are on major roads and there is a possibility that someone
who may come in to live at the home at some point may be predisposed to this behavior.
He stated this presents a safety issue.
Ms. Kirk stated Mr. Pastor can raise this in final argument.
Mr. Pastor asked about disposal of waste at the facilities. Mr. Champ stated they would
dispose of waste the same way anyone in the neighborhood would dispose of waste.
Mr. Pastor asked about infectious waste, and Mr. Champ asked for a definition of
infectious waste. Mr. Pastor asked about medications that would be provided to the
residents via injection. Mr. Champ stated he does not believe that this would be done as
the staff cannot give injections. Mr. Pastor asked what would be done if that were
necessary. Mr. Champ stated it would have to be done by nursing staff at the ATF during
the week; or if it was an emergency, they would go to the hospital. Mr. Pastor noted his
concern about general waste, assuming the Application is approved, with that number of
adults on the property which will generate a larger amount of waste than normal, and his
concern about the safety of the children of the neighborhood because of the different
types of waste associated with this facility.
Mr. Schneider stated there is no objection at this point, and Mr. Pastor has no reason to be
explaining and arguing for his question.
Ms. Kirk stated this is argument that needs to be reserved for the conclusion of the case.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 16 of 30
Mr. Pastor stated his specific question is that they have no plans to handle any special
waste associated with the clients.
Mr. Schneider objected due to lack of foundation as it has not been established that there
is any special waste for these properties.
Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Champ if he anticipated any special waste for any of the three
properties, and Mr. Champ stated they do not.
Mr. Pastor noted the Budgets. He stated there has been testimony that
School has elected not to pay the local or School taxes, and
Mr. Champ stated in
stated the residents have already requested Party Status to the Application. Mr. Pastor
School from the other Municipalities where they are located. Mr. Champ stated
home properties in
the extraordinary expense that they had not anticipated, they told the Municipality that
they would take a sum total of those costs which they consider excessive costs and total
them up and request an exemption, and maintain that exemption until they were paid
down. He stated at the other Municipality it came to approximately $80,000 and since it
was $10,000 a year for taxes, they told the Board up front that they would apply for an
exemption. He stated they had never done that before in the history of the School.
Mr. Pastor stated it appears that because
right to ask questions, that they will act in a punitive manner and not pay the taxes.
Mr. Schneider objected as this is argument. Ms. Kirk agreed that this is argument.
Ms. Kirk stated that any member of the audience who is not represented by Mr. DeGrezia
or Mr. Pastor and who has requested Party Status may question the witness.
Mr. F. William Natale,
the State of
not a licensed professional engineer in the State of
make testimony on this. Ms. Kirk stated at the conclusion of the case, Mr. Natel could
make this argument. She stated at this point they are limiting it to any questions of
Mr. Schneider asked that the witness establish his standing to participate in
the proceedings. After review of the list of those requesting Party Status, it was noted
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 17 of 30
that Mr. Natel’s name was not on the list for the
property he is concerned with. Ms. Kirk asked if Mr. Natale was present at the Hearing
in June when they asked those requesting Party Status to sign, and he noted he was not.
He stated he was not present until the July meeting. Mr. Schneider stated he has no
objection to Mr. Natale seeking Party Status but he must show standing in order to have
Party Status. Mr. Natale was asked where his property is located in connection with the
the property. Mr. Schneider asked how the granting or denial of the Appeal will affect
Mr. Natale’s property. Mr. Natale stated he is concerned about the traffic that comes
through, and he is concerned with the safety and welfare of the people within and
surrounding that area. Mr. Schneider stated he does not feel that he has established
standing for himself. Ms. Kirk overruled and allowed Mr. Natale to have Party Status.
Mr. Natale stated he wants to know if Mr. Champ did a boring or soils test to determine
the elevation of the water table in that area. He asked that since it will be a change in
usage, have all the issues or disabilities been noted prior to the purchase of the home.
Mr. Schneider objected noting irrelevance with regard to the first question. He stated the
second question has to do with Building Code issue which the Board has determined not
to take jurisdiction over.
Ms. Kirk sustained.
Mr. Harold Kaufman,
approximately fifteen to twenty trees from the property. He stated since that was done he
now gets water on his property. Mr. Toadvine stated this portion of the proceedings is to
allow those who have asked for Party Status and are unrepresented to ask Mr. Champ
questions that relate to his direct testimony. Mr. Kaufman asked why they removed the
Mr. Schneider objected based on relevance to the Zoning issues before the Board since
the only issue in the Zoning Code concerning water relates to impervious surface and this
does not go to impervious surface. Ms. Kirk allowed Mr. Champ to answer the question.
