Mrs. Leland moved to approve the minutes of May 11, 2010 and Mr. Allen seconded. Mr. Motel called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Frank Boyle was present to discuss how to obtain approval for an outdoor seating area and make parking lot improvements at the Office Bar and Grille at Warner Lane and Morehall Road. Mr. Boyle said he wants to improve the property in phases. Phase I would add a green courtyard area to the property to be used for outdoor dining. Later phases would add more parking, trees and shrubs.
Mr. Motel explained to those present that a sketch plan is used to elicit comments before the applicant invests in an engineered plan, which makes the process more productive as a whole.
Mr. Boyle said his contractor drew a plan for the entire property that shows additional pervious materials and also greens up the property. He asked the Planning Commission to focus on the patio proposal, which will beautify the property and bring in revenue he needs as a new business owner.
Mr. Boyle said he won’t lose any parking where the patio is proposed because there’s currently a septic area underneath. He wants to connect to public sewer and has been in touch with the Valley Forge Sewer Authority. They advised him that he’d have to pay to extend a lateral from his property to James Otis Drive, which future users can avail themselves of. The sewer tie-in has an estimated cost of $100,000 and the patio, $40,000.
Mr. Kohli said Mr. Boyle will have to apply to the Zoning Hearing Board for a variance to permit the outdoor seating because it’s an expansion of a non-conforming use due to the setback issues.
Mr. Kohli referred to comment #4 in his review letter dated 6/3/2010 which indicates that the applicant must decide whether he intends to develop the property under NC-1 or TND-3 zoning regulations. Mr. Theurkauf indicated in his review memorandum dated 6/4/10, comment #1, that it would generally be more difficult to meet the requirements of the TND zoning. He said it would be better to apply the NC-1 zoning to the property.
Mr. Boyle said the parking is not to scale on the sketch, and noted that the buffer is still in place. He obtained the plan from the previous owner. Mr. Kohli said the Township will need to see the parking layout for the front area, which has no stone base and is in need of re-paving. Mr. Boyle said his insurance company has advised him to take care of this within 30 days. They also want mitigation of the septic system which they deem a tripping hazard.
Mr. Boyle then reviewed Mr. Theurkauf’s review memo. For comment #1, he indicated he’ll opt to develop the property under the NC-1 zoning regulations. He said comments #2-#7 relating to parking don’t apply to the patio and will be done in future phases. Mr. Theurkauf said the final parking configuration needs to be considered up front, so there are some issues included in comments #2- #7 that need to be addressed now. He noted that one parking space that backs out onto Morehall Road should be eliminated now as it’s a safety hazard.
Mr. Kohli said the circulation of the parking needs improvement. He said the number of spaces is adequate but the striping is non-compliant and must be re-striped to the Township standards. Mr. Motel noted that the ordinance requires 10’ x 20’ spaces, but a waiver can be requested for smaller spaces. Mr. Boyle asked if he can proceed with re-paving the front lot now, and Mr. Kohli said yes, as long as there is no expansion and the new material is placed only over the existing material.
Mr. Motel said he had no problem with a phased plan so the back lot can be paved later. Mr. Kohli advised Mr. Boyle that a phasing plan should be submitted as soon as possible. Mr. Motel asked if Mr. Boyle can add the patio now, but Mr. Kohli said a land development plan will be needed before that can be approved. He asked if Chester Valley Engineers was going to prepare the site plan, and Mr. Boyle said yes. Mr. Kohli said it should show the stormwater management, parking lot striping and elevations. Mr. Boyle asked if he needed a stormwater plan to surface the front lot, and Mr. Kohli said no; just for the other parking areas.
Mr. Boyle said the patio area will increase the amount of pervious surface on the property. Mr. Kohli said a waiver is needed first from the Board of Supervisors because it’s an accessory structure that will be located in a side yard abutting a street, as referenced in section 1607.A.2 of the Zoning Ordinance. He said the patio will also need zoning hearing board approval because it will be located in the setback. It must be 20 feet from the road but will only be nine feet away.
