TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2015


Planning Commission: Bill Westhafer, Chair, Andre von Hoyer, Vice Chairman, Michael Allen, Michael Churchill, Andy Motel and Michael Richter. Wendy Leland was absent.

Consultants: Daniel Wright, P.E. Thomas Comitta arrived at 8 p.m.

Staff: Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary, Linda Csete, Township Manager

Public: See Attached List

Call to Order:

7:34 p.m.


Mr. Churchill said the recent Devault Rails-to-Trails Meeting had finalized the trail feasibility and loop layout. Minutes will be circulated. They set a tentative schedule to distribute a final report for mid-June and then perhaps making the July Board of Supervisors agenda. The next step is determining how to move forward. Mr. Churchill will be promoting the project, and funding need, locally by attending tomorrow night’s joint meeting of East Whiteland Township’s Parks & Recreation Board/Planning Commission. The management and funding first choice would be County based. Mr. von Hoyer asked if there has been any additional opposition to this project and Mr. Churchill said no.

Mr. Motel announced that the Township received PennDOT approval to move forward with the Adopt and Beautify Plan for the stormwater basins in Devault. There were only minor changes made to Mr. Theurkauf’s Plan, to improve some sight distances. The project will be in two phases, one to be completed this fall and the second in the spring of 2016. Landscapers will be contacted with an RFP going out this summer for the first phase. Mrs. Csete added if watering is a costly issue, Mr. Motel may want to consider using the Charlestown Park landscaper, Eric Davidson. He is currently watering the 50 trees planted on Earth Day.

Mr. Westhafer said the Phoenixville Regional Planning Commission’s interest in the Devault Rails-to-Trails project is growing. Also, there are 3000 dwelling units on schedule for Phoenixville Borough.

Approval of Minutes

April 14, 2015 Minutes

Mr. Churchill moved to approve the minutes of April 14, 2015 with minor changes and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Preliminary Plan

Horstmann-Elters Minor Subdivision Plan

Mr. and Mrs. John and Deborah Horstmann were present for the review of their Minor Subdivision Plan to change the lot line between their property and the adjacent Elters’ property located on the south side of Buckwalter Road. There is a small stream Mr. Horstmann wanted to access. Plus, this flagpole style lot separates two larger properties that he would not like to see combined and developed.

Mr. Wright reviewed his April 27, 2015 letter indicating that he recommends all requested waivers be granted but, with regard to the waiver request from SLDO 22-408.5.S that a copy of the property deeds for each parcel be provided in lieu of a title report.

Mr. Wright indicated Mr. Horstmann comply with items on the review letter, and Mr. Horstmann distributed revised drawings addressing those items.

Mr. Churchill moved to recommend approval of the Horstmann-Elters application for Minor Subdivision dated April 20, 2015, last revised May 12, 2015, with requested waivers, subject to the comments in Mr. Wrights review letter of April 27, 2015. Mr. Motel seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Zoning Amendment Applications

Petition to Rezone Parcels #35-4-129.1, 35-4-129 and 35-4-132 from Residential Cluster (RC) to Traditional Neighborhood Development-1

Mr. John Mostoller and Mr. John Jaros, Esq. of Riley Riper Hollin & Colagreco, were present to request an amendment to the Zoning Map, rezoning three tax parcels adjacent to the proposed Devault Village at Spring Oak. The change would affect three properties currently zoned RC-Residential Cluster making them TND-1, facilitating construction at the development. This has added six new building lots (two more singles and four more duplexes).

One outlier lot, formerly the McIntyre property, will be used for construction and then become a passive lot near Rees Road. Trees will only be cleared for construction access, and Mr. Mostoller said he would polish the details for this lot with the DRC.

Mr. Wright asked if there was any neighbor opposition. Neighbors had not been notified. Mrs. Csete said there needed to be time for advertising and posting for rezoning, once the recommendation is made. It can then be presented to the Board of Supervisors. Next, they will return with another Preliminary Plan, and then meeting with both the DRC and the Planning Commission.

Mr. Motel moved to recommend approval of the petition to rezone consistent with approval requirements and compliance with Mr. Wright’s suggestions of April 22, 2015. Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

General Planning Items

Mr. Comitta arrived at 8 p.m.

Garages/Stories at Devault Village at Spring Oak II:

Mr. Allen reviewed an emailed attachment (email dated April 30, 2015) entitled Spring Oak Three Car Garage Revised (with Drawings, document dated April 17, 2015). It roughly outlined the process by which three car garages and two story garages will be permitted at Spring Oak. The document was drafted as a result of a Design Review Committee meeting with the applicant. Major points were:

  1. A maximum of 10% of single-family homes may contain an in-law suite over a garage
  2. For Spring Oak this amounts to a maximum of 7 units.
  3. Any three car garage must have a second story and be considered an in-law suite whether or not it has plumbing.
  4. A second story over a two car garage does not count as an in-law suite and there will be no plumbing connection.
  5. 20 garages can have two stories.
  6. No more than 30% of single-family detached garages may have a second story.
  7. No more than 30% of the garages in any one street or alley may have a second story.

Some of these points are already in the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Comitta verified that this Ordinance amendment was for the TND, not just for Spring Oak. Mr. Allen will further refine his document, with the help of Mr. Comitta, and have it ready for the next Board Meeting. If the Board instructs the Members to place it in the Ordinance, it will go back to the Planning Commission before returning to the Board of Supervisors for final approval. Mr. Westhafer suggested putting the document points into an easy to reference chart.

Mr. Wright will control the number of permits out for in-law suites so that it does not exceed seven for single family homes. (Item #2).

Item #12 and the two bottom additional points on Mr. Allen’s document were not related to the garage issue. However, the word breezeway will be replaced with the word walkway.

Mr. Allen asked when he should be seeing the Disclosure Document, Mr. Richter said it does not go to the buyer until the deposit has been paid. Next, Mr. Allen hopes to receive actual graded and beyond conceptual drawings.

Comprehensive Plan Update

Mr. Comitta said he, and Mrs. Leland, want to apply for a Vision Partnership Grant by September, with results to be announced in November. They are scrubbing the existing Plan and want a small committee to help them.

Mr. von Hoyer suggested putting solar panel wording in the Zoning Ordinance this year. Mr. Comitta said they will add it to the list of goals from the Strategic Planning Session.

Joint Committee Meeting

On April 13, 2015 Mr. Westhafer and Mr. Kuhn will decide the agenda for this Sunday’s Joint Meeting. It is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Action Items

  1. Mr. Allen will refine the Garage/Stories document wording and then forward it to Mr. Comitta. He will put it into Ordinance language, then send it to Members before Memorial Day.
  2. Members should consider being in the sub-committee for reviewing the Comprehensive Plan.
  3. Add solar panel language to Ordinance.
  4. Mr. Westhafer asked Members to consider having a Charlestown Sustainability Representative. He was at a Phoenixville Regional Planning Commission Meeting and West Vincent Township had a Sustainability Representative. Think about if this is something Charlestown Township needs.


Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner,
Recording Secretary
sheet, 5/12/2015