A Lower Towamensing Township man must sit tight as he awaits word on whether he can operate an automobile service station as a home occupation.

The township's zoning hearing board heard a request on Tuesday from David Christman, of 3224 Fireline Road, who sought to obtain a variance and special exception.

Instead, the matter has been continued until 5 p.m. Feb. 28 on-location, so that the zoners can do a site assessment, according to township zoning officer Duane Dellecker.

The hearing will then be continued until 7 p.m. March 13, at which point the zoners are expected to render their decision, Dellecker said.

Over a dozen residents attended the hearing, which saw testimony from several neighboring property owners whom Dellecker said expressed some concern.

Christman needs a variance and special exception to operate the business as a home occupation. The property is located in a R-4, Medium Density Residential District.

In addition, he must also obtain a variance and special exceptions for outside storage, a sign, and operation of a home occupation from an accessory structure.

Christman's request was previously denied by Dellecker, who, in his rejection letter dated Nov. 30, noted a section of the zoning ordinance "prohibits the storage of materials or products related to the home occupation from being stored outside of buildings."

Dellecker said in his letter that the applicant's intent is that vehicles awaiting repair would be parked on the property for short periods of time.

Also as part of his letter, Dellecker noted a section of the zoning ordinance "limits the size of an advertising sign to a maximum of 2-square-feet." However, Dellecker said the applicant's letter of intent "indicates a 12-square-feet sign being proposed."

Dellecker also states in his letter that a section of the zoning ordinance requires home occupation be incidental or secondary to the use of the property as a residence, and limits them to those occupations customarily conducted within a dwelling unit. But, Dellecker said the applicant's letter of intent "indicates the main use of the property will continue to be residential. However, an auto service station is not considered to be a type of home occupation that is customarily conducted within a dwelling unit."

Finally, Dellecker states in his letter that a section of the zoning ordinance requires a home occupation to be conducted within a dwelling unit, provided that by Special Exception of the zoning hearing board may permit the home occupation subject to such controls they deem necessary. But, Dellecker said in his letter the applicant's letter of intent indicates he plans to conduct the home occupation out of his detached garage.