Mr. Kohli said that Mr. Boyle will also need to go to the Sewer Authority plus submit a Sewage Facilities Planning Module to the DEP prior to submitting a land development plan. He cautioned that Planning Module approval can take some time because sign offs are needed from other municipalities in the Authority, including Tredyffrin and East Whiteland Townships. Mr. Boyle said the VFSA has already approved the capacity. Mr. Motel suggested that Mr. Boyle meet with Mr. Kohli on the sewer requirements later and speak with the Administrator about scheduling with the Zoning Hearing Board.
Mr. Motel asked the Planning Commission for comments. Mr. Allen said he’s concerned about the encroachment into the setbacks with the high amount of traffic that passes by. He said he’s not necessarily opposed to the improvements but needs to see the whole site plan. Mr. Boyle said there is 10 feet between the curb and proposed patio and there will be a lot of shrubs and trees between them, plus the patio will be elevated. Mr. Kohli clarified the distance is 4-5 feet from the Warner Lane right of way. He said safety bollards may be needed.
Mrs. Leland agreed with the safety concerns. Mr. Westhafer asked if the patio could be placed elsewhere, but Mr. Boyle said the entrance to the kitchen dictates its location to a large extent. Mr. Westhafer suggested adding to the screening and elevating the wall more. Mr. Kohli said an enlargement of the location plan shown in the corner of the sketch plan should suffice for Mr. Boyle to obtain the zoning variance and Board of Supervisors waiver for the patio if the grading and setback details are added.
Mr. Motel and Mr. Allen concurred that the Planning Commission needs to see a site plan before the July 13th meeting so a recommendation can be made. Guidance should be obtained from Mr. Kohli beforehand, and the plan must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting.
Mrs. Leland asked how many parking spaces will be in the back, and Mr. Boyle said 30 would be the maximum if they decide to do it all. He said he wants to separate the front and back lots, although Mr. Kohli thought that connection should remain to prevent cars from going in and out of the roads. Mr. Theurkauf asked if the setbacks for the back lot could be considered an existing non-conforming use, and Mr. Kohli said they cannot.
Mr. Motel said the decision to develop under the NC-1 zoning should be noted on the plans. Mrs. Leland said she liked the idea of a patio addition to the restaurant.
The applicant will return to the Planning Commission with a site plan.
There was a 10 minute recess.
Mr. Motel said the purpose this evening is a discussion and information session only. The Planning Commission will not be making any recommendations tonight, and discussion will continue at the July 13th meeting. He said in Charlestown, as in most Pennsylvania municipalities, zoning ordinances regulate agricultural uses, and Charlestown’s zoning section 1614 is not unlike the zoning regulations of other neighboring townships. He said the Supervisors and Planning Commission have been considering amendments to Section 1614 for some time, as parcels over 25 acres in size are presently unregulated.
Mr. Motel said the Planning Commission wants to understand the issues, including the impact on animal owners if they’re required to create a buffer zone adjacent to riparian areas like streams, springs, wetlands, etc. Impacts would include the cost of creating such a buffer zone and the loss of pasture. He said everyone will have an opportunity to express their views at this meeting or subsequent meetings, and will have a chance to ask questions. This meeting is intended to be an educational session for both the residents and the Planning Commission, and after continued discussion in July, the matter will most likely continue to be addressed in September after the August recess. Again he encouraged participation from those present.
Mr. Motel said that in addition to the issue of parcels over 25 acres in size being unregulated, they want to learn more about fields and pastures, both their present condition and desired condition, and riparian buffers where livestock are generally excluded from streams and wetland areas.
Mr. Motel introduced Dan Miloser from the Chester County Conservation District (CCCD) and Dan Miller from the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. He recognized former Pa. Representative Art Hershey, who is also a farmer, and Pete Goodman from the Valley Forge Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Mr. Miloser gave a PowerPoint presentation that is attached to the minutes for reference. It began with an overview of the services provided by the CCCD, noting that they are a non-regulatory agency. He gave details on the Nutrient Management Act, which applies to farms with an animal equivalent unit (AEU) of 2 or more per acre and requires a Nutrient Management Plan. Photos of riparian buffers and stream crossings were shown.
