Newtown News of Interest
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October 26, 2023 7:37 AM!

#NewtownPA Supervisors Defend Zoning, Oppose Variance For New Daycare, Medical Office

#NewtownPA Supervisors Defend Zoning, Oppose Variance For New Daycare, Medical Office | Newtown News of Interest |

On [25 October 2023] the #NewtownPA Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to oppose a variance request by Durham Investments to build a 10,000 square foot day care center, a 10,000 square foot medical office and to convert an existing attached dwelling into office space with associated parking at 413 Durham Road.

Durham is seeking 39.4 percent impervious coverage where 30 percent is the maximum allowed under the ordinance in the zoning district.

The supervisors agreed to send its solicitor to the Nov. 2 zoning hearing board meeting to oppose the requested relief.

“We should stick to our ordinances,” said Supervisor Elen Snyder. “I don’t think that kind of increase [27% increase] in impervious coverage) is acceptable.” 

“I don’t buy their argument that other townships have a lot higher impervious surface limit,” added Supervisor John Mack. “Newtown is Newtown and they should obey our laws. I’m really sick and tired of developers coming before the board most of the time asking for an increase in impervious surface. There’s a reason why we have this and I’m against this (request).”


johnmacknewtown's insight:


One reason for justifying the relief according to Edward F. Murphy, Esq., Wisler Pearlstine LLP , representing the applicant is “The maximum allowable impervious surface ratio in the PS-2 Professional Service District is 30%. Such a ratio is unreasonably limiting, recognizing that non-residential properties typically enjoy impervious surface ratios at least double that 30% allowance in most Bucks County municipalities.


I find it insulting to insinuate that Newtown’s impervious surface ordinance is “unreasonable.” Also, just because other municipalities may allow a higher percentage is not a good reason to allow this appeal. Although this seems like a minimum overage of permitted impervious surface, it seems like every development application seeks such variance. Although it is “promised” that mitigation will be addressed at land development, there is no guarantee that such mitigation will be approved and/or that it will be adequately maintained (who has oversight?). Eventually, these variances will amount to a deteriorating management of storm water that may overwhelm our drainage system and result in more flooding.


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Newtown News of Interest
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