A Palmerton man wants to convert an existing garage on his property into a guesthouse.

Michael Pritchard, who resides at 875 Delaware Avenue, will go before the borough's Zoning Hearing Board at 7 p.m. Sept. 23.

At that time, Pritchard will attempt to obtain a special exception and a variance to convert an existing garage located to the rear of his property into a dwelling.

A special exception is required for the use, and a variance is required to allow the conversion of an existing non-principal building to a dwelling unit.

In his rejection letter dated Aug. 11, borough zoning officer Duane Dellecker said the property is located in an R-3 (Residential/Light Commercial) zoning district, where Pritchard has proposed to convert an 875-square-feet (2-story) garage into a guesthouse dwelling unit.

However, Dellecker said a section of the zoning ordinance allows the "conversion of an existing building into one or more dwelling units" only be special exception action of the board.

Another section of the zoning ordinance limits the conversion of an existing building to a dwelling unit provided it is within a principal building in existence for at least 20 years, Dellecker said. A garage is not an existing principal building, he said.

Dellecker said in order to allow the conversion of an accessory building into another principal building or dwelling unit on the same lot as that of the main dwelling unit will require action of the board.

A special exception is required for the use, and a variance is required to address a section of the zoning ordinance.