Mr. Motel asked about a fence on one of the slides where the fence appeared to be only about 10 feet away from the stream bank. He noted that there is some significance to a 35 foot buffer under the Clean Streams Act and that certain tax benefits are provided under PA code. Mr. Miloser said a lot of municipalities require a 35 foot buffer because of the availability of cost/share programs. Mr. Motel postulated that any buffer is preferable to none.
Liz Andersen asked how a fenced buffer is maintained, by mowing or allowing invasives to grow? Mr. Miloser said that the CCCD can give recommendations on mowing since they vary depending on climate conditions and the individual’s needs. John Muldoon said he’s been told to buffer a stream on his property but can’t do it because of a gas line easement where he can’t place fencing. The pipeline company maintains a 50 foot mown path and would tear it up. Mr. Miloser suggested he contact the pipeline company and place a PA One Call which would bring them out to mark their easement. Mr. Muldoon said he’s having difficulty figuring out how to comply since concrete isn’t advisable with horses. Mr. Miloser recommended stone.
Mr. Motel asked if the CCCD allows limited, intense grazing to help control invasives. Mr. Miloser said this is called “flash grazing” and can be acceptable if done in 24 hours or less. Mr. Motel said while the Andersens have cows and goats, most present this evening have horses. For horse farms, how can they deal with a riparian buffer other than by mowing? Some of the audience responded they weed whack. Mr. Motel asked what problems arise by keeping the buffer in a natural state. Stephanie Flett responded that this attracts other forms of wildlife, some of which carry rabies. A natural buffer brings them in closer contact with the landowner’s horses. Another woman said invasives can destroy the stream, to which Mr. Muldoon agreed. He added that he has to provide a buffer as part of a conservation easement agreement, and he finds using wire fencing to be the easiest solution. Mr. Motel said there are some positives to allowing a natural state because this shades the stream, which in turn lowers the temperature, increases the oxygen levels and maintains the channel depth.
Mr. Muldoon asked why the farm owners are expected to limit their activities when agencies like PennDOT can do whatever they want. At Deerfield, PennDOT has a stormwater run off pipe that sends water and road salt directly into the stream. Runoff from the development goes there as well. Stephanie Flett said on her property, where she has horses, there’s a small stream made entirely of runoff from the Valley Forge Christian College. It’s about 40 feet in length and is sometimes dry. Is this defined as a creek? Mr. Motel said according to the Clean Streams Law, the definition of “waters of the Commonwealth” would include everything; however, the Township can define riparian areas differently, for example, specifying that they be perennial streams and headwaters. Mr. Motel said that John Muldoon has the Pigeon Run Creek on his property, which should be considered differently than a swale on another property. The individual farm owner may have concerns about their animals grazing near pollutants from a runoff area but that can be the farmer’s business to address, not the Township’s. He said Mr. Muldoon’s situation is different from the concerns of Section 1614 since he has a contractual agreement to abide by. If there is an issue with PennDOT regarding run off it can be dealt with separately, noting the Township has had a good relationship with PennDOT in recent years. He said he’d be glad to work with Mr. Muldoon in contacting them. Mr. Muldoon said it isn’t a problem and doesn’t need to be addressed.
Supervisor Kevin Kuhn said that in the past, agencies like PennDOT and the Turnpike Commission weren’t required to observe local zoning laws, but now, with the Clean Streams Act, they do have to address stormwater issues when they expand. Mr. Motel added that any land development applicants also have to meet the ordinance requirements, giving a minor 2-lot subdivision presently under review as an example.
Pete Goodman said he’s a resident as well as a representative for the Valley Forge chapter of Trout Unlimited and that he’s dealt with the Turnpike Commission for 8 years on the slip ramp issue and now on the widening project. The group is trying to get them to cooperate with handling their stormwater and has two meetings coming up next month. The State has proposed a law requiring a 150 foot buffer from high value and exceptional value streams, which would include the Valley and Pickering Creeks. Mr. Muldoon asked if property owners would have to comply with this requirement by moving their fence lines, and Mr. Goodman said they would probably be grandfathered.
Marcia Solda said farm owners have a limited number of animals but her property and many others have been overtaken by geese, which are worse polluters. Mr. Motel said this is a problem caused by farm ponds and not something the Planning Commission can control.
