Zoning Board of Appeals - 2/24/2009 - Turcoliveri


The Newbury Township Board of Zoning Appeals public hearing was called to order by Ray Fidel, Chairman at 7:30 p.m. on March 24, 2009 with Mary Lee Brezina, Dean Eppley, Glen Quigley and Ken Blair (sitting for Tezeon Wong) present.  Ms. Endres showed projections of the site for board and audience review.

All who wished to speak at this hearing were duly sworn and asked when testifying to state their name and confirm being sworn in.  Mr. Fidel read the applicant's request.

Paul Turcoliveri is requesting a triple area variance:  1) for a Home Occupation permit at 11650 Kinsman Rd. in the R-1 residential district (vs. Art. V, Sec. 5.03A) as a Conditional Use requiring BZA approval, (Art. X, Sec.10.00 & Art. XVII. Sec. 17.01C), 2) to reconstruct an existing garage and add a 760 sq.ft. rear addition for a showroom/art gallery for his home occupation as Artist/Taxidermy (vs. Art. V, Sec. 5.03A2a for a home occupation only within an existing structure & 5.03A2c without visible evidence of conducting a home occupation) and  3) to erect a 24 sq.ft. sign in this residential area to advertise the Home Occupation (vs. Art.V, Sec. 5.03A2c allowing 1 name plate sign-for name & address, max. 6 sq. ft. per face-Art. XII, Sec. 12.05A3 but not identifying the Home Occupation), & as a lighted sign (vs. Art. XII, Sec. 12.06A prohibiting sign lighting in R-1).

Mr. Fidel complimented the applicants for their excellent variance presentation/request, the most complete the board has ever received.  He asked the applicant to state their case.

Ms. Bridges said the property was purchased in 1993 with the realtor’s confirmation that it was zoned commercial only to discover later that it was zoned residential.  Mr. Turcoliveri has been a practicing taxidermist for 25 years (in his father’s basement) and now wants to operate a showroom/art gallery to display his work.  He would reconstruct the rear portion of the existing garage (in poor condition) and add 760 sq.ft. to the north for the rebuilt gallery to match the front garage section.  Ms. Bridges said they would vinyl side the entire house/garage/gallery and add new landscaping to improve the overall look of the property.

Mr. Fidel asked the board to first consider the request for a Home Occupation permit for an Artist/Taxidermist in a residential zone as the other area variances depend on this approval.

Mr. Turcoliveri said his taxidermy work is done in his basement and he needs a place to display his work in a showroom/gallery.  His “mounts” are currently displayed in Dick’s Sporting Goods store.  He described the preparation process using only soap, borax and water, no chemicals (formaldehyde outlawed, no longer available).  He said this process poses no health issues and no permits are required by the state; a Federal permit is needed for waterfowl which he intends to apply for this fall.  He acknowledged taxidermy is now just a hobby but he would like to pursue this full time in the future.


Ms. Bridges added that primarily sportsmen and hunters would visit the gallery.  The house to the west is vacant with Gene’s Barbershop adjacent (legal non-conforming commercial use).  The neighbor’s house to the east faces Portlew Dr.  The gallery hours would be daytime hours by appointment only.  They plan to add 3 additional parking spaces to the north to accommodate the gallery clients.  She further described the process where 80% of the small animal is retained for the mount and 20% of the innards are disposed of as normal household garbage so there is no odor involved.  He does not do or outsource any tanning operations.  He does all his own work and has no employees.

Mr. Fidel asked for comments from the audience.  Ms. Harmeling (sworn in at this time) expressed her concern regarding access/entrance/parking from Portlew Rd. but approves of the main entrance/access off of Kinsman Rd.

Mr. Fidel asked the board for additional comments or questions.  He explained the rules covering a Conditional Use Permit that is reviewed for compliance by the BZA annually and must be renewed after five years. There being no more questions, Mr. Fidel called for a motion to approve the Conditional Use permit stating that a yes vote would grant the permit.

Glen Quigley moved to approve the HO permit as requested with the addition of 2 conditions;
1) no hide tanning or chemical process shall be permitted,
2) 3 parking spaces shall be added north of the gallery for appointment only clients.
Mr. Fidel asked if the applicants agreed to these conditions; Mr. Turcoliveri said Yes.

Mr. Blair seconded the motion that passed by unanimous vote.

Mr. Fidel asked the board to consider the Area Variance request #2 for the garage reconstruction/expansion described previously.

