Zoning board to hear cases on swimming pool, addition
A pair of cases will go before the Palmerton Borough Zoning Hearing Board on Nov. 5.
The first case will be heard at 7 p.m. concerning James and Elizabeth Perschy, of 432 Franklin Avenue.
The couple hopes to receive permission to allow an existing swimming pool that encroaches in the required side yard setback.
Section 403.D.10.b of the borough zoning ordinance requires a four-foot side yard, and the existing pool has a side yard setback of three and one-half feet. The couple will seek a variance to allow the pool to remain in its current location.
In a letter dated Sept. 12, borough zoning officer Duane Dellecker issued a violation notice to the couple regarding the issuance of zoning permit #4303, and the installation of an above ground swimming pool that encroaches on the required side yard setback.
Therefore, Dellecker noted in his letter, "we are forced to revoke the permit as issued, and begin enforcement proceedings as prescribed in Section 109 of the Palmerton Borough Zoning Ordinance."
The couple has been cited for failure to comply with a section of the borough's zoning ordinance, which requires above ground swimming pools to be located not less than four-feet from a side property line.
Dellecker stated that zoning permit #3403, issued June 27, 2000, indicated the above ground swimming pool would be erected 4 1/2 feet from the side property line. Based on that information, permit #3403 was issued, he said.
"A recent survey, completed by Cornerstone Consulting Engineers, dated Aug. 8, 2012, as supplied to our office, reflects a side yard setback of only 3 1/2 feet," Dellecker said. "As a result, permit #3403 is hereby revoked."
As a result, Dellecker said the couple has been given 30 days, from the date of the Sept. 12 letter, to relocate the above ground swimming pool to the required setback, or apply for a variance from the zoners to allow the pool to remain in its current location.
Failure to comply with this notice within the specified time period, unless extended by appeal to the Board of Appeals, constitutes a violation that may result in fines of up to $500 per day, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the borough, as a result thereof. Each day may constitute a separate violation (section 109 of the zoning ordinance).
The second case will be heard at 7:30 p.m,. concerning Fred and Maria Nothstein, of 767 Columbia Avenue.
The couple hopes to gain permission to construct an addition that will extend five feet from the side property line.
However, Section 307.A of the borough's zoning ordinance requires a 10-foot side yard. The couple will seek a side yard variance.
Last month, zoners granted the couple a side variance to erect an addition to their property, that would extend 9-feet, 6-inches, from the side property line at the single family dwelling, which is located in an R-1 (Residential-Low Density) Zoning District.
But, in a letter dated Oct. 19, Dellecker stated that based on an on-site inspection conducted on Oct. 18, "this office has determined that the addition under construction is encroaching further on the side yard setback that what was approved by the zoners."
Upon discussions with the contractors, property owners and review of the permit files, Dellecker stated that zoning permit number 4922 was rejected by this office on July 24. The rejection letter stated "You propose to erect an addition that is 29'-by-11'6" to the existing single family dwelling" and "The plan, as submitted, indicates a 9-foot, 6-inch setback from the side property line for this addition."
In addition, Dellecker noted that a zoning hearing application was filed seeking relief from the side yard setback requirements of Section 307. A of the borough zoning ordinance; a zoning hearing was held on Sept. 11, at which time testimony was received and a variance was granted for "a six inch intrusion into the side yard"; on Sept. 18, the office received a copy of the zoning board approval and issued permit #4922 for the addition; and on Oct. 18, the office responded to a complaint received indicating the excavation activity was closer to the side property line than approved on the issued permit.
"As a result, a verbal and this written stop work order are hereby issued, and permit #4922 is hereby revoked," he said. "Work conducted to this point is limited to excavation activity. No work on any portion of the structure has been started. Any further activity at 767 Columbia Avenue is done at the applicants own risk."
Dellecker further stated "it is apparent, based on a telephone conversation with the application on July 24, this office completed missing information on the zoning permit application. This was the basis for the permit denial."
In addition, Dellecker stated "it is also apparent that neither the applicant, nor builder, realized the denial letter and action of the zoning hearing board did not accurately reflect what they intended to accomplish with this addition."
Finally, Dellecker said "regardless, the documentation only reflects approval of a six-inch intrusion into the required 10-foot side yard setback."