A Roofing Contractor's Variance Request Rejected

Posted: May 05, 1988

A Darby Borough roofing contractor's application for a zoning variance to operate a roofing garage and storage facility in a residential neighborhood has been denied by the Borough Zoning Board.

Robert P. Allen and his attorney, John J. Robinson, left a public hearing on the variance Tuesday before the board voted unanimously to deny Allen's request to convert 231 Lawrence Ave. into a roofing garage.

Testimony was first presented on the application last month, when the board voted to continue the hearing until Tuesday's meeting.

"We would like to leave now," Robinson told the board after he declined to present further testimony on the application Tuesday. "We'd like permission to be dismissed."

Allen left the hearing, along with several supporters, without waiting to hear the board's decision. He would not comment on the application or why he left the hearing.

After about 10 minutes of deliberation, the board voted to deny the variance because Allen's property created no hardship. The property is zoned R-3 for residential use.

"It's conceivable that the hardship was brought on by himself," said Larry Carola, zoning chairman. "There are other useful purposes the property can be used for. I am in agreement with the opposition expressed by his (Allen's) neighbors."

Carola added that Allen knew he would need a variance to operate the garage when he bought the property.

At the hearing in April, four of Allen's neighbors testified in opposition to the application, saying that the garage would create hazardous conditions for children and increase the noise level of the residential neighborhood.

Council members Robert J. Tyler, Wilbur Smith and Paula Brown also testified against Allen's application at that hearing.

Allen's lawyer contended then that the borough's zoning code provided ''mismatched, spot zoning." He presented no testimony Tuesday.

Carola said Allen might appeal his application to the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.

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