Planning Commission: Wendy Leland, Chair, Bill Westhafer, Vice Chairman, Michael Allen, Michael Churchill, Andy Motel, Michael Richter, and Andre von Hoyer.
Consultants: Dan Wright, P.E., Thomas Comitta
Staff: Linda Csete, Manager, Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary
Public: John Mostoller

Call to Order:

7:36 p.m.


Mrs. Leland announced that the Charlestown Historical Society Patrons’ Dinner will be held at the Marshalls’ “Half Hill Farm” on September 21, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. The evening will honor John Martin, for his service as a past 18-year township supervisor and current member of the Zoning Hearing Board as well as his involvement in many other community efforts.

Mrs. Leland announced a breakfast meeting hosted by the Chester County Economic Development Council on September 27th where an update on key road projects, including Route 29 and Phoenixville Pike, will be given. Several people from the Township have now signed up.

Mrs. Leland announced a Traffic Management Association of Chester County Breakfast Meeting, called Business and Transportation Hitched Together, on September 19th, 2013 from 8-10am (with discussions lasting until 1:30pm). It is being held at the Sheraton Great Valley Hotel. The cost is $35.

Mr. Allen announced an Open House sponsored by Whitman, Requardy, and Associates, and the TMACC, from 4-7pm on September 12th, 2013. The event is called the Third Final Public Workshop for the Route 29/Great Valley Multi-Modal Corridor Study.

Mr. Churchill mentioned that the Charlestown Board of Supervisors submitted an Application for a Visions Partnership Grant for the Devault Rails to Trails Study. Award notification is expected in mid-October 2013.

Mr. Allen stated the Fillippo Retail Property is being actively marketed with signage on the property.

Mrs. Leland reminded everyone to observe Patriots’ Day tomorrow in remembrance of 9-11.

Approval July 9, 2013 Minutes

Mrs. Leland moved to approve the July 9, 2013 minutes, and Mr. Motel seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Old Business

Design Review Committee Update

DRC Chairman Mike Allen updated the Planning Commission on the meeting held Sept. 3rd.

Pickering Crossing- Mr. Allen stated construction started on September 9th. Tim Townes is working on a Pump & Haul Agreement due to a questionable finish/flow date for the infrastructure in East Whiteland. The Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors had moved forward under the assumption the entire development had public water. But it was discovered that Mr. Townes needed an extension of the public water franchise to the smaller of the two parcels (#35-4-49.1) within the Pickering Crossing subdivision. Mrs. Csete said the Supervisors already sent a letter to Aqua expressing their support of the inclusion of the parcel in the service area. The County will be asked to send one also. PECO agreed to all electrical service entering from the rear, while gas meters will still be located on the sides or fronts of the townhouses. The Supervisors have approved the waiver request for the gas meter locations.

Spring Oak-Mr. Allen said a waiver for the placement of the gas meters was still needed from the Supervisors. A street light demonstration is set for September 25th, 2013 at 7pm at the Quigley Farmhouse to look at light distribution and the aesthetics of the poles. The Planning Module is in review at the DEP and Mr. Mostoller is waiting for feedback on sewer design from Michael Rogers. The buyer is J.P. Orleans, which is now under contract. Mr. Mostoller is dealing with the PECO changes to move the meters to the backs of the buildings. All documents should be in before the October Board of Supervisors Meeting. He is estimating a 40 month completion cycle for the development.

Fillippo Residential (2nd phase of Spring Oak)- Mr. Mostoller displayed Exhibit CP-5 that addressed items such as setbacks, extra parking, 23’ retaining walls and fencing, plus new groupings of units. He agreed there would be more modifications to this conceptual diagram (ex. entrance transition and street alignments) as they progressed toward a start date of 2-3 years. Due to a change in the housing mix, the need for an amendment to the ordinance for perimeter setbacks is no longer needed and has been withdrawn. Mr. Westhafer questioned a 90 degree bend in one of the roads, and Mr. Wright said with this configuration there should be a stop sign at the turn. Exhibit A reflected the construction entrance on Rees Road. It had been approved and is now being reviewed by the Fire Marshal. No emergency exit is planned. A sound study is forth coming. Mr. Mostoller and Mr. Wright met at the location to examine water flow, safe sight lines, and placement of a bus stop sign. They also looked at the tree clearing situation. The entrance road will be a paved surface near Rees Road, then change to stones further in, cleaning the tires before the trucks exit the site.

Mrs. Leland discussed the increasing traffic on Rees Road. Mr. Churchill felt the added impact from the construction work needed to be addressed for Rees Road, and suggested the neighbors needed a forum, and the builder needed to be responsive. Mr. Mostoller said they need to start grading work, asked if he can proceed to the preliminary plan phase based on the general layout shown this evening. The Planning Commission was in agreement, and Mr. Mostoller hopes to submit a preliminary application in time for review at the November 12 meeting. Mr. Churchill extended thanks to Mike Allen, who put in a great deal of time on this project as Chairman of the Design Review Committee.

New Business

Draft & Review Recycling Ordinance to Comply with Mandated Recycling Implementation Report

Ms. Leland began by telling Members that the Charlestown Recycling Ordinance needed to be brought into compliance with Act 101 of 1988. Ms. Csete referred to the DEP’s Final Report from Sept. 2012 that outlines the Recycling Ordinance changes that are now mandated for Charlestown Township. This is due to the increase in population to over 5,000, taken from the 2010 census. She contacted the solicitor to ask if he can prepare a redlined version of the current ordinance that incorporates the newly mandated items. This document should be ready for the Planning Commission’s review at the October meeting. Adoption is scheduled for the December meeting.

