BZA September 28, 2010 Melbye

The Newbury Township Board of Zoning Appeals public hearing was called to order by Mr. Ray Fidel, Chairman, at 7:30 p.m. on September 28, 2010 with Board members, Mary Lee Brezina, Bill Skomrock,Sr., Tezeon Wong and Glen Quigley 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:


Trend Melbye requests area variances for: 1) a 300 sq.ft. car port built 12.5 ft. from the east side lot line (vs. Art.V, Sec. 5.05 req’d 30 ft.), 2) a 392 sq.ft. accessory structure built 27 ft. from the east lot line (vs. req’d 30 ft.) and 3) a 120 sq.ft. shed, permit not req’d per Art. V, Sec. 5.02 C6 & 5.06, built 14.5 ft. from the east lot line (vs. req’d 30 ft.) at the residence located at 10885 Scranton Woods Tr. in the R-1 residential zoning district.

The chairman asked the applicant why he built 3 structures without a permit.


Mr. Melbye responded that all the structures were moveable – the largest was built on skids, he was unaware of the zoning restrictions and never thought a permit was required as he was from southern California where the county issued all permits.


Ms. Endres clarified the regulations: there is no difference between moveable and permanent structures – all need permits although structures under 120 sq.ft.  qualify for an exemption.


Mr. Melbye described the small lots in southern California that were mostly asphalt so that here he tried to logically position the structures given the downhill topography and to save the trees.  He realizes now that the carport in front requires a variance because of the setback.  He believes his cars should not be in an enclosed garage where winter salt and heat would accelerate rusting.  Ms. Endres agreed that Mr. Melbye has cooperated fully after he was made aware of the permit requirements and the variances needed for the setback issues. 


Mr. Fidel asked if there were any objections from his neighbors – Mr. Melbye said he had talked to his neighbors and there were none.  He also added that he had the lot surveyed before removing dead trees so he was sure of the survey lines.  He had considered building a garage but the cost was too high.


Mr. Fidel asked the board if they had any questions – they had no big issues on these variance requests.

Mr. Fidel agreed that Mr. Melbye has little usable backyard given the wet areas and wanting to save the maximum  number of trees.


Mr. Skomrock said this was a well kept property and the structure placements were reasonable.


Ms. Brezina also said it was a nicely maintained property.  Even though there are no neighbor objections now, there could be future problems with other neighbors reminding Mr. Melbye that  these variances stay with the property.


Mr. Quigley asked what was stored in the garden shed.  Mr. Melbye explained that his wife stores tools and her tractor there.  He stores other yard equipment in the barn.


Ms. Endres said this was the last of the aerial photo cases that showed buildings without permits.  Mr. Melbye said he believes aerial photos are an invasion of his privacy – some discussion followed.


Mr. Fidel asked the board if all 3 variances could be considered together.  Mr. Wong acknowledged that the variances would stay with the property and another variance would be required if these structures were moved, changed or expanded.


There being no more questions, Mr. Fidel called for a motion stating that a yes vote would grant the three variances.


Glen Quigley moved to grant the three variances as requested;  Mary Lee Brezina seconded the motion.

Glen Quigley                                                                     yes

Mary Lee Brezina                                                             yes

                Tezeon Wong                                                                    yes

                Bill Skomrock, Sr.                                                             yes

                Ray Fidel                                                                             yes


Mr. Fidel informed the applicant his variance requests were granted.

Mr. Melbye thanked the board.


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 required permit can be issued once all requirements regarding this application are satisfied, although if you plan construction it is recommended you wait the 30 days before proceeding.  The challenge could reverse or negate our decision.  At the time you receive your permit you must also comply with all other requirements of Newbury Township zoning”. 

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.

Based on the following FINDING OF FACTS, the Board has voted to grant all 3 variances as presented:


1)         The parcel could yield a reasonable return but the existing structures allow extra storage needed for car and accessory equipment.


2)            These variances are substantial but the storage building placements are reasonable given the size and topography of this lot.

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 these variances.

4)                  The variances have no effect on delivery of governmental services.


5)                  The owner purchased the property without specific knowledge of these zoning restrictions.


6)      The property owner’s predicament could not be obviated through some method other than these variances as the structures integrate best in their present location given the location of the trees and the topography restrictions of the remaining lot area.


7)      The spirit and intent behind the zoning requirement would be observed and substantial justice done by granting the variances.  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 to the variances.


Mr. Fidel adjourned the BZA meeting at 7:55 p.m.

Marge Hrabak.  Secretary