Alix Coleman said lawn fertilizer treatments should also be looked at. Most farmers don’t use these chemicals but owners of smaller properties do. Mr. Kuhn said the Deerfield Homeowners Association documents include some restrictions on lawn treatments. Mr. Motel noted that enforcement is another issue that’s hard to balance with the Township’s low overhead strategy. He said he would encourage voluntary cooperation rather than an ordinance to address this. He said for home construction, the riparian buffer in Charlestown is 100 feet, which the County criticized as a weak requirement. The separation between septic and well is also 100 feet, yet the ordinance is silent on animal pollutants. This is why the entire Section 1614 is being reviewed.
Mr. Motel acknowledged that some pasture and prime grazing area is lost when a riparian buffer is added, which is why he’s leaning toward requiring any buffer over none. He said each farm has unique circumstances, and he encouraged farm owners to work with the CCCD on a cooperative basis. He urged owners to contact them for assistance in developing nutrient management plans.
Art Hershey said the CCCD was established in 1948 and at the 50th anniversary in 1998, the Governor of Delaware was a guest speaker, addressing the importance of taking care of the soil and streams. Mr. Hershey said if it hadn’t been for the conservation measures that helped develop Marsh Creek State Park and other areas, the city of Wilmington would have had no drinking water during the 2002 drought. He encouraged the farm owners to work with the CCCD.
Dan Miller said he’s been working in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which includes almost all of Lancaster County. The EPA has been focusing on this area in the past six months so the farmers in that area have come up with their own program called “Fence it Out”. The Plan includes different variations of fencing that start at a 10 foot buffer and go up from there. He said there is a federal program, CREP, that will pay a farmer to put in a riparian buffer with fences, crossings and trees, paying up to 140% of the cost plus a rental payment for 15 years afterward. To be eligible, the land must be in productive use.
John Hausladen asked for clarification on animal equivalent units and riparian areas. Mr. Motel said they are two separate issues. AEUs are related to nutrient management only. Charlestown’s ordinance states you must have 4 gross acres for one horse, then 1 gross acre for each additional horse, on properties up to 25 acres in size. Properties over 25 acres are not regulated.
Jeanette Grabe said that Charlestown’s ordinance Section 1614 differs from subsection 519D of the 2005 Nutrient Management Act 38, which states that no municipality should have rules stricter than the state, which allows two animal units per acre. The Act includes a table to determine animal units by weight. She said many townships have adopted ordinances that are in compliance with this act. Mr. Motel said Charlestown will follow the advice of its solicitor on this issue. Mr. Kuhn said Act 38 applies to nutrient management, not livestock in the field. Mrs. Leland added that she, Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Motel recently attended a manure management seminar and have information they’re still reviewing.
Mr. Motel said this discussion will continue in July and suggested those in attendance check with the Township office or the website for details on the agenda when it becomes available. He encouraged everyone to take copies of handouts made available this evening and to do some internet research before the meeting.
There was a ten minute recess.
Paul Gluchanicz, Neal Camens, P.E. and Greg Davis, Esq. were present to continue the review on Mr. Gluchanicz’ conditional use and subdivision plan. The subdivision plan was last revised 5/24/2010.
Mr. Gluchanicz said after the last meeting he determined that the best compromise for the driveway to access the new lot would be to extend the existing driveway to the farmhouse. The plan was then modified and resubmitted. Mr. Motel said this was a smart move, to avoid using the flag easement or meandering around the easement area. He asked if a PennDOT permit will still be required. Mr. Camens said yes, because they’ll be widening the base where it meets Charlestown Road.
Mr. Motel asked for comments on the driveway location from the commission members. Mr. Westhafer said he thinks it’s a better location than those previously proposed because it causes less grading and tree disturbance. Mr. Allen said he is fine with it although it compromises the farmhouse. Mrs. Leland agreed this was a good location.
Mr. Westhafer asked if the sight lines are shown on the plans, and Mr. Camens referred him to a separate sheet, “Sight Lines Profile” and explained the diagram.
Mr. Gluchanicz then addressed comments on Thomas Comitta Associates’ review letter of May 28, 2010. He said all items have been resolved except item #6, which calls for 4” caliper trees rather than 3” caliper as shown on the plans. He said they’ll make this revision.