Mr. Champ stated there were a large number of trees on the property. He stated the
owner of the house told them as a disclosure that he had some concerns with some of the
trees and branches falling on the roof. They had an arborist come in and review the trees
and the arborist recommended that a number of the trees be removed immediately as
some were completely hollowed and they presented a danger.
Mr. Kaufman asked if they can do something to stop the water run off, and Ms. Kirk
stated this is not related to what Mr. Champ has testified to.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 18 of 30
Ms. Teresa Cahill,
Mr. Schneider asked the affect this would have on her property. Ms. Cahill stated she is
on the corner of
developmentally-delayed daughter and is knowledgeable about people with disabilities.
Mr. Toadvine stated Mr. Schneider has asked what impact the
will have on her property, and Ms. Cahill stated it will have no impact except that she is
concerned about safety issues in the neighborhood. She stated she welcomes people with
disabilities into the neighborhood but is concerned about the “three-ring Circus.”
Mr. Schneider objected noting Ms. Cahill has already testified it will have no affect on
Ms. Kirk stated she will allow Party Status standing and allow her to ask her question.
Ms. Cahill stated she is concerned about people living in the basement. She stated there
was no kitchen in the basement prior to the house being sold. She stated she does not feel
people should live in a basement with no windows.
Ms. Kirk stated the renovations fall under the Township Building Code, and the Zoning
Hearing Board has no authority to hear those issues.
Ms. Katherine Simons,
indicated these are life-long placements and had previously testified that he will
eventually move from six residents to four residents. She asked if his comments that
these are life-long placements will change this. Mr. Champ stated he did testify that two
people would have to move from the house; and while this is not exactly what they like to
do, over the next seven years two of the people from each house will have to leave. He
stated the families involved have been told of this. He stated they do know the people
who will be leaving and they do not feel those people will be affected by this move.
Ms. Simons asked if they would want to mitigate that trauma to the resident by having it
start out with four residents as he previously testified that it would be traumatic to move
someone. Mr. Champ stated he does not feel he indicated that it would be traumatic for
them to move.
Ms. Judith Kauffman,
She stated there was no kitchen in the basement. She stated if the put in another kitchen,
does that not make it a two-family house.
Ms. Kirk stated the Application before the Zoning Hearing Board is an Appeal of the
denial of the Zoning Officer’s determination that the number of people proposed to live
in each of the facilities exceeds the number of unrelated individuals that are allowed
under the Zoning Code. She stated creation of a kitchen does not necessarily convert this
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 19 of 30
into a two-family residence. The renovation of a kitchen falls under the Building Code
which is outside the purview of the Zoning Hearing Board’s jurisdiction. Mr. Toadvine
stated part of this Application does not request the installation of a second kitchen.
Mr. Schneider stated part of their Application on
because the kitchen was there. Many people in the audience indicated this was incorrect.
Mr. Koopman stated it appears that this is a Zoning issue before the Board, and the Board
should take testimony on it. Mr. Schneider stated to the extent that they are denied the
right to continue the use of the kitchen, it is their opinion that they are being
discriminated against based on handicap. Mr. Toadvine asked if they are installing the
kitchen, and Mr. Schneider stated they are not installing it as it exists. Mr. Koopman
stated they have not heard testimony to that effect.
Ms. Cahill stated there was not a second kitchen in that house.
Ms. Kirk stated they are going through a process allowing those who do not have an
attorney to come up and ask Mr. Champ questions based on his direct testimony. She
stated if there are disagreements or arguments as to what Mr. Champ testified to, these
items are reserved until the end. She stated this is a Judicial proceeding similar to matters
before a Judge.
