In the zone… Appeal decision hot topic at Denver council meeting

By on February 11, 2015

The atmosphere inside Denver Borough Hall was as icy as the outdoors Monday, Feb. 9, as council members were grilled on a recent vote to appeal a zoning variance.

Theo P. Notaras, realtor and listing agent for the vacant, industrial property at 109 N. Third St., repeatedly questioned council’s vote to appeal the zoning hearing board’s Nov. 26, 2014 decision granting a variance for residential use of the industrial zoned property.

“No one, not one other person,” Notaras emphasized, “has come forward in four years to buy the building. The building has water leaks…and is deteriorating. You’re losing what could be a valuable property on your tax roll.”

When resident Kalie Johnson of 388 Main St. asked specifically how much the taxes are on the building, Notaras did not know and answered in a raised voice.

“I don’t think you need to talk to me that way,” Johnson replied.

Borough Manager Mike Hession said property taxes are a little over $4,000.

“Of course that’s not the school tax,” Hession noted.

After President Blake Daub and Councilmen Christopher Flory and Jason South each answered Notara’s question as to why they voted to appeal the zoning decision, Notaras rephrased the same question again.

Flory and South repeated their answers supporting the integrity of the community’s zoning plan.

“I think I’ve answered that question,” Daub said calmly.

Councilmen Mike Gensemer, Walter Fink, and Matthew Stover were absent.

Notaras had no answer to Hession’s question: “If you’ve had no other offers in four years, and you accepted an offer to sell for $550,000, why is the property still being marketed on the Internet for over $1 million?”

Joseph Valent, the buyer, made the application to the zoning hearing board for the variance.

Notaras departed after stating “the only one with common sense is that man,” pointing to Councilman Mike Cohick, who supported granting the variance.

Notaras then added: “I’m glad I don’t live here.”

In other business:

*Jay Martin, 224 S. Fourth St., explained his request for two variances which will come before the zoning hearing board, concerning the location and size of a storage shed. Due to lot configuration, Martin’s shed would have a two-foot side setback, not six.

*Council tabled discussion on the draft Personnel Policy Manual.

*Council announced that openings exist on the Planning Commission and Shade Tree Commission. Residents interested in serving on these commissions should contact the borough office, 501 Main St. Call 717-336-2831 or email: dobro@ptd.net.

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