Mr. Motel asked if the Planning Commission wants to require the street trees. Mr. Allen said yes, but they can be relocated on the property since they’re not desired along the road. Mr. Camens said they’ll be glad to relocate them. Mr. Theurkauf said the Planning Commission should then make a recommendation of a waiver to allow relocation of the six trees. Mr. Camens indicated one tree is an existing one, so there would only be five trees to relocate. Mr. Allen was agreeable to relocation with Mr. Theurkauf’s approval, but doesn’t want to see a monoculture. Mr. Theurkauf said this shouldn’t be a problem with five trees, and they’ll obtain a planning detail.
Mr. Gluchanicz then explained his intentions for the buildings on the property. In the short term, he will abandon the continuing nonconforming business use of the fur shop and will instead use it as an accessory structure for personal storage. The farmhouse will be rented out. In the long term, he would make the fur shop the principal use as a residence and rent the farmhouse as an adaptive reuse. Mr. Motel asked if he intended to convert the farmhouse into two rental units, and Mr. Gluchanicz said no.
Mr. Allen asked if he still plans to build a third house behind the farmhouse, and Mr. Gluchanicz said yes. Mrs. Leland asked if the garage would be modified later and he said yes. Mr. Kohli said the intention to abandon the nonconforming use of the fur shop should be added to the plans. Mr. Camens said he will do so.
Mr. Davis asked what has to be done to convert the fur shop to a principal use. Mr. Kohli said it’s just a zoning issue and no Planning Commission approval would be needed; it just needs to be documented on the plan.
Mr. Gluchanicz addressed comments on Mr. Kohli’s review letter dated 6/8/10 as follows:
Item #6 – Clarify information on steep slope disturbance: will comply.
Item #8 – Planning Commission to review acceptability of compliance with steep slope conditional use standards: Mr. Gluchanicz said the information is provided and just needs the review this evening.
Item #13 – PennDOT Highway Occupancy Permit required: will comply.
Item #16 – Stormwater runoff exiting the driveway and entering the roadway: Mr. Kohli said they need to ensure no runoff onto the road by creating a sheet flow with no overflow into the stream.
Item #17 – Mr. Camens asked what evidence of adequacy is needed to show on-lot water is available for Lot 2. Mr. Kohli said a statement should be added to the plan on the availability.
Item #18 - Mr. Camens said he’ll clarify how the storage volume of the driveway trenches was modeled. Mr. Allen asked if stepped drainage is provided. Mr. Camens said there will be stone trenches on either side of the driveway that will be stepped with the bottom of each infiltrate to be flat with little cut off walls if needed. Mr. Allen asked if they know the ground will percolate. Mr. Camens said even if perc is extremely slow the system would still function. He’ll work on this with Mr. Kohli. Mr. Motel asked if the system is above ground, and Mr. Camens said no.
Item #20 – Regarding stepping of drainage – was addressed with Item #18 above.
Item #21 – drainage area plans for the stormwater system must be provided showing the existing and proposed drainage areas to each bed: will comply.
Mr. Gluchanicz noted that he’s meeting with the HARB next week to seek their recommendation, but the Planning Commission indicated this isn’t needed at this time since the plans were revised.
Mr. Motel asked if Mr. Findlay, a neighbor to the property, had any comments. Mr. Findlay said the driveway proposal is better for him and he believes for his neighbors as well. He said he reviewed the plans at the Township office but didn’t see parking provided. Mr. Gluchanicz said there will be parking where the existing turnaround is.
Mr. Findlay said he appreciates the focus on stormwater management, noting that his neighbor Dr. Swartley was very concerned.
Mr. Findlay suggested taking the neighbors’ suggestions as to where the relocated trees might be placed, saying this would be a nice gesture. He then asked if the well for the proposed new house will be in the deed restricted area of that parcel. Mr. Camens said no, it’s 75 feet away.
Mr. Allen asked if he needs to provide a pull off area from the driveway so two cars can pass. Mr. Kohli said no, since the sight lines are clear.