Ms. Kaufmann asked if she is allowed to ask if there was a stove in the downstairs
kitchen, and Mr. Champ stated he believes that there was an old stove in the downstairs
Mr. Michael Gershman,
Oak Road property. Mr. Schneider had no objection. Mr. Gershman stated they have
indicated that they would move two of the residents into another facility within seven
years. He asked what would happen if the State funding decreased and Mr. Champ stated
he would not move the two people. Mr. Gershman asked the process within
frequently tied to an external investigation by the State. It is fully investigated and
reported depending on the type of problem. Mr. Gershman asked if Mr. Champ is made
aware of all complaints, and Mr. Champ stated he is although there may be some low
level issues that might not get to him. Mr. Gershman asked if there are any he might not
be aware of at this time, and Mr. Champ stated this is possible. Mr. Gershman asked if
he was aware of any complaint made against
excessive traffic, and Mr. Champ stated the House Managers are told if there are any
complaints from area residents, they have to advise their Administrator who would then
tell Mr. Champ. Mr. Gershman asked if there are any assurances in place that they all
follow that procedure. Mr. Champ stated they do have policies in place. He stated they
also have serious orientation for House Managers. Mr. Gershman asked if there are cases
where these procedures have not been followed, and Mr. Champ stated there may be as
they have almost three thousand employees. Mr. Gershman asked if there may have been
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 20 of 30
complaints made about noise or excessive traffic which Mr. Champ is not aware of, and
Mr. Champ stated he has testified that this is possible although it is very, very unlikely.
He stated if the neighbor who made the complaint does not get the response they want, he
assumes they will call him or go onto his Website. Mr. Gershman stated the request is
for an exception to allow six mentally-retarded residents to live in these homes and one
of the requirements is to show benefit to the residents, and he asked how it would be a
benefit to the six residents to live there as opposed to four. Mr. Champ stated these
people are currently living in a large institution and this move is a tremendous
opportunity for the six people who will now live in a home. Mr. Gershman stated in
order to be granted reasonable accommodation, he understands that one of two conditions
must be met – one is financial hardship, and the second is that there is a benefit to the
Mr. Schneider stated he feels he is asking for a legal conclusion.
Ms. Kirk agreed as this is beyond what Mr. Champ is able to answer as he is a fact
Mr. Gershman asked if they are requesting reasonable accommodation on the basis of
financial hardship, benefit to the residents, or both.
Mr. Champ stated he feels that the answer is yes as to both. Mr. Gershman asked how
the exception he is requesting is of benefit to the residents.
Ms. Kirk stated he has answered this question and indicated it benefits them as being
moved from an institution to a smaller facility.
Mr. Caiola stated he is not moving four to six. He is moving one hundred twenty to six.
Mr. Gershman asked if Mr. Champ testified that any proposal submitted to the State
needed to be Budget neutral, and Mr. Champ stated he did. Mr. Gershman asked how
many Budgets they submitted to the State. Mr. Champ stated there were two – one for a
four bed and one for a five or six bed group home. Mr. Gershman asked how many of
these were Budget neutral, and Mr. Champ stated the four-bed proposal was not Budget
neutral. Only one part of the second proposal was Budget neutral which was the one for
the six bed proposal. Mr. Gershman stated Mr. Champ indicated that any Budget had to
be Budget neutral. He asked if Mr. Champ would agree that he gave the State little
choice but to accept the single part of the one proposal that was submitted which met the
most minimal requests. Mr. Champ stated the State has a number of choices and did not
have to agree with anything he submitted. Mr. Gershman asked if the State is free to
accept something that he did not propose, and Mr. Champ stated the State can do what
they wish within the law, and they have more leverage than he does.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 21 of 30
A short recess was taken at this time. The meeting was reconvened at 10:00 p.m.
Mr. Vlad Krememets,
property. After review it was noted, he was not on the list for Party Status.
Mr. Schneider asked what affect
this Appeal is granted. Mr. Krememets stated it will not have any affect on his property
but will have an affect on his children and he is concerned about their safety and well
being. Mr. Schneider objected to his standing because it has no impact on his property
and the affect on his children has been taken care of under the Code since if they had only
five unrelated people living in the property, there would be no objection as the Board of
Supervisors has made the determination of the safety factor by allowing these kinds of
homes provided it is five. Ms. Kirk overrule the objection and allowed Mr. Krememets
to have Party Status.
Mr. Krememets asked about the safety of the people living in the basement since there
are no windows or doors in the basement.
Mr. Schneider stated this is a Building Code issue.
Ms. Kirk stated she will allow Mr. Champ to answer the question. Mr. Champ stated the
lower level will be for the house manager. He stated the Plans they have submitted
completely comply with Life Safety Division for both the people living upstairs and
downstairs. All the windows coming out of the basement are escape windows and he
suggested that probably not too many homes in the community have this. The homes will
also be sprinklered so there is a minimum of twenty minutes coverage in the house. They
also have two means of egress from the house even though only one is required. He feels
the lower level of this house is probably safer than 99% of the homes in the Township.
