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Palmerton man seeks OK to contruct garage

Published April 19. 2013 05:04PM

A Palmerton man hopes to gain approval to construct a garage on a vacant property.

On that note, Stephen Takacs will appear before the borough's Zoning Hearing Board at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1.

Takacs wants to add the garage to a vacant lot on his property at 1121 Mauch Chunk Road, but needs to receive several variances to do so.

The variances are for Section 403.D.9.b.2, to allow construction of an accessory structure without a principal building; Section 307. A regarding setbacks from the street right-of-way; and Section 804.A.3, regarding front yard setbacks.

In his rejection letter, dated March 18, borough zoning officer Duane Dellecker stated that Takacs' property is located in a Commercial Fringe zoning district.

There are no other structures located on the property, and there is no principal use, Dellecker stated in his letter.

The proposed accessory structure (garage) would be 24-by-48-feet, or 1,152-square-feet in size.

However, Dellecker noted in his letter that section 403.D.9.b.2 of the borough's zoning ordinance limits the size of all accessory buildings to 60-percent of the floor area of the principal buildings.

"By definition, an accessory building is secondary and incidental to a principal building," Dellecker said. "Without a principal building, an accessory building cannot be erected. A variance would be required from this section of the regulations."

In addition, Section 307. A of the borough's zoning ordinance requires a 25-foot minimum front yard setback be provided from the right-of-way of all streets. The right-of-way of Mauch Chunk Road is 40-feet (20-feet from center line of roadway), Dellecker stated. There is no right-of-way listed for Old Mauch Chunk Road, he said.

Also, Dellecker stated that Section 804.A.3 of the borough's zoning ordinance requires front yard setbacks be provided along all portions of a through lot abutting any street.

"Your plan as submitted, indicates a 7-foot setback from the right-of-way line of Mauch Chunk Road (about 15-feet from the edge of macadam); and a 12-foot setback from the edge of Old Mauch Chunk Road," he said. "This proposal would require a variance from the front yard setback along Mauch Chunk Road of 18-feet, or 72 percent; and a variance from the front yard setback along Old Mauch Chunk Road of 13-feet, or 52 percent."

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