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Variance granted for new apartment

Published May 31. 2013 05:02PM

Another apartment may be added to an existing structure in Palmerton.

After about a 25-minute recess, the borough's Zoning Hearing Board unanimously agreed on Thursday to grant William Parsons a variance for the conversion at 744-748 Mauch Chunk Road.

As a result, Parsons may change the use of the property from one three-bedroom and one one-bedroom apartment, to three one-bedroom apartments, which will result in one additional apartment.

However, as part of their approval, zoners attached several conditions to the plan.

Those conditions are that Parsons must install six-inch concrete-filled pipes embedded in concrete, or acceptable equivalent, placed at maximum interval of four-feet along the western parking lot boundary of the 748-750 Mauch Chunk Road property; any and all doors located along Fourth Alley shall be used only as, and for, emergency exits, and shall not be equipped with outside handles or other means of access from the alley; and Parsons must provide and maintain for six parking spaces.

Resident Terry Derhammer, who resides at 764 Mauch Chunk Road, expressed several concerns with the plan.

Derhammer, who attended hearings back in 2006 on the matter, said he wasn't against the plan.

"He is making efforts to improve the property," Derhammer said. "My concerns were parking and emergency egress."

The request had previously been denied by borough zoning officer Duane Dellecker.

In his rejection letter, dated April 26, Dellecker stated that the property, listed as 744 Mauch Chunk Road on the application, is listed as 748 and 750 Mauch Chunk Road on the Palmerton Borough Tax Maps.

The property, located at 748 and 750 Mauch Chunk Road, is in an R-2 (Residential-Medium Density) zoning district, Dellecker stated in his letter.

Dellecker noted that in April of 2006, zoners approved adding two apartments to this property with conditions outlined therein, and that any proposal to modify the decision of the board needed to be presented before the board.

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