Mr. Krememets asked if they have procedures in place that would insure that each client
is visiting the site with a caregiver. Mr. Schneider asked for a clarification of the
question. Mr. Champ stated there is an individual plan for each resident of the house.
That plan would state very clearly whether someone needed to have twenty-four hour
visual contact with the staff or if they could stay by themselves to watch television, etc.
He stated they would take into account their disability and their needs. He stated they
would know which clients would need constant visual supervision and which ones do not.
Mr. Krememets asked if Mr. Champ is aware of any accidents with the clients, and
Mr. Champ stated there are accidents with people with multiple handicaps – tripping,
falling over, wheelchairs falling over, etc. Mr. Krememets asked if they had any cases
where a client was left unattended and this caused an accident, and Mr. Champ stated this
could happen. He noted accidents also happen in a normal home where a mother may not
be constantly watching a two or three-year old child. Mr. Krememets asked if a client
would be outside the residence unattended. Mr. Champ stated if part of the plan was that
a client could sit outside and did not need 24-hour supervision such a situation could
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 22 of 30
occur. He stated the people he knows who will go into these homes could be sitting
outside in a wheelchair, etc. Mr. Krememets asked if there are any dual diagnosis
individuals, and Mr. Champ stated three are not. He stated they are people with mental
retardation. Mr. Krememets asked if he is aware that in 90% of the cases MR comes
with MH such as schizophrenia. Mr. Champ disagreed.
Mr. Dan Tartagni,
N. Crescent. Mr. Schneider asked how far his property is from the N. Crescent property,
and Mr. Targagni stated he is approximately 20 yards adjacent to the property.
Mr. Schneider stated he has no objection. Mr. Tartagni asked about modifications to the
outside of the property such as fencing, handicap ramps, etc. and Mr. Champ stated at
that home there would be one handicap ramp coming out the back exit which would be
the same width as the sidewalk. Mr. Champ stated he does not recall that anything is
required in the front. He stated when they do handicap ramps in a neighborhood setting,
they are done so that they are camouflaged. Mr. Tartagni stated this is a small side street
near a very busy
people who will be residing at the home he assumes there will be a large number of
visitors. He stated he is familiar with the driveway which could fit only four to five cars
maximum. He asked where the other vehicles would park. Mr. Champ stated he does
not feel there will be many visitors at that home. He stated while some families do come
visit, it is fairly rare. He stated other families do come to pick up people. He does not
feel there will be any unusual traffic.
Ms. Kirk asked why they would not expect a lot of families to visit at that facility on
N. Crescent, and Mr. Champ stated of their existing population, they have about 5% of
their families who are actually involved with the residents, and this is fairly typical.
Mr. Tartagni stated his other question had to do with things happening to the outside of
the property that the residents should be made aware of. He stated he is also concerned
about the traffic issues. Mr. Champ stated he feels that the people living at this facility
except for the house parents will be in wheelchairs or at least five will be. Mr. Tartagni
asked how much activity there is at their homes typically at night. Mr. Champ stated if
there was a medical emergency with their client he feels they would call 911 just as
anyone else in the neighborhood would. Mr. Toadvine stated he feels the question is do
they experience a high degree of medical emergencies at the group homes, and
Mr. Champ stated they do not.
Mr. Schneider was asked for re-direct. Mr. Schneider noted the
asked their plans concerning how many people will live there other than the clients.
Mr. Champ stated the maximum number they would have there would be a husband and
wife, two children, and six residents. At N. Crescent it would be the same. At the
no rooms available there for children.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 23 of 30
Mr. Schneider asked if there was a kitchen in the basement
School purchased the
the basement that was used as a gathering room with a large bar. There were also two
rooms between that room and the garage. One of the rooms housed the boiler/heating
system and the other housed what they referred to as their “summer kitchen.” It was an
old kitchen. All the pluming was there. There was a sink and he believes there was a
stove there, as well as cabinets and counters. He stated there was a gap where the washer
and dryer had been and this was moved to the upstairs in the bedroom closet that they
were using as the laundry/office area.
Mr. Schneider asked if the basement was finished when they purchased the house on
N. Crescent, and Mr. Champ stated it was completely finished.
Mr. Schneider asked if there was an in-law apartment on the second floor when they
purchased the home on Yardley Road., and Mr. Champ stated it was a full in-law
apartment with a kitchen.