Mr. Motel moved to recommend approval of the minor subdivision plan and conditional use application for Paul Gluchanicz last revised 5/24/10, subject to the comments on Mr. Kohli’s review letter dated 6/8/10 and Mr. Theurkauf’s review memorandum dated 5/28/2010 and further recommended approval for the placement of the driveway in the location shown on the plan through steep and very steep slopes with the grading disturbance as indicated. She further recommended approval of a waiver to allow relocation of the required street trees. Mrs. Leland seconded. Mr. Motel called for discussion, and there being none further, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Motel referenced a document provided by Mr. Mallich that summarizes the changes included in the 5/7/10 document as compared to the adopted 4/7/08 ordinance. That summary dated 6/4/10 is attached as Addendum #2 to the minutes.
Mr. Allen moved to recommend approval of the Amendments to the Traditional Neighborhood Development Ordinance, last revised 5/7/2010, and Mr. Motel seconded. Mr. Motel called for discussion. Mr. Comitta said he, solicitor Mark Thompson and Dan Mallich met on May 6 and 7 and made the final adjustments to the ordinance. Mr. Motel called the vote, and all were in favor.
John Mosteller and Eric Schrock were present from Dewey Land LP for completion of the review of the Design Manual for Spring Oak, along with Bill Warwick and Doug Olson from Barton Partners.
Mr. Allen said this evening the Planning Commission would only review the architectural portion of the Design Manual. The remaining items related to the Spring Oak application would be addressed at the June 22nd meeting, including site lighting, the community center, entrance features, parks and gardens and alley curbing.
Mr. Allen said he’d like the Homeowners’ Association to protect the streams by limiting use of fertilizers as was done at the Deerfield development. Mr. Mostoller said he’d look at the Deerfield HOA document at the Township Office.
Mr. Mostoller said that for the June 22nd meeting, Dewey LP will send the revised materials directly to the Planning Commission members to expedite review so they can provide feedback to him prior to the meeting.Completion of Design Manual Review
The Review continued where it left off at the May 11, 2010 meeting, on page 67.
Specific comments were as follows:
|68||Wording changes in the Overview are acceptable.|
|69||Streetscape: Will add note that some architectural elements may change from the model row but will be similar types. Mr. Westhafer said the drawing isn’t to scale so the units are closer to the street than they appear, which should be noted.|
|70-71||Drawing style to be changed to be consistent with the other sketches.|
|72||Mr. Mostoller confirmed that some units may be constructed with the deep hip roofs as shown.|
|73||Depiction of shutter hardware added. Stone façade will be changed to go all the way up the building with the small amount removed from under the porch.|
|74||Same drawing style as pages 70 & 71, needs to be changed.|
|75-78||Added disclaimer verbiage acceptable to Mr. Frens.|
|79||Change “Skylights shall be a flat profile type and shall be visible from the front of the house…” to “…shall not be visible from the front of the house…” Provide page reference to footnote at bottom of pages throughout this section stating “please see the Urban Design section of this Manual”|
|80||Will remove synthetic slate sample for midnight black.|
|82||Confirmed that reference to “paint” should remain because some trim will be painted.|
|83||Picture added to show stone with brick detailing.|
|84||Added stone patterns and indicated that it is natural stone but may be veneer type. There will be no “floating” stone walls.|
|85||Clarification on muntin grids, adding verbiage to allow grids between window panes.|
|86||Question about whether screen doors will be permitted – manual will remain silent on this question.|
|87||Delete sentence on infill shutters to include hinges.|
|88||Reference to thick vinyl should be removed.|
|89||Change reference to subsystems to steel framing.|
|90||Downspouts to be avoided in front of house.|
|91||Remove small dormer in right bottom picture. Gable end chimneys to be masonry or brick.|
|92||Change garage depicted in bottom right picture.|
|93||New image needed for picture on right. Mr. Comitta will provide alternates.|
Mrs. Leland moved to recommend approval of the Design Manual for Spring Oak, last revised 4/23/10, incorporating the comments from this evening and from previous meetings, and Mr. Motel seconded. Mr. Motel called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:12 p.m.
|Addendum 1:||CCCD PowerPoint Presentation — “Understanding Agricultural Requirements and how the Chester County Conservation District Can Help” (Converted to PDF.)|
|Addendum 2:||Major Differences Between the TND Ordinance 4-7-08 Provisions and the 5-7-10 Edits|