Wendy Leland, Chairman, Michael Allen, Michael Churchill, Michael Richter, Surender Kohli, P.E., Dan Wright, P.E. (arrived later), Tom Comitta, Dale Frens, Linda Csete and those on the attached sign-in sheet.

Call to Order:

7:36 p.m.


Mrs. Leland made the following announcements:

  1. Progressive Insurance will be moved up to #1 on the agenda this evening.
  2. Last week, our Township Solicitor Jim McErlane was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year for 2011 by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce. He was recognized for his service in many local service organizations, and the Planning Commission congratulates him.
  3. She reminded residents and Planning Commission members to complete and return their Parks & Open Space questionnaires they received in the mail, and to attend the February 29th meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Charlestown Elementary School where work will begin on the ten year update to the Township’s Open Space & Recreation Plan. She applauded the efforts of the Parks & Rec Board and Trail Committee on this project.

Approval of January 10, 2012 Minutes

Mrs. Leland asked if the PECO meeting has been scheduled with representatives from the Township, Dewey Homes and J. Loew and Associates regarding placement of utilities underground in the TND District. Mr. Richter said Tim Townes is the one trying to set it up, and he sent PECO an email on 1/11/12 that is still waiting for a response. Mr. Allen suggested that Mr. Mostoller also press PECO to move forward. Mr. Mostoller said the utility placement will be a condition of final approval.

Mr. Churchill moved to approve the minutes of January 10, 2012 and Mr. Richter seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Progressive Insurance Final Plan

Greg Adelman, Esq. and Andrew DeFonzo, P.E. of D.L. Howell & Associates were present to discuss the amended final land development plan for Progressive Insurance at Lot 15, 71 General Warren Blvd, Commons @ Great Valley.

Mr. Adelman said that this project received final approval five years ago for an 18,900 square foot facility on six acres on General Warren Boulevard. The facility would allow Progressive clients to drive a damaged car into a bay, process a claim and obtain a rental car. Progressive would then contact a repair shop to tow the car to their garage for repair and return to this facility.

Mr. Adelman said that since the economy dropped in 2007, the project was put on hold and they are now returning with a request for approval of some amendments to the final plan. They had proposed a rectangular building and 38.5% impervious coverage on the site. Now the building design has been refined and the size decreased by 10 square feet. Impervious coverage has decreased by a quarter acre, or 4%. Present impervious coverage will be torn up and restored to green space.

(Dan Wright arrived at this time.)

Mr. Adelman said the same use is proposed and although they’ve requested amended Final Plan approval, the Township Solicitor Mark Thompson suggested this be termed an amended Preliminary/Final Plan. Mr. Adelman said new stormwater management plan approval is necessary and he displayed that plan.

Mr. Adelman indicated that the original plan had two accesses off General Warren Boulevard while this plan shows just one that will be serve as both an entrance and exit. Mr. Churchill asked how many parking spaces were added, and Mr. DeFonzo said two.

The applicants then addressed comments in Mr. Wright’s review letter dated 2/7/2012 as follows.

Item #2: Mr. Wright said more information is needed to demonstrate that the required number of parking spaces has been provided.

Item #3: Mr. Wright said clarification is needed on why the Zoning Table shows a -1.33 acre change to the lot but the plan does not. Mr. Adelman said originally there was a lot re-subdivision at the Commons @ Great Valley that decreased Lot 15 by this amount.

Mr. Wright explained items #4-10.

Mr. Adelman agreed to provide the locations of proposed monuments and pins per item #11. Mr. Wright explained items #12-16.

Mr. DeFonzo asked how he should address items #18 & 19 regarding stormwater management. Mr. Wright said he should re-run his calculations, and noted item #20 just provides technical direction.

Mr. DeFonzo said he can supply the data for Items #21 & 22 relating to stormwater management.

Mr. Wright said he and Mr. DeFonzo can work out items #23-28, also related to stormwater management. He said more detail is needed for the Infiltration Basin as described in Items #29 and 30, and an explanation is needed for the Bleeder Drain Detail per Item #31.

Mr. Wright said in general the plans are well done, with revisions and additional details needed to the stormwater management design and documentation on other final plan items. Mrs. Leland said Mr. Wright’s review is very detailed and there seems to be a lot of clean-up needed. Mr. Adelman said there was nothing discussed this evening they can’t comply with. Mr. DeFonzo agreed, even with the raised curb requirements.

Mr. Churchill said no repairs are being done at the proposed facility so there are no concerns over motor oil. Mr. Adelman confirmed this, saying this is for repair of fender benders. Mr. Richter asked how long cars can be stored there, and Mr. Adelman said 48 hours. Some would be inside and others outside screened by fencing.

Mr. Allen moved to recommend approval of the Preliminary/Final Plan for the Progressive Casualty Insurance Company dated 1/16/12 subject to the comments on Mr. Wright’s review letter dated 2/7/2012. Mr. Churchill seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Spring Oak Final Plan

John Mostoller and Eric Schrock of Dewey Homes, Doug Olsen of Barton Associates, and Mr. Cunningham, P.E. of Langan Engineers were present for the review of the Spring Oak Final Plan. Mr. Mostoller distributed a packet of the review letters with their responses.

Mr. Mostoller began with Mr. Comitta/Mr. Mallich’s review memorandum dated 1/26/2012 as follows. All responses are from Mr. Mostoller unless otherwise indicated.

2.C.i Will comply – pool perimeter fence detail is now included in the Plan Set.
2.C.ii Language on the retention of the Spring House will be added to the Plan Set.
2.C.iii Will comply – Change label on Site Plan for all residual walls to read “Low Seat Wall.”
2.C.iv Because of school buses, Mr. Mostoller asked how passing in the drop-off area can be done. Mr. Allen said they eliminated the raised curb and approved the change at the last DRC meeting. Mr. Comitta said this is acceptable.
2.D Regarding greens, Mr. Mostoller questioned the need for trash receptacles on the Village Green as they’re present in adjacent areas. Mr. Olsen said they can add them, however, along with pet waste dispensers, but did not want a gazebo as they want this to be a true open space area. Mr. Allen agreed a gazebo is not needed. Mr. Comitta asked Mr. Olsen to identify the trash receptacle areas. Mr. Richter was concerned with pet receptacles since this area is near homes and could cause an odor problem. Mr. Allen said maintaining them should be the HOA’s responsibility. Mr. Mostoller reiterated he doesn’t want too many trash cans in this area. Mr. Olsen proposed adding trash and dog waste receptacles only, not recycling containers, and the Planning Commission agreed. Mr. Comitta pointed out housekeeping typos to be corrected.
2.E.ii Mr. Comitta asked the applicants to check with Mr. Thompson on adding provisions on the purchase of new play equipment to the Declaration, and Mr. Mostoller agreed to work with him.
2.E.iii Alternate play structure colors will be earth tones
2.E.iv. Will comply. Mr. Olsen said they’ll install flush perimeter curbs to the mulch areas to hold it in place. All agreed.
2.G.i. Slides exhibited the proposed green wall plants showing them along the pool, facing the pool, against the Fillippo property and at the turnaround. Mr. Allen asked for their height, and Mr. Schrock said 40 inches. The walls were shown in red on the overall plan. Mr. Allen said near the entrance from the road to the pond a little change in elevation will be needed.
2.G.ii Will comply by adding the new street and alley names to the Landscape Plans.
2.H.i. Agreed to use matte finishing for the 8 foot high solid privacy fence.
2.H.ii Agreed to clarify where the post and rail fencing will be installed.
2.I.i Will comply, although Mr. Allen indicated they may not want a continuous wooden guiderail along Spring Oak Drive. Mr. Cunningham said the sidewalk is clearly delineated. Mr. Allen said guardrails will prevent vehicles from getting to the basketball courts or gardens if needed. He said openings would also be needed for pedestrians. Mr. Comitta said shorter sections of guiderail could be used in some sections.
2.J.i. Will comply by adding a water connection to the community garden area to the Utility Plan.
2.J.ii Will review the height parameters for the Transco easement.
2.K. Will comply by showing the basketball court instead of street canopy on the streetscape, pedestrian access and parking plans.
2.L. Agreed to change the color for children’s benches to black to match other site furnishings.

Mr. Allen suspended the review to ask who reviews the proposed road names. Mr. Schrock says the postmaster does, to avoid duplications. Mr. Mostoller said the street names were approved at a DRC meeting, and he noted all the alleys are named for shrubs, and no one lives on them.

Review continued.

2.L.3. Mr. Mostoller asked if the DRC will approve the lighting layout once the fixtures are approved by them. Mr. Allen said Mr. Stubbe is concerned the applicant won’t be able to achieve what is shown on the plans. Mr. Allen suggested they meet to discuss it. Mrs. Leland agreed; stating the meeting could be for the Pickering Grant plan too. Mr. Allen said he’ll set up a meeting as soon as possible, hopefully next week. Mr. Comitta suggested Doug Olsen, Stan Stubbe, Mike Allen and Tim Townes attend.

Mr. Olsen suggested they put a note on the plan to safeguard the Township. Mr. Allen said since they can’t finalize the lighting plan until they get a supplier, he thinks they can work out protective language. Mr. Churchill said the Township should have the right to review the lighting plan after the vendor is selected. Mr. Mostoller said they can’t leave this wide open to great variation. Mr. Allen said the applicant needs this to be resolved before site work begins.

Mr. Mostoller said the Township has selected Spring City Lighting as the vendor, but Mr. Allen said he has reservations and that he and Mr. Olsen agreed on the location of the lights but aren’t sure they’ll meet specs since they were moved. From a performance standpoint they need to see the actual light levels.

Mr. Churchill suggested language that the plan represents the acceptable performance standards in the event of a substitute vendor and has the right to review placements to determine those standards are met. Mr. Allen said he’s concerned with the hot spots produced by Spring City Lighting.

Mr. Olsen said balancing is needed. Mr. Mostoller said he would be agreeable to some screening but he wants the fixtures and locations agreed upon, noting that they already agreed upon the vendor and it shouldn’t be changed. He suggested they meet to discuss this further.

Mr. Allen said he’s probably o.k. with the lighting locations but wants Mr. Stubbe’s input. Mr. Frens suggested making an approval subject to finding a fixture without hot spots. Mr. Allen suggested a note that the Township determine if the fixture is suitable by having the applicant bring it to them with shielding and ISOs.

Mr. Allen said this matter can be resolved in a DRC meeting next week and any recommendation this evening would be subject to it.

Mr. Allen said some lighting near the basketball courts and future connector road will create a place for kids to hang out, so he thinks lights are needed closer to the property boundary. Mr. Olsen agreed a fixture or two can be added. Mr. Allen said there’s a similar situation to the east of that location.
4.A Will comply with correcting the parking configuration adjacent to the “eyebrow” green.
4.F Mr. Olsen said they’ll list two manufacturers for the Tactile Warning Strip “or Equal”.
4.G Agreed to check the accuracy of all credits in Appendix B.
5.A Will comply with adding an exemption for Community Garden Area from prohibition against planting within any easements.
6.A Mr. Allen confirmed the DRC agreed that brushed concrete was acceptable for the pool deck surface.
6.B Displayed a slide with a diagram showing cedar beds for the community garden. Mr. Allen asked if nylon would be used to support the fence, and Mr. Cunningham said yes.

Mr. Mostoller went on to address one review comment in Mr. Frens’ letter dated 2/7/2012 as follows.

1 Agreed to change language so windows with muntins have simulated divided light with grids adhered to the glass or grids to be between the panes of glass.

Mr. Mostoller went on to address the review comments in Mr. Wright’s letter dated 1/27/2012 as follows.

1 Agreed to submit their project narrative and building plans with the final land development plans.
2 This ongoing issue with the utility plans and PECO was previously discussed.
3 Sewage Planning Modules are in progress.
4 Will provide feasibility study for the public water supply as required.
5 Will meet with the Township Solicitor to review the bylaws and HOA documents. Mrs. Leland asked Mrs. Csete to communicate to Mr. Thompson that the Planning Commission would like this expedited.

Mr. Richter and Mr. Allen both indicated they have comments as well and will communicate them via email. Mrs. Leland said they can be reviewed during the meeting to be scheduled for the lighting discussion.
6-8 Resolved regarding pipeline documentation, adding street detail, and revising the level spreader for a ten-year storm event.
9 Will comply with providing a list of lots with deed restrictions.
10 Mr. Wright indicated they can work out the construction details of the swales with the applicant.
11 This item regarding calculations on protected area acreage has been resolved.
12 Resolved; additional data has been added to the road profiles.
13 Resolved; they will forward a copy of the NPDES permit to the Township once they receive it.
14 Resolved; they have provided a copy of the Highway Occupancy Permit.
17 Agreed, they will forward a copy of the Sewer Authority’s sanitary sewer approval once they receive it.

Mr. Mostoller then addressed review comments from Mr. Wright from the outstanding conditions of preliminary approval.

He said items #3, 6, 11, 12, 19 and 20 have been resolved. Mr. Allen referred to item #19 that says to add a note indicating the required disclosure of the future roadway layout to the buyers of Units 67 and 68. He said it should also be in the HOA documents for full disclosures.

21 Mr. Wright confirmed with Mr. Mostoller that Dewey will be developing in two phases, so this final approval is for Phase I, and they will have to return to the Township for approval of Phase II.
22-28 Mr. Mostoller agreed to comply with these items.

Mr. Allen asked about the concrete stairs referred to in Item #27 for units with detached garages. Mr. Frens suggested stating “concrete or masonry” and Mr. Mostoller agreed.

Regarding sprinklers, Mr. Mostoller said the current International Building Code requires townhouses to be sprinklered, but not duplexes, although they require a higher fire rating between floors. He said they’ll uphold whatever the code specifies at the time. Mr. Wright agreed.

Mr. Allen said the drawings in the Design Manual relating to Lots 55-57 should include a note they may need to be revised if the future road location is revised.

Mr. Allen said the sewer lines and all utility lines stop at the Fillippo property line, but he proposes extending them down further with a sleeve so that area wouldn’t have to be dug up at a later time. Mr. Cunningham said the sewer line for the Fillippo property runs in the other direction. Mr. Allen asked about the electric and gas lines, and Mr. Cunningham said they don’t expect any utilities will cross the pipeline. Mr. Schrock said the temporary cul-de-sac will be removed at some point anyway.

Mr. Allen said a meeting will be needed to discuss how the permit submissions, reviews and approvals will work, and that Mrs. Csete and building inspector Anthony Merklinger should attend. Pickering Grant permits would be handled the same way.

Mr. Comitta discussed with the Planning Commission how he is called out for inspections and landscape approvals. Inspections typically take place after the developer requests a draw down from his escrow account.

Mr. Comitta asked if there was language in the plans regarding satellite dishes, and Mr. Allen said there should be none on the primary facades. Mr. Richter said this may interfere with FCC regulations, so Mr. Allen said they’ll ask the Solicitor.

Mr. Mostoller asked for a recommendation from the Planning Commission. Mr. Wright said there were no engineering issues to prevent them from doing so, and Mr. Comitta agreed with regard to his review memo.

Mrs. Leland moved to recommend the Spring Oak Final Plan last revised 12/20/2011 accompanied by supplemental drawings last revised 12/20/2011 and the Revised Design Manual dated 6/22/2010 subject to the following:

Mr. Richter seconded the motion. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Discuss Devault Base Plan

Mrs. Leland said they won’t go into the Base Plan in depth this evening since three of the Planning Commission members were absent. It will be added to the March 13th agenda.

Mr. Comitta said they want to add some items to the base map, for example, TND Ordinance Exhibit E, a pedestrian and trails plan, but it needs to be revised first. He asked if the Planning Commission preferred to work on those revisions or if the Trails Committee should do so. Mr. Churchill said the Trails Committee should. Mr. Comitta said he’ll circulate Exhibit E to the Planning Commission members so they can look at it for the March meeting, and he’ll likewise ask the Trails Committee for their input since they meet at the end of this month.

Mr. Comitta said the underground basin at Pickering Grant should also be added to the Base Plan, and Mr. Wright suggested showing it as a proposed basin.

Lighting Ordinance Changes

Mr. Comitta said he’s torn between having lighting consultant Stan Stubbe completely revise the lighting ordinance and the Township then move it to the SLDO, or leave it as is in the Zoning Ordinance, which would cause most applicants go to the Zoning Hearing Board.

Mr. Allen said some revisions are needed regardless since the ordinance is outdated. He said he’s inclined to start over with it. Mrs. Leland said this is why they asked Mr. Stubbe to reach out to other Townships to compare their ordinances.

Mr. Churchill expressed concern that leaving it in the Zoning Ordinance will put people to the expense of going to the Zoning Hearing Board, and Mrs. Leland agreed.

Mr. Comitta said Mark Thompson found it acceptable to move it to the SLDO but a sentence should be provided in the Zoning Ordinance referencing it so those who add objectionable lighting to their properties without going through a land development process will be under its requirements.

Mr. Wright said in his opinion, the Charlestown lighting ordinance originated with requirements for industrial lighting, where other township ordinances have more easily understandable regulations for each zoning district. He said a simple draft of requirements could be prepared for each district.

The lighting ordinance will be discussed further at the March 13th meeting.


Mrs. Leland adjourned the meeting at 10:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Manager
sheet, 2/14/2012