Mr. Schneider stated Mr. Champ had indicated that some of the residents may be brain
injured and asked for a further explanation. Mr. Champ stated he would rather they ask
this of the physician to describe this properly. Mr. Schneider asked if these are traumatic
brain injuries or injuries related to being mentally retarded. Mr. Champ stated he would
need further explanation on this question. Ms. Kirk asked what Mr. Champ knows about
the clients that have brain injuries. Mr. Champ stated he has read all of their Plans (ISP),
and has met the people. Ms. Kirk asked if they are ambulatory, and Mr. Champ stated
they do have people with brain injury who are ambulatory. He does not know the exact
number of the proposed residents for the three homes who would be ambulatory who
have brain injuries. Ms. Kirk asked if any of the clients proposed for the three homes that
have brain injuries that are not ambulatory, and Mr. Champ stated he is sure there are.
Mr. Schneider asked if there are any special treatments needed for these clients related to
the brain injuries, and Mr. Champ stated he doubts this as he does not feel the brain
injury is a primary problem with any of these people as he recalls.
Mr. Schneider stated Mr. Champ was asked by Mr. Koopman on cross-examination about
his personal knowledge of the complaints about the swimming
pool at the
property. Mr. Schneider presented the Exhibit which had been marked as Exhibit A-33.
Mr. Schneider asked when
problems with the swimming pool at the
received written notice on 8/17/05. Prior to that they had no notice of a problem with the
swimming pool that came to him. Mr. Champ stated Exhibit A-33 is a notice from Bucks
County Department of Health stating that there was a complaint made regarding an
unmaintained swimming pool at
envelope in which that complaint came. The letter itself is dated 6/24/05.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 24 of 30
Mr. Schneider noted the address on the envelope, and Mr. Champ stated it was not
directed to the correct Municipality or Zip Code. Mr. Champ stated he received this on
August 17, 2005 at 1:09 p.m. and this explains why he did not have knowledge of this
when Mr. Koopman questioned him about this previously.
Ms. Kirk stated based on her notes it seems that Exhibits A-29 through A-32 were not
previously admitted, and Mr. Schneider moved for their admission. Ms. Kirk noted
Exhibit A-29 is the proposal to the State from Allegheny Valley Schools, Exhibit A-30 is
the 11/04 Agreement with the State, Exhibit A-31 is the Job Description for a House
Manager, and Exhibit A-32 is the Job Description for a House Manager Aide. There
were no objections to these documents being admitted. Exhibit A-33 was shown, and
there were no objections to Exhibit A-33 being admitted.
Ms. Kirk asked Mr. Champ if prior to receiving the letter
he seen the swimming pool at the Big Oak property, and Mr. Champ stated he had.
Ms. Kirk asked if it was filled with water or covered. Mr. Champ stated the pool was
covered. Ms. Kirk asked how much of the cover was filled with water. Mr. Champ
stated the entire surface of the pool was covered with water as the cover was sunk down
into the pool possibly six to seven inches. He stated it was not full of water, but there
was sitting water as it had rained recently.
Mr. Schneider asked if they had the problem corrected, and Mr. Champ stated he had his
staff contact the Department. He stated they had seen a notice on the door that had been
put there sometime in June. When a staff member made rounds there a few days after
that, he noticed the sticker on the back door which is not the door they usually come
through. The notice had a number for them to contact. The staff member called the
gentleman from the Health Department and he indicated that they had received an
anonymous complaint that the pool was sitting and the water was polluted. The
gentleman indicated that the water was not polluted but asked that they correct the
problem and they indicated they would pump it off and he indicated this would be fine.
He stated when Mr. Koopman brought up this matter, he had not received notice and a
few days later they received the letter which had been sent to the wrong address.
Mr. Koopman noted the swimming pool issue and stated Mr. Champ indicated that one of
his employees became aware of the complaint prior to Mr. Champ receiving the letter,
and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Koopman stated this was the end of June or early July, and
Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Koopman stated that Mr. Champ had indicated in testimony that
if someone gets a complaint, that normally he is advised, and Mr. Champ stated this was
his testimony. Mr. Koopman stated the complaint was reported verbally in June or July,
and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Koopman stated it would appear that Mr. Champ was aware
of this when he was cross-examined by Mr. Koopman but he had not received it in
writing, and Mr. Champ agreed.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 25 of 30
Mr. Koopman noted the kitchens and asked if Mr. Champ himself saw these kitchens,
and Mr. Champ stated he did see them before they purchased the properties.
