Salisbury Press

Thursday, December 14, 2017

ZONING HEARING BOARD

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Local News

Plan for house tabled; more information sought

A plan for a house proposed to be built along Chestnut Hill Road in a westernmost area of Salisbury Township near Emmaus has been tabled by the township zoning hearing board.

The zoners’ 5-0 vote moved the proposal to the next zoning board hearing, 7 p.m. Sept. 5 in the township municipal building, 2900 S. Pike Ave.

“I would like to suggest you continue it until next month,” zoning board member Ronald Evans said.

Evans moved to table the plan, seconded by zoning hearing board member Edward Hare.

Zoners said they needed more information about the plan, especially a more detailed map of the natural features of the site.

The site is in the R-2 District, a low density residential district that provides for mostly single-family detached housing.

The representative of the property owner said the property had been approved years ago by township zoners and should not need to be resubmitted.

“The majority of this has been approved for this lot. What we’re asking is that it be applied to this parcel,” Brian Spray, of Integrated Engineering, Quakertown, said, representing Benjamin Hoffman, the property owner.

Atty. Victor F. Cavacini, of Gross McGinley, LLP, zoning board solicitor and Cynthia Sopka, township director of planning and zoning, disagreed, and the zoners’ vote backed them up, requiring a new plan to be submitted.

Plans for the 1.6-acre lot, 87 Chestnut Hill Road, were approved in 2005 by township zoners.

“In the time that this was approved in 2005 and when Ben [Hoffman] purchased the property, there were changes in the zoning ordinance,” Spray said.

It was said Hoffman purchased the property in 2014.

“You don’t get the benefit of using the zoning approval you got in 2005. That’s long ago,” Cavacini said, adding, “You’re going to have to amend your application.”

Said Sopka, examining the submitted plan, “We can’t determine where the steep slopes are.”

Some slopes on the property are said to be 36 to 40 percent.

“We’re asking you to give us the information required by the ordinance,” Cavacini said. “We’re not doing this to be difficult, but we need the information,” Cavacini said.

Township Consulting Engineer David J. Tettemer must review the plan and the Lehigh County Conservation District must also review the plan.

Variances sought for five sections of the township zoning ordinance include:

•Location of an enclosed floor must be at least six inches above the seasonal high-water table.

•Disturbance of slopes is needed to allow development of a single building. Disturbance of slopes more than 25 percent is not permitted.

•Slopes of more than 30 percent will not be altered or disturbed.

•The maximum slope from excavation or earth fill shall be three-feet horizontal to one-foot vertical.