The Newbury Township Board of Zoning Appeals public hearing was called to order by Mr. Ray Fidel, Chairman, at 7:30 p.m. on April 19, 2011 with Board members, Mary Lee Brezina, Bill Skomrock,Sr., Glen Quigley and Ken Blair (sitting for Tezeon Wong) present.
All in attendance for this hearing were duly sworn and asked when testifying to state their name and confirm being sworn in. Ray Fidel read the applicants request:
Mark Chiacchiari requests an area variance to construct a 1728 sq.ft. accessory building (2 story, 864 sq. ft. footprint) on a 2.01 acre lot in the R-1 district at 16135 Wake Robin Dr. in the Wake Robin subdivision - 22 ft. from the south side lot line (vs. Art. V, Sec. 5.05 req’d 30 ft. setback & Sec. 5.02A3b&5 req’d max 1280 sq.ft. accessory building).
Mr. Fidel asked the applicant to state his case.
Mr. Chiacchiari said finding adequate storage area was an existing challenge since he had finished most of his basement for living space. He needs an accessory building to store his motorcycle and mower that now take up garage space in summer leaving cars outside. He said he does have a small existing shed that is not large enough to store the mower and has no driveway access. The proposed two-story accessory building would match the colonial design of the house siding, roof etc.
The well location prevents the building from meeting the 30 ft. side setback and allows for only a one lane driveway access; Mr. Chiacchiari marked the well location on the site plan. To move the building further to the rear would require a longer, more expensive driveway extension. In the future the building will house children’s toys, off-season boat storage and utility storage in the upper level. A two-story building is most cost effective per square foot to build and provides usable upstairs headroom. He presented a summary – Exhibit A - of other accessory buildings in the subdivision plus a photo showing the building location (where the black car is) at the end of the driveway.
Mr. Fidel asked the board for additional comments or questions. Mr. Blair said he would favor the request. Mr. Skomrock, Sr. said he thought the 22 ft. side setback was not a problem as it was far from the south neighbor’s house and the two-story design was a good match. Ms. Brezina asked if Mr. Chiacchiari had spoken to the neighbors. He said their subdivision had an Home Owners’ architectural review board but he was as yet unable to contact anyone to submit his request. Ms. Brezina advised him to build large enough for future storage needs. Mr. Quigley asked about plumbing – water line may be run for yard use and the Home Owners Assoc. – there are no deed or use restrictions, just review by the architectural board that could deny or modify the proposed plans.
Discussion continued regarding the 1280 sq. ft. max. footprint vs. total two story area – Ms. Endres said that was not defined in the zoning regulations. The board agreed the two story design would fit well in the neighborhood, there was adequate natural screening and the motorcycle should not be stored in the basement. Ms. Endres said the board should consider that the HOA architechtural review board may ask that the building be moved further east/rear or request a building size change .
Mr. Quigley said that a subsequent change places the authority in other’s hands; the site plan should be approved prior to the request for a variance from the BZA. Discussion reviewed the rear topography restricting the building location from moving further east than about 10 ft. Mr. Skomrock Sr. said he believes the zoning 1280 sq. ft. max. size refers to the building footprint and placing conditions on the final building location gives the applicant enough leeway.
There being no more questions, Mr. Fidel called for a motion stating that a yes vote would grant the variance.
Ken Blair moved to grant the variance as requested for the two story, 1728 sq.ft. accessory building 22 feet from the south side lot line with the following 3 conditions;
1) the building shall be built no closer than 22 ft. from the south setback line,
2) the building shall be built no closer to the road than the site plan location,
3) the building may be relocated further east (restricted by the creek) if required by the Home Owners Assoc.
Bill Skomrock, Sr. seconded the motion.
A roll-call vote was as follows:
Mary Lee Brezina yes
Ken Blair yes
Bill Skomrock, Sr. yes
Ray Fidel yes
Glen Quigley yes
Mr. Fidel read to the Appellant and audience, “Within 30 days after service of the minutes granting your request, if someone wishes to challenge this decision through the court, he or she may. The challenge could reverse or negate our decision. Mr. Fidel informed the Appellant and the audience that the 30-day period commences with the Appellants’ signing receipt of the signed minutes. They will be mailed registered return receipt to the Appellant. All persons receiving notice of the hearing will receive copies of the minutes. At the time you receive your permit you must also comply with all other requirements of Newbury Township zoning”.
Mr. Fidel adjourned the BZA hearing at 8:05 p.m.
As the applicants left, Board members wished them good luck.
Board members resumed their meeting to establish the conclusions of fact:
Based on the following FINDING OF FACTS for the variance requested:
1) The parcel could yield a reasonable return without the variance.
2) The 22 ft. side setback is not substantial but reasonable considering the driveway and the well location between the house and accessory building.
3) The essential character of the neighborhood would not be substantially altered and the adjoining property owners would suffer no detriment as a result of this variance.
4) The variance has no effect on delivery of governmental services.
5) The property owner was unaware of the zoning restrictions at the time of purchase.
6) The lot owner’s predicament could not be obviated through some method other than the variance.
7) The spirit and intent behind the zoning requirement would be observed and substantial justice done by granting the variance. Such other criteria, which the Board believes relates to determining whether the zoning regulation is equitable; there were no adjacent property owners in attendance to object.
Tue, June 14, 2011
by Ann Wishart