Mr. Koopman asked if they checked before they purchased the homes to see if the
kitchens had been permitted by
did not. He stated
they were told by the owner of the
kitchen was there from when he bought the house. Mr. Koopman asked if he checked to
see if there were permits for it, and Mr. Champ stated he did not. He added he did not do
last couple of years. He stated the attorney who owned that home did inform them that
he did receive all the Building Permits, but Mr. Champ did not see copies of them.
Mr. Koopman asked if the ATF (Adult Training Facility is owned or operated by
School. Mr. Koopman asked if costs associated with that facility are included in their
Budget which is part of Exhibit A-29, and Mr. Champ stated it is under the Day Program
Category. Mr. Koopman stated when they previously discussed Exhibit A-29, they
discussed apportioned costs, and Mr. Champ has indicated that nursing services were
included in this, and Mr. Champ agreed. Mr. Koopman asked if they have nurses on
Allegheny staff, and asked if they have nursing services available for the clients in the
homes. Mr. Champ stated the nurses are available if this would be required but because
the residents are at the ATF every day, this is where the nursing services are scheduled.
There is no schedule for the nurses to go out to the homes on a daily basis. Mr. Koopman
stated the apportioned nursing costs that are in the Budget are related to the nursing
facilities at the ATF, and Mr. Champ stated they have a number of nurses portioned off
for all the homes. While the med suite is at the ATF, they apportion those costs out.
Mr. Koopman asked if they have food deliveries or trucks going out to the homes, and
Mr. Champ stated they do not. They use the local supermarket.
Mr. Pastor asked who explained to Mr. Champ that there was a second kitchen at the Big
Oak Road property, and Mr. Champ stated he saw it and the owner and the Realtor
explained the kitchen situation to him.
Mr. Schneider called Jill Morrow who was sworn in. She stated she is a licensed
Physician in the
finished in 1987. She has two Board Certifications – one in Pediatrics and a Sub-
Specialty in Developmental Pediatrics.
Mr. Schneider asked Dr. Morrow to explain the relationship between the practice of
Pediatrics and Developmental Disability and Mental Retardation. Dr. Morrow stated
Developmental Pediatrics is part Psychiatry, part Neurology, and part Pediatrics. As
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 26 of 30
Pediatricians they spend a lot of time in
and then they do Pediatrics in their training. She stated they are usually the people who,
at least in the past, would be asked to care for adults with developmental disabilities
partly because they are used to working with people with all levels of disabilities and all
developmental levels and partly because they have an understanding of the genetic and
genetic disorders which they learn in their Pediatric residency. She stated many of the
Developmental Pediatricians are Medical Directors either at the State level or at a facility
level like one of the ICFMRs. Mr. Schneider asked if Mental Retardation is a
developmental disability, and Dr. Morrow stated it is.
Mr. Schneider asked where she is currently employed, and Dr. Morrow stated
she is the Medical Director for the Office of Mental Retardation and the Office of Social
Programs for the
stated she provided the clinical consultation to some of the Licensing issues for the
various Licenses that DPW does. She also provides clinical consultation and supervision
at the State run ICFMRs. She stated for the community homes, she does oversight of
some of the clinical activities such as medication administration courses, training around
medical issues and medical conditions some of them specific for people with mental
retardation and developmentally disabilities and others of a more general topic. She
stated she also works with people with mental retardation as well as people with other
developmental disabilities that some people with mental retardation have such as autism,
cerebral palsy, etc. Mr. Schneider asked if she has any duties surrounding the living
arrangements with people with mental retardation, and Dr. Morrow stated she does not
directly do this but she does consult with the licensing people and with the people who
run the ICFMR programs related to clinical input for many of the residential places.
Mr. Schneider asked what she did prior to taking the position with the Commonwealth of
Center and was the Director of Pediatric Rehab so she did Developmental Pediatrics,
Cerebral Palsy Clinics, Spina Bifida Clinic, a Neuro-Developmental Clinic which was
both diagnostic and helping with programming for both children and adults. She stated
she also ran an eighteen-bed, in-patient rehab unit for individuals with brain injury as
well as children who had Spina Bifida and were post-surgery. She remained there part-
time and started a developmental clinic at a local teaching
she ran for approximately seven years.
