JACKSON TWP — With the Seneca Valley School District's new aquatics center upending the district's former maintenance garage, the Jackson Township Zoning Hearing Board conditionally approved a variance Thursday night to build a new garage just 7.5 feet from Seneca School Road.
Chris Voltz, an attorney for the district, argued that the topography of the land made it impossible to meet the township's 40-foot setback requirement. In fact, he added, this would move the setback more than a foot back from the current 6-foot distance of the house currently on the property.
Shortly after the planned edge of the garage is a 20-foot drop. Voltz said that hill makes the property “unique.”
According to Voltz, this means maintenance workers would have to park their cars on the road's shoulder and clear a steep driveway in the winter to ensure they would not slide down the hill.
Voltz further argued that a variance is not only necessary due to the topography of the parcel but also due to the need for a maintenance garage before winter storms.
“We need to get our equipment under roof before the inclement weather starts,” he added.
Because township ordinances require school-designated parcels to have a minimum of 10 acres, the board required the school district to consolidate this parcel with the existing school property before officially granting the variance.
The planned garage is a prefabricated metal building measuring 3,750 square feet. The district plans for the building to be three bays wide with garage doors on both sides. Allison Mason, who manages the project with IKM Architecture, said the planned structure would be smaller than the previous garage.