Landowner appeals Cecil Zoning Board decision over building permit

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Landowner Andrew Puchany, of Muse, is appealing a Cecil Township Zoning Board decision from June 11 that denied him a permit to build a parking platform on his property in Cecil.


Puchany and his attorney, Jeff Derrico, allege that Puchany faced a “tremendous amount of pressure” from Cecil Township to make repairs to his two rental properties, including the construction of a parking platform at his 32 Birch Way property, according to the notice of appeal.


Puchany was issued a notice of violation by Mark Whalen, code enforcement officer, which stated he needed to repair the parking platform. According to the notice, “All appeals of the decision of the code official, a notice or an order issued under the property maintenance code are to be filed with the District Justice.”


Puchany said in his appeal he was forced by township officials to enter into a contract with a contractor to construct the parking platform. Puchany made a $500 downpayment to the contractor, and a penalty clause was included in the contract. The total cost for the proposed project was $11,956.


Construction began March 1, but the project was immediately halted by township officials, who said a building permit was required.


Puchany applied for a building permit March 4 and was denied June 11 by the zoning board, which stated in a letter that the permit application did not comply with several sections of the township’s unified development ordinance.


According to the notice of appeal, Puchany’s building permit should be considered a “deemed” approval because the township did not act in a timely manner on the permit application. Township ordinance requires permits to be granted or denied within 20 days of the date that the zoning officer considers the application complete, except for commercial and industrial permits.


Puchany has lived in one of the units on Birch Way and has rented the other to tenants in the past, but both are currently unoccupied.


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