Ms. Kirk asked Dr. Morrow how long she was at
she was there one year full-time and stayed three years part-time which would have been
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 27 of 30
Mr. Schneider asked for any other practice history. Dr. Morrow stated she worked with
with early intervention services. She also continues to have a small consulting practice in
the Northeast corner of the State primarily for pre-Schoolers who have a range of
developmental disabilities. She stated this would be children who are less than three
years old who have delay. Some of them may end up with Mental Retardation, or they
Mr. Schneider asked if she was licensed in any other States, and Dr. Morrow stated she
was licensed in
as she does not use them any longer. Mr. Schneider asked if she held any teaching
positions, and Dr. Morrow stated she was teaching faculty at
both when she was there full-time and also when she was with
the Hospital in
Mr. Schneider asked if she has authored any publications, and Dr. Morrow stated she has
- some of them dealing with Mental Retardation as well as other developmental issues.
She has also given lectures in the area of developmental disabilities and rehab. Currently
she does more around adult issue and adult topics.
Mr. Schneider asked if people with development disabilities are generally followed
throughout their life by their Pediatrician, and Dr. Morrow stated this is now changing
although there was a period of time when that did happen. She stated many of the sub-
specialty clinics still see adults who they saw as Pediatricians for general medical issues,
but they encourage that they transition their care to an Internist or a Family Practitioner.
Mr. Schneider asked if Dr. Morrow has followed children with development disabilities
into adulthood, and Dr. Morrow stated she did with some of them as well as adults who
she would see new as adults with developmental disabilities including mental retardation.
Exhibit A-34 was shown which is Dr. Morrow’s Resume which she felt accurately states
her experience and publications. This was offered for admission and was accepted.
Mr. Schneider offered Dr. Morrow as an expert witness on mental retardation.
Mr. Koopman stated in terms of the timeframe, Dr. Morrow indicated that she finished
her Internship in 1987, and Dr. Morrow stated she finished her Residency in 1987. She
stated this was Internship plus Residency which was three years but was a single
program. Mr. Koopman
asked if she then went to the Fellowship in
Dr. Morrow stated she actually had a year in between starting her Fellowship and was
clinical faculty at
in Developmental Pediatrics.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 28 of 30
Mr. Koopman asked if there is a Board Certification or Sub-Certification for physicians
who deal directly with people with Mental Retardation, and Dr. Morrow stated there is
not and it is included in developmental Pediatrics and there is no adult equivalent at this
point. There is no sub-specialty that is specific for people with mental retardation.
Mr. Koopman asked if there are any sub-specialties that deal with mentally retarded
adults other than developmental Pediatrics as a sub-Specialty, and Dr. Morrow stated
Neurology would not be a sub-Specialty –it would be a Specialty. Mr. Koopman stated
in terms of Board Certifications or Specialties of Physicians dealing with Mental
Retardation, there would be Developmental Pediatrics and Neurology. Mr. Koopman
asked Dr. Morrow if she is certified in Neurology and Dr. Morrow stated she is not.
Mr. Koopman asked what other Certifications or sub-Certifications would there be for
Physicians who regularly deal with clients with Mental Retardation. Dr. Morrow stated
people with Mental Retardation are just like everyone else and if they have a cardiac
problem, they go to a Cardiologist. If they need general care, they would go to a General
Physician. She stated there are no sub-Specialties for Cardiology and Mental
Ms. Kirk asked if there are any other Certifications in the field of Medicine besides
Neurology that would deal with adults with Mental Retardation. Dr. Morrow said there is
the potential that any Specialty in Adult Medicine would care for an individual with
Mental Retardation, but this does not make them an expert in Mental Retardation.
Ms. Kirk stated Dr. Morrow is being offered as an expert to testify based on her
background of Developmental Pediatrics for the area of Mental Retardation. She asked
Dr. Morrow, in her experience, what other area of Medicine could be offered as an expert
witness in that area. Dr. Morrow stated Neurology, Psychiatry, or Psychology. Other
than that sometimes the Rehab Physiciants get involved although not typically.
Mr. Koopman stated normally children are told to see someone other than a Pediatrician
once they are eighteen. He stated Dr. Morrow indicated that this did not happen with
Mentally-Retarded people in the past and they would stay with the Pediatrician into
adulthood although she indicated this does not happen as much as it used to. Dr. Morrow
stated many people in the Medical Director positions working with people with
Developmental Disabilities are Pediatricians. She stated they do encourage people to go
to a Adult Physicians for their general care in the community, but there are places where
the Pediatricians are still providing care for Adults. Mr. Koopman asked about care for
the Mental Retardation issue, and whether it would be common for Pediatricians to work
with a Mentally-Retarded adults with respect to the Retardation issues. Dr. Morrow
stated it would not be uncommon for a Developmental Pediatrician to do so, but probably
not a General Pediatrician in terms of the programming questions.
