Zoning board OKs variance request

A request for variance has been approved by the Warren County Zoning Hearing Board.

The board met on Wednesday to discuss a request from Ann Swanson for a variance to setback requirements regarding her property at 1123 Howard Road in Pine Grove Twp.

Ed Atwood, who presided over the hearing, noted that the owners are requesting “zero setback resulting in a 100 percent variance.”

Jill Swanson Martone told the board that the intent of a new structure would be for storage and that a foundation already exists at the site.

She said their action would improve the space and would not present any visual issues to the nearest neighbors. Further, placing the building anywhere else would be “problematic” given terrain problems.

Swanson said that the building would be 25 feet from the middle of the roadway.

She said that a barn was located on the foundation many years ago that burned. Placing the structure elsewhere, Swanson said, would require that she install a bridge over a drainage ditch to reach the only other available site.

“To me, that’s not feasible,” she said.

Hearing Board member Patrick Soliday noted that the size of the proposed structure is three feet smaller to the back than the existing foundation.

Zoning Officer Michael Lyon said during the hearing that the department doesn’t comment on variances.

Solicitor Tim Bevevino advised the board that there was no “unrebutted testimony” and that the terrain problems could be categorized as a hardship because they were not created by the applicant. He advised that the board would have the right to approve the request.

The motion brought by the Board approved the request on the condition that the structure be moved the three feet back that is available.