Ms. Csete referred to a report by Gannett Fleming (entitled Recycling Technical Assistance dated September 2012). It stated that the Township already complies with many of the Act 101 requirements, and PADEP policies and guidelines. However, there are areas needing to be brought into full compliance. Mr. Allen said it was a good idea to get the construction recycling in effect as soon as possible and would like to examine adding prohibitions on using plastic bags or containers in the TND districts.

Mr. Thompson will compare Charlestown’s redline draft with other townships’ ordinances, then circulate and make revisions for October or November at the latest. Ms. Leland said he will incorporate construction recycling and LEED considerations. If the municipality meets the performance requirements, the grant funds awarded may be spent at the discretion of Charlestown. Otherwise the funds must be used to meet requirements.

Presentation of the Land Use Assumptions Report – Transportation Advisory Committee

Mr. Comitta presented an overview of the TAC’s Land Use Assumptions Report for a 6.8 square mile Service Area within Charlestown Township. It is a basis for a Roadway Sufficiency Analysis to be prepared by Andy Heinrich, P.E., a transportation engineer contracted by the Township. This information will then be used as input for the Transportation Capital Improvements Plan and Program that sets an Impact Fee. Mr. Comitta handed out the final Land Use Assumptions Report for the Act 209 Transportation Plan, dated September 10, 2013. The Report analyzed the zoning of previously identified properties (below) with 13 intersections that will be impacted in the future.

  1. Undeveloped properties
  2. Properties capable of further subdivision
  3. Properties considered a link with 1 & 2

Results included 4 maps displaying build-out potentials and potential numbers of residential units. He noted that any projects approved before 2013 will be exempt from the Impact Fee.

Mr. Comitta requested a spot on the October agenda for the Planning Commission’s final review. A tentative hearing was suggested by Mr. Comitta to be scheduled during the Board of Supervisors’ meeting of November 4th, 2013 to report the findings so they can consider acceptance of the report. This gives time for the Land Use Assumptions Report to be circulated to the County, School District, and adjacent municipalities within the required 45 day review period. Planning Commission Members are asked to send any questions to Mr. Comitta by email prior to October 8th. Concurrently, Mr. Heinrich will be updating his analysis, and examining improvements, to see if the $1,000.00 per trip fee is set at a satisfactory amount.

Draft Stormwater Management Ordinance Revisions to Comply with County 167 Stormwater Plan

Mr. Wright’s executive summary provided background on the mandate for Chester County municipalities to amend their Stormwater Management Ordinances (SMO) by January 2, 2014 to comply with the recently approved countywide Act 167 Plan. Tonight’s goal was to introduce the document to the Planning Commission, to be followed a formal review on October 8th. It can then be scheduled by the Board of Supervisors for a hearing to consider adoption on December 2nd following the County Planning Commission’s 30 day review period. This timeline would allow the Township to meet the January 2, 2014 deadline for adoption.

Advanced GeoServices has been preparing for the County mandate deadline by writing a revised draft of the Charlestown Township Stormwater Management Ordinance, incorporating the recommended or mandatory changes. These changes were listed in the first handout called County’s “Matrix of Minimum Mandatory Standards for Municipal Ordinances”. The spreadsheet listed locations on the County Matrix with locations corresponding to the Township Ordinance locations. This simplified the process of folding the County’s mandates and/or suggested changes into the Township’s Ordinance. Secondly, he handed out a March 2013 document, Chester County Act 167 Revisions to Charlestown SWM Ordinance. This portrayed in red, what was being folded in or changed. His third handout was a six part pre-codified example of Chapter 23 Storm Water Management.

Lastly Mr. Wright discussed his final document, Highlights of Changes per Chester County Act 167. Some items do not apply to a rural township like Charlestown and most items do not apply to existing and approved new developments.

He asked Members to review the material and email their input for timely consideration. Mrs. Leland mention Mr. Theurkauf may be a resource for basin input.

Update on Turnpike Commission Stormwater Management Plans

Mr. Wright provided an update on the Turnpike Commission plans to develop stormwater management facilities on various properties within the Township. They plan on widening the Turnpike between milepost 312-319 (3 miles being within the Township). Ms. Csete, Mr. Motel and a number of representatives from the Turnpike Commission, and their consultant, URS, had a meeting to discuss the plans. The newly acquired Volpi tract, due to its slope, would include two basins on the northern part since it’s within 2 different water sheds.

Mr. Wright stated the Turnpike’s position is that it will endeavor to meet stormwater requirements set forth by the Township, but is not obligated, particularly the requirement that all stormwater facilities be underground. The PTC said that underground stormwater basins are more expensive to maintain and surface basins have a better quality of water due to filtration. The widening is still a few years away and Mr. Wright will continue to monitor the situation. The Turnpike Commission will need to enter into negotiations with the Township for use of their property.

Summarize Action Items

Mrs. Leland asked the group to review the Land Use Assumptions Report and the Stormwater Management Ordinance draft prior to the October 8th meeting and get back to Mr. Wright with any comments before that meeting.


Mr. Westhafer made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Mr. Churchill seconded. Mrs. Leland called for discussion, there being none, adjourned the meeting at 9:45 p.m. The Planning Commission’s next scheduled meeting is October 8, 2013 at the Great Valley Middle School, Room 154.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa K. Gardner