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Tamaqua zoners deny variances for Clay Street home renovations

Published November 24. 2009 05:00PM

The Tamaqua Zoning Hearing Board Monday night denied a request for variances to renovate a home, primarily because the applicant failed to attend the hearing.

Steven McDonald, 125 Clay Street, had requested a height variance to finish decorative turrets on top of his house, as well as for front and side yard variances to expand his front porch. The home is located in an R-2 residential zoning district.

Allen R. Breiner, borough zoning code enforcement officer, said McDonald had been granted variances in 2007 to enclose his front porch and box in and square off his attic, which he has done.

Breiner said McDonald had begun to construct the turrets on his roof when they exceeded the maximum allowable height and was asked to stop construction by James Barron, the borough's assistant code officer.

Breiner explained that the porch was to be extended by four feet, six inches, but by doing that the porch would extend beyond the building line.

The borough planning commission had reviewed the requests in two separate parts earlier this month and Breiner said it did not grant approval on their end.

"He needs two variances, but he needs to show some hardship," said attorney James Menconi, solicitor for the zoning board. "It is hard to do that without testimony."

"We're being asked to backfit what is already being done," said zoning board President Richard Clemson. "That's an enforcement issue," added Menconi.

Board members Clemson, Vice President Frank Kane and Clyde Robertshaw voted to deny the variance requests, based on lack of testimony. Members Christine Hartung and Karl Smulligan were absent.

Permits issued

In other business, in his monthly report, Breiner said that eight permits were issued for the month.

• The Amerada Hess Corporation, 307 Center St., received a permit to construct an addition onto its Hess gas station.

• GSB Properties, 43-45 W. Broad St., had a permit issued for facade and rear porch alterations.

• Walter Deetz, SR209 East Broad St., had a permit issued for a change of use and a sign.

• Louis Belovich, 315 Schuylkill Ave., received a permit to install a sign for his studio.

• Helen Bynon, 419 Hazle St., is permitted to install a pellet stove and chimney.

• Madeline A. Behler, 248 E. Broad St., received a permit to install a chimney.

• Edward Miller, 307 Orwigsburg St., was issued a permit for a garage addition.

• Kathy Keip, 233 rear Cedar St., received a permit to construct a carport.

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