SADSBURY TOWNSHIP — A request for zoning variances for a proposed small housing development on Conneaut Lake Park property has been rejected by Sadsbury Township Zoning Hearing Board.

Todd Joseph of Keldon Holdings LLC, the owner of the park, sought variances for both reduced lot size area and building setback requirements for a proposed 0.723-acre lot. Keldon Holdings LLC was seeking the variances so it could subdivide the lot at the southern end of Comstock Street.

Keldon's preliminary plans submitted to the township proposed either five three-story single-family homes on lots of about 5,000 square feet each or three three-story duplex units.

The subdivision request was rejected by the township's zoning office since the lots didn't meet these minimum requirements for a suburban residential zone where the 0.723-acre lot would be: the minimum lot width of 100 feet; the required minimum total lot area of 25,000 square feet since the property has water and sewer access; or the minimum setbacks for 25 feet for side and rear yards.

Keldon then filed an appeal for variances with the township's Zoning Hearing Board.

Joseph told the board the proposal was to develop the property while conforming to the character of the cottages of the surrounding area.

Cottages in the area adjacent to Keldon's site are zoned as lake area residential. A lake area residential zone has minimum lot sizes of 10,000 square feet; lot width of 75 feet; and 10 feet for side yards and 25 feet for rear yards.

At Wednesday night's hearing, board members Alan Heil, Vickie Leap and Carol Kingzett voted in favor of only one hardship — access to the property via Comstock Street. The property's entrance on Comstock was 40.91 feet wide, barely above the minimum of a 40-foot right-of-way; they did approve a variance for that on a 3-0 vote.

Members then voted 3-0 that they found no other hardships.

"Implicit in the rest of this is that we don't find a hardship at this juncture to allow us to further subdivide it," Harry White, the board's attorney, told Joseph.

The proposed 0.723-acre lot at 31,493 square feet does have enough square footage to allow for a multi-family dwelling, White said. However, Sadsbury Township Board of Supervisors would have to approve it via a conditional use.

The Zoning Hearing Board will issue a findings of fact and conclusions of law report on its decision in about a week, White told Joseph and a crowd of about a dozen on hand for Wednesday's hearing.

Once the report is issued, Keldon would have up to 30 days to file an appeal of the board's ruling with Crawford County Court of Common Pleas.

Joseph didn't respond to the Tribune's request for comment following the hearing. 

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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