The regular meeting of the Zoning Hearing Board of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on November 16, 2004.  Chairman Kirk called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.


Those present:


Zoning Hearing Board:  Barbara Kirk, Chairman

                                                Rudolph Mayrhofer, Vice Chairman

                                                David Malinowski, Secretary

                                                Paul Bamburak, Member

                                                Darwin Dobson, Member

                                                Greg Caiola, Alternate (not participating)

                                                Paul Kim, Alternate (not participating)


Others:                                     Robert Habgood, Code Enforcement Officer

                                                Allen Toadvine, Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor Liaison





Ms. Giovanna M. Raffaelli, attorney, was present with Ms. Mary McCarty and Mr. Carl

Perella, who were sworn in.


Ms. Raffaelli stated they are requesting two dimensional Variances to construct an

enclosed sunroom.  The sunroom will be over an existing patio.  The first Variance is to

encroach into the rear yard.  Currently the rear yard is 46’10”, and they are requesting a

rear yard of 43’5”.  They are also requesting a Variance to impervious surface to 21.59%

as opposed to the existing 21.25%. 


The Application was marked as Exhibit A-1 which included the Site Plan which was

marked as Exhibit A-2.  Ms. Raffaelli stated they also have some additional exhibits

which are copies of the Building Permit and Temporary Certificate of Occupancy Dated?

5/27/77.  These were marked as Exhibit A-3.  They also have copies of the construction

drawings the contractor will discuss.  These were marked as Exhibit A-4.  Exhibit A-5

was marked which are photos of the property taken immediately prior to the Applicant’s

purchasing the property.  These show the construction of the driveway, patio, and

walkway.  The three photos that were attached to the Application were marked as

Exhibit A-6.



November 16, 2004                                                     Zoning Hearing Board – page 2 of 3



Ms. McCarty stated she is the owner of the property at issue, and it was purchased in

1977.  They purchased it from Edgebrook Development Company, the original builder of

the home.  She stated she received a Certificate of Occupancy when she purchased the

home and this is the document which was marked as Exhibit A-3. 


Ms. McCarty stated the home is a two-story, single-family Colonial dwelling which had a

front sidewalk, a walk form the driveway to the house, a driveway with an apron to allow

for additional parking, and a patio.  Ms. Raffaelli asked if they had any additions made to

the home since they purchased the property, and Ms. McCarty stated they have not.  She

stated the current size of the patio is 12’ by 20’ and they have made no additions to it.  


Ms. McCarty stated she currently lives on the property with her husband, and they would

like to add a sunroom to the property.  Ms. McCarty stated this will be an extension to

their family room and will provide additional room for entertaining.  She stated they are

approaching retirement and are looking forward to enjoying the living area of their home

even more than they do now.  She stated the addition will provide more light and

openness than exists currently in the family room.  She stated she did speak to her

neighbors on either side and to the rear of the property, and they expressed no objection. 

Ms. McCarty stated they have had no flooding or drainage problems.  They have large

trees on the property including trees along the borders of the property.  The proposed

addition will not require the removal of any trees.  Ms. McCarty stated they did post the

required Notice which was sent to them by the Township.  Approximate costs for the

addition are $30,000.


Exhibit A-5 was noted, and Ms. McCarty stated these are photos taken of the house as it

was being constructed.  The pictures were taken before she received the Certificate of



Mr. Mayrhofer asked if there are any areas of contention.  Ms. Raffaelli stated when they

made Application to the Township the Township indicated that they were already over

the permitted impervious surface and they wanted tonight to show that the existing

impervious surface was approved even though it was over the allowable impervious



Ms. Kirk stated currently it appears that the existing impervious surface is 21.25% and

nothing has been added.  Ms. Raffaelli stated this is correct and they are now proposing

that with the addition and removal of a portion of the existing patio, it will go 21.59%.

Ms. Kirk stated the proposed addition will be located over the existing patio, and

Ms. Raffaelli stated there will be slightly more in the rear area and slightly less toward

the right. 


Construction drawings were shown to the Zoning Hearing Board.


November 16, 2004                                                      Zoning Hearing Board – page 3 of 3


Ms. Kirk asked if they are proposing a one-story sunroom, and Ms. Raffaelli stated this is

correct.  Ms. Kirk asked if it will be enclosed by screens, and Ms. Raffaelli stated it will

be enclosed with siding which will match the existing siding.  There will be no steps or

patio off the exit way at grade level.  It will be  heated.  The roof line will be even which

is why they cut off one side of the patio and added slightly more in the back.  This will

help with drainage as well. 


Mr. Bamburak noted the doorway at the back of the addition and asked if there will be a

slab.  Ms. Raffaelli stated there will not.  It is at grade they will just have a small step

down.  Mr. Bamburak stated it might be helpful to have something that would prevent

mud from getting into the house.  Mr. Perella stated they may have a stone bed. 

He stated the room is mostly for inside use. 


Mr. Mayrhofer stated he recently built a similar room and they may want to consider

construction of a small pad outside their door and they may therefore need slightly more

impervious surface.  Ms. Raffaelli stated they could request slightly more impervious

surface to allow for this possibility as well for a margin of error.


Mr. Malinowski asked if there is any hardship.  Ms. Raffaelli stated they are only

requesting a diminimous Variance and they are not required to show the same level of

hardship.  In addition, the way the house is set on the lot and because of the unusual

angle, there is no other place to put this addition where it would not be encroaching. 


Mr. Dobson moved and Mr. Bamburak seconded to Grant the Variance from Section

200-23 (B) to allow a maximum impervious surface of 21.6% and to grant a Variance

from Section 200-22 to allow a rear yard setback of 43’5”.


Mr. Mayrhofer stated if they wanted to make a slight change such as a pad outside the

door, they may want to consider requesting this now rather than having to come back.

Ms. Raffaelli asked if it could be 22%.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated they are showing a

concrete pad on their Plan.  Mr. Perella stated the architect did show this on the Plans, but

it is not in the breakdown.


Moved to amend the Motion that they be permitted to increase the impervious surface to

21.8%.   Motion as amended carried unanimously.


Ms. Kirk moved, Mr. Dobson seconded and it was unanimously carried to adjourn the

meeting at 7:50 p.m.


                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,



                                                                        David Malinowski, Secretary