Mr. Koopman asked Dr. Morrow if she dealt with adults with Mental Retardation in her
Internship and Residency, and Dr. Morrow stated she did and as a Resident in the
Emergency Room she would see the adults who came in who were followed by the
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 29 of 30
Pediatric services. Mr. Koopman asked if she regularly treated Mentally-Retarded adults
for issues pertaining to Mental Retardation, and Dr. Morrow stated she did not as a
Resident but she did get a sub-Specialty after her Residency. This was in 1988 to 1991.
Mr. Koopman asked if during the Fellowship years did she regularly treat adults with
Mental Retardation, and Dr. Morrow stated she probably did not do so regularly. She
stated the most common places they would have seen adults would have been in the
Cerebral Clinic and the Spina Bifida Clinics.
Ms. Kirk stated this witness is being offered as an expert in the area of Mental
Retardation and Exhibit A-34 clearly shows that she is a Medical Director for the Offices
of Mental Retardation and Social Programs for the Department of Public Welfare in
her qualifications. Mr. Koopman stated he is trying to get some of the background of
what she did before this and what her training is. Mr. Koopman stated Dr. Morrow
indicated that after her days at Penn State/Hershey, for seven years she went into private
practice. Dr. Morrow stated she worked at the teaching Hospital. She stated it is listed as
Pinnacle in her resume because the clinic she was working at became Pinnacle Health
Center. Mr. Koopman asked if she regularly treated adults with Mental Retardation
during those seven years. Dr. Morrow stated she did provide consultation with the family
practitioners although she did not provide the direct care. She then moved to the
Dr. Morrow stated this is her current position. She stated the Office of Mental
Retardation part is primarily people with Mental Retardation but they may also have
Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disabilities. The Office of Social Program is
primarily adults with physical disabilities but some also have mild Retardation.
Mr. Koopman asked if there are other Physicians at the State level who deal with
Mentally Retarded adults, and Dr. Morrow stated there are Medical Directors or Physical
Supervisors at each of the State Centers. There are also Medical Directors at many of the
Mr. Pastor asked if Dr. Morrow’s Certification is for diagnoses or behavioral or physical
issues. Dr. Morrow stated Developmental Pediatrics involves a broad range of
developmental disabilities which includes cognitive disabilities, behavioral disorders like
ADHD, and they see individuals with mental illness such as Bi-Polar Disorder,
depression, and people with physical disabilities. She stated the doctors could also have
some experience in rehabilitation so they see people with different kinds of brain injury
whether it is congenital, infection, pre-natal, post-natal, child abuse, car accidents, etc.
Mr. Vlad Krememets,
experienced to deal with an adult Mentally Retarded population a behavioral psychologist
or a physician.
September 20, 2005 Zoning Hearing Board – page 30 of 30
Mr. Schneider objected to the question as it does not go to Dr. Morrow’s qualifications.
Ms. Kirk sustained. She stated at this point they are accepting only questions relating to
Dr. Morrow’s educational and professional experience.
Mr. Krememets asked if she has any qualifications in behavioral psychology.
Dr. Morrow stated behavioral psychology and learning about behavioral disorders,
cognitive testing and all those areas of psychology were part of her developmental
Fellowship. She stated they worked with the Psychology Department.
There were no objections to Dr. Morrow being qualified as an expert in Mental
Retardation and allow the admission of Exhibit A-34.
Mr. Kirk stated this matter will be continued until October 18, 2005.
Approve Extension of Appeal #04-1259 – Robert Widmer
Ms. Kirk stated the Board has before it a request from Mr. Murphy on behalf of Robert
Widmer for Appeal #04-1259. A letter was directed to Mr. Toadvine asking that the
Board extend the Variance previously granted until six months from October 1, 2005
since the Subdivision Plan was just approved and the building lot has not yet been sold.
No Permit has been applied for. She noted a previous Extension had been granted from
June 22, 2005 to October 1, 2005.
Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to grant the
request for a six month extension from October 1, 2005.
There being no further business, Mr. Bamburak moved, Mr. Caiola seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 11:15 p.m.
David Malinowski, Secretary