The Newbury Township Board of Zoning Appeals public hearing was called to order by Mr. Ray Fidel, Chairman, at 7:30 p.m. on August 2, 2011 with Board members, Mary Lee Brezina, Bill Skomrock,Sr., Glen Quigley and 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:
Diana M. Thimmig requests an area variance to build a 36 ft. x 24 ft. detached garage 11 ft. from the rear/south lot line and less than 30 ft. from the rear/west lot line that would straddle lot lines of parcels owned by the applicant (vs. Art. V, Sec. 5.05 req’d 8 ft. side & 30 ft. rear setbacks) at 15570 Valleyview Dr. in the Little Punderson Subdivision. Additional relief is required for expansion of a non-conforming use & structures (vs. Art. XIV, Sec. 14.04 A&B, & 14.05).
Mr. Fidel asked Mr. John Thimmig, representing his wife Diana, to state his case.
Mr. Thimmig gave a brief history: said they were married 28 years, had 4 children, lived in Bainbridge and bought this property at foreclosure because it had such a fabulous view of the lake. The house was in bad condition so they gutted it, upgraded everything so they could live there within a year or so. There was never a garage on the property but one is needed. An attached garage was considered but found to be not a good fit. The spot chosen for the detached garage is the only logical spot at the end of the driveway because of the topography restrictions. The new garage will not block any neighbor’s view and its design will be the twin of the remodeled house. They will survey the parcels and choose a top-quality builder with finished landscaping to complete the project.
Mr. Fidel asked Mr. Thimmig if he understood the Affidavit of Fact (AFF) that would tie the 5 parcels together in any future sale of the property. Mr. Thimmig said he was willing to complete the AFF but confirmed that the property was in his wife’s name. Mr. Quigley suggested that amending the application to include the AFF would be a “cleaner” way. Mr. Skomrock Sr. asked if it were legal for the husband to amend the application for property in his wife’s name. Discussion continued regarding the usual method of attaching the AFF as a condition to the variance vs. amending the application. Ms. Hrabak asked Mr. Fidel’s permission to show Mr. Thimmig a sample AFF that Ms. Thimmig would have notarized and recorded at the County Recorder’s office for a fee of $28.00. Ms. Hrabak will complete the AFF with an instruction cover letter mailed to Ms. Thimmig.
Mr. Fidel asked the board for their comments. Mr. Wong said the remodeled house fits into the character of the neighborhood. Ms. Brezina said she was glad the house was being restored as it had become a hang-out for teens and drugs. Mr. Fidel said he had looked to buy the house and commended the Thimmigs for their great rebuilding job with new windows, furnace, cedar siding, etc.
Mr. Thimmig said they plan to sell their big house in Bainbridge after their last child finishes high school and move to live in Little Punderson.
Mr. Fidel asked the board for additional comments or questions. There being no more questions, Mr. Fidel called for a motion stating that a yes vote would grant the area variance as requested.
Tezeon Wong moved to accept Ms. Thimmig’s request for the 24’ x 36’ garage area variance as requested with the condition that an Affidavit of Fact ties the 5 parcels 23-080900, 081000, 081100, 081200 & 081300 together for any future sale; Ms. Brezina seconded the motion.
Tezeon Wong yes
Mary Lee Brezina yes
Glen Quigley yes
Bill Skomrock, Sr. yes
Ray Fidel yes
Mr. Fidel informed the applicant his area variance was granted.
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 7:50 p.m. As the applicant left, Board members wished him good luck.
Board members resumed their meeting by establishing the conclusions of fact:
Based on the following FINDING OF FACTS for the area variance:
1) The parcel could yield a reasonable return without the area variance but the garage will add usefulness and value to the property.
2) The area variance is substantial as it is over 25% but is reasonable due to the topography restrictions.
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 area variance has no effect on delivery of governmental services.
5) The owner purchased the property with no specific knowledge of these zoning restrictions.
6) The property owner’s predicament could not be obviated through some method other than the required area 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; the garage is practically situated at the end of the driveway and there were no objections as there were no adjacent property owners in attendance.
Ms. Endres informed the board of the violation topics covered in the July Zoning Report: a survey has shown an industrial building encroachment on a residentially zoned parcel. Discussion continued regarding resolution via a Use Variance, a Judgment Entry vs. rezoning a small portion of the parcel. She has requested guidance from the prosecutor’s opinion.
The board adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
Fri, September 2, 2011
by Ann Wishart