Mr. Quigley moved to grant the area variance for the 760 sq.ft. addition as requested for the Home Occupation art gallery/display showroom; Dean Eppley seconded the motion that passed by unanimous vote.

Mr. Fidel asked the board to consider the Area Variance request #3 for the 24 sq.ft. sign to advertise the Home Occupation in a residential zone.

Ms. Bridges explained the need for this large sign on Kinsman Rd. where the speeds are 50 mph and over with poor visibility west of the Punderson curve.  This sign would be similar to existing signs for Gene’s Barbershop and Silver’s “rock” business signs.  She showed that this sign, 12 ft. from the road right-of-way, would not obstruct road or any neighbor’s visibility/safety.  If the size were reduced, the digital animal image would be lost.  A removable hanging sign, 6” x 14”, “by Appointment Only” could also feature changes such as Open House etc.

Mr Eppley asked how the sign would be lighted and lighted hours.  Mr. Turcoliveri said the sign would have low voltage lighting at the end of the driveway lights and operate on a timer to 9 pm.  Ms. Brezina said the sign should be tied to the Home Occupation permit.  Mr. Blair said he thought the sign was very attractive.  Mr. Quigley said he thought the property and sign should be treated as commercial use.

Mr. Quigley moved to grant the area variance as requested for the 24 sq.ft. sign with the 6”x14” hanging attachment for the Home Occupation in the R-1 zone with 3 conditions;
1)  non-glare, low-voltage lighting is permitted till 9 pm.,
3) the sign shall be removed when the Home Occupation permit expires,
3)  the sign shall be no closer than 12 ft. from the road right-of-way.  
Mr. Fidel asked if the applicants agreed to these conditions; Mr. Turcoliveri said Yes.

Mr. Blair seconded the motion that passed by unanimous vote.

Mr. Fidel informed the applicant his variance request 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 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.

The board members wished the applicant good luck with the project.


Mr. Fidel adjourned the BZA hearing at 8:30 p.m.

Based on the following FINDING OF FACTS, the Board has voted to grant the area variance #2) as requested for the 760 sq.ft. addition as requested for the Home Occupation art gallery/display showroom

1) The parcel could yield a reasonable return but the addition is an extension of the original garage within allowable setbacks.

2) The area variance is not substantial and is reasonable combined with the conditions of the Home Occupation permit.

3)   The essential character of the neighborhood would not be altered and the adjoining property owners would suffer no substantial detriment as a result of this variance.

4) The variance has no effect on delivery of governmental services.

5) The owner was unaware of the R-1 zoning restrictions when the lot was purchased; mistakenly told it was commercially zoned.

6) The property owner’s predicament could not be obviated through some method other than a variance for this most logical in-line garage extension to accommodate the Home Occupation/showroom conditions.

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 neighbors in attendance did not object to the entrance off Kinsman Rd.

Based on the following FINDING OF FACTS, the Board has voted to grant the area variance #3) as requested for the 24 sq.ft. sign with the 6”x14” hanging attachment for the Home Occupation in the R-1 zone with 3 conditions;
1)  non-glare, low-voltage lighting is permitted till 9 pm.,
2) the sign shall be removed when the Home Occupation permit expires,
3) the sign shall be no closer than 12 ft. from the road right-of-way.  

1) The parcel could yield a reasonable return but the sign is essential to the permitted Home Occupation Artist/gallery.

2)    The area variance is substantial but is reasonable considering the quasi-commercial location on Kinsman Rd.

      3)   The essential character of the neighborhood would not be altered and the adjoining property owners would suffer no substantial detriment as a result of this variance.

4) The variance has no effect on delivery of governmental services.

5) The owner was unaware of the R-1 zoning restrictions when the lot was purchased; mistakenly told it was commercially zoned.

6) The property owner’s predicament could not be obviated through some method other than a variance for this sign to accommodate the Home Occupation/showroom.

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 neighbors in attendance did not object to the sign on the entrance off Kinsman Rd.

Discussion continued regarding scheduled and future BZA hearings.

Mr. Fidel  adjourned the BZA meeting at 9:15 p.m.


Marge Hrabak, Secretary



Signatures of the Newbury Board of Zoning Appeals:




_________________________    ____________________________
Ray Fidel, Chairman    Glen Quigley


____________________________    ____________________________
Mary Lee Brezina, V. Chairman    Ken Blair (sitting for Tezeon Wong)


____________________________            ____________________________
Dean Eppley


Attest:__________________    ____________________
Marge Hrabak  Sec’y BZA    Date: