Wendy Leland, Chairperson, Michael Allen, Andy Motel, Andre von Hoyer, Michael Churchill, Daniel Wright, P.E, Daniel B. Mallach, Linda Csete, and Lisa Gardner.

Call to Order:

7:35 p.m..


  1. Mrs. Leland announced that she had toured Paul Marshal’s Half Hill Farm. This included the large L-shaped barn where Mr. Marshal has asked Charlestown Township Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission their thoughts on him installing a commercial kitchen for a home occupation. This would include “Farm to Table” dinners, demonstrations, cooking classes, and perhaps hosting wedding receptions.
  2. Mrs. Leland announced that this June 1st will be Charlestown Day, organized by the Historical Society and the Parks & Recreation Board.
  3. Mrs. Csete announced that the Township won 1st prize in the 45th Annual Township Citizen Communication Contest presented by The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors in the Website Category.
  4. Mrs. Csete updated the Planning Commission by telling them the Altemose testimony has been continued to February 4th, 2013.


Mrs. Leland called for nominations for the position of Chairman of the Planning Commission for 2013. Mr. Motel nominated Wendy Leland for Chairman and Mr. Allen seconded. There being none further, the nominations were closed by Mrs. Leland. Mrs. Leland called the vote, all were in favor.

Mrs. Leland called for nominations for the position of Vice Chairman of the Planning Commission for 2013. Mrs. Leland nominated Bill Westhafer for Vice Chairman and Mr. Motel seconded. There being none further, Mrs. Leland closed the nominations. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote, and all were in favor.

The meeting schedule for 2013 was read aloud. Meetings were suggested again for the second Tuesday of the month with the fourth Tuesday to be held in reserve to be scheduled as needed, and all meetings to be held at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154, at 7:30 P.M.

Mr. Motel moved to accept the 2013 Planning Commission Meeting Schedule, and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none called the vote. All were in favor.

Mrs. Csete asked The Planning Commission if they would agree to share the fourth Tuesday of the month with the Transportation Advisory Committee for their meetings. Especially since there will only be about 6 months of meetings, it was agreed.

Approval of December 11, 2012 Minutes

Mr. Motel made a motion to approve the December 11, 2012 minutes and Mr. Churchill seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Annual Planning Commission Report for 2012

Mrs. Csete circulated the Annual Planning Commission Report for 2012. It provided a record of Planning Commission actions and the results. It will be posted on the website.

Recommendations on the draft Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails Plan

Mr. Mallach of Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. handed out a brief update packet to the November 16, 2012 Charlestown Township Parks, Recreations and Trails Plan. It included reviews, and two maps; Trails & Bicycle Routes and Master Plan: Brightside Farm.

Local Entity Reviews

Mr. Mallach mentioned that Mr. Comitta had met with the Parks and Recreation Board on the 10th of January. At that meeting they discussed the responses to the Plan from West Whiteland (none), Chester County Planning Commission (no content suggestions made), and The Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee. The Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee’s letter dated December 17, 2012 mainly suggested to more thoroughly include Open Space and Trails.

Brightside Farm Path

Mr. Mallach brought up two points regarding the handout. The Brightside Farm Path is now being marked on the map as an “improved trail”, since the width and surface are under discussion and not currently known. This way the adoption of the Plan should not be held up due to ongoing discussions regarding motorized vehicles, vandalism, and the walking surface choice.

Bicycle Routes

The second point was there were two unofficial bike routes added to the January 9, 2013 map in tonight’s packet. One bike route is near Buckwalter Road and the other near Foster Road. There is a third yet to be added.

Mr. Churchill, followed by other members, raised concern regarding the public assuming the marked bicycle paths are safe or bike friendly, condoned by the Township, have a bike lane or shoulder, or are marked with PennDot endorsing signage. Mr. Mallach will discuss the liability of listing commonly used bike paths with Mr. Thompson. An attempt to put into context the desire of the Township to list and portray bike paths without misinforming or misleading but also, relieving itself of any liability in respect to all maps with such markings is desired.


Mr. Allen stated that there are many trails not on the Trails & Bicycle Routes Map dated January 9, 2013. Perhaps there needed to be future trails and land reserved for those trails accounted for on the map. This map could then be used for posting at trail heads and displaying on the website. Nanci Sarcinello at Thomas Comitta Associates, Inc. and Sue Staas would be the two persons needed to put this together.

Mr. Motel made markings on the maps portraying the easement language on the current Muldoon property that would link the Brightside Farm Trail to the Horseshoe Trail. Mr. Mallach will look into how or why the link isn’t reflected on the map and make any minor modification necessary.

Open Space

Mrs. Leland would like the maps updated with eased properties and incorporated into the Plan. Mr. Motel will check to be sure none are missed. Mr. Mallach will make sure the changes are in the next update.

Closing Comments

Mr. Mallach asked all present to email Mr. Comitta with any additional comments. Mr. Comitta will bring the comments to the next Board of Supervisors Meeting. Mrs. Csete asked Mr. Mallach if Mr. Comitta will still be seeking approval at the February 4th Board of Supervisors Meeting? Mr. Mallach thought the approval would wait pending further review.

Stan Stubbe Survey for Lighting Review

The Planning Commission studied the list Mr. Allen circulated of suggested properties for measuring and gathering lighting data with Mr. Stubbe of Stubbe Consulting LLC. The Planning Commission will use this data to better visualize what parameters the members are comfortable incorporating into the Lighting Ordinance. In a letter distributed by Mr. Mallach, Mr. Stubbe reminds Mr. Mallach that the ordinance invokes IES Recommended Practices Illuminance levels and uniformities. But confirming some of the subjective requirements such as luminaire type, for instance, could produce acceptable results.

However, members feel this educational research will better serve them when trying to decide what is too much lighting, glare, trespass/pollution, lighting for different housing densities, what is aesthetically pleasing, what meets ordinance requirements, and examples of what is in violation. A statement alerting residents and owners of the surveyors’ activities will be posted on the website in advance of the visits planned for February. Mr. Allen will be contacting Mr. Stubbe.

Draft Lighting Ordinance

Mr. Mallach was advised to add a definition of “full cut-off” to the Uplight and Glare Zone Diagram. More discussion will take place after the Lighting Survey is completed.

Ashwood and Highlands Resident Surveys

Mrs. Leland and Mr. Comitta will develop Ashwood and Highlands resident survey questions. The surveys will be mailed out including an invitation asking residents to join a Roundtable Discussion. The discussion is to be on the April 9th, 2013 Planning Commission Meeting’s agenda.

TND Ordinance

Mr. Allen wants to strengthen some sections of the TND ordinance before March 2013. An area of concern is in TND 3, south of the Turnpike. Mr. Motel suggested the members circulate comments to one other, and then those comments will be compiled and discussed at the next meeting. Also, when reviewing the TND Ordinance, Mr. Allen said bicycle route marking will be discussed after hearing Mr. Thompson’s opinion.

The Planning Commission’s next scheduled meeting is February 12, 2013, but it may be cancelled if no significant business comes up, in which case the next meeting will be March 12, 2013. The meetings are held at the Great Valley Middle School Choral Room at 7:30 p.m.


Mr. Churchill made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Mr. Motel seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none, adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary