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

Consultants: Daniel Wright, P.E. Thomas Comitta (arrived 7:45 p.m.)

Staff: Linda Csete, Township Manager

Public: See Attached List

Call to Order:

7:35 p.m.


Mr. von Hoyer announced that the Bacon Brothers have generously agreed to return to the Colonial Theatre stage on Friday, June 26, 2015 to support culture and conservation in our region. This concert will benefit both the Colonial Theatre and French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust.

Mrs. Csete announced that the basin beautification project has gone out for RFP’s to six landscaping firms. The proposals are due July 15th with selection scheduled for the August 3rd Board of Supervisors meeting.

Approval of Minutes

May 12, 2015 Minutes

Mrs. Leland moved to approve the minutes of May 12, 2015 and Mr. Churchill seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

May 17, 2015 Minutes

Mr. von Hoyer moved to approve the minutes of May 17, 2015 and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Preliminary Plan

Diament Building Corporation - Minor Subdivision Plan for Parcel 35-3-1

John Diament and Tom Lull from Diament Building Corporation were present for the review of their two-lot Subdivision Plan for an 8 acre parcel at 2130 Seven Oaks Road.

Mr. Diament displayed the plan, showing an existing home on Lot 1, with a custom home proposed for Lot 2. They propose widening the existing driveway to 18 feet to create a shared driveway to include access to Lot 2. The existing stormwater basin is sized to handle the new driveway, which follows a PECO easement.

Mr. Diament referred to the County review letter dated 6/2/15, noting that item #3 suggests that Lot 2 be deed restricted from further subdivision. He said he would check with the owner, but he didn’t think it would be a problem to add this restriction.

Mr. Diament addressed comments on Mr. Wright’s review letter dated 6/5/15 as follows:

#8 The shared driveway will be upgraded to 18 feet as previously discussed. Mr. Diament clarified with Mr. Wright that this can be done later in the development process. He confirmed it will be a paved driveway.
#9 Mrs. Leland asked about the driveway slope, and Mr. Diament said the grading adjustments will be made so the slope is under the 4% maximum.
#10 Mr. Wright said the existing stormwater detention basin works well, and the runoff problem currently affecting the neighbor across Seven Oaks Road will actually be improved once the driveway is re-graded so that water flows to that basin. Mr. Diament said the disturbance for stormwater management should be under 1 acre, but since the home will be a custom design this could change. In that case he would need to obtain a NPDES permit. He acknowledged he’ll need to provide an executed stormwater maintenance agreement.
#11 Mrs. Csete indicated the Planning Module for this subdivision has been approved by the DEP.
#12 Mr. Lull said two wells had been dug for Lot 2, one producing 15 gallons/minutes, the other 12 gallons per minute, so adequate water supply can be provided. Mr. Diament said no neighboring properties are having well issues.
#13 The Township boundary with West Pikeland will be labeled on the plans.
#15 Mr. Wright indicated that Note 4 on Sheet 2 must be changed to state that the owner of Lot 1 will maintain the existing stormwater basin since it was designed to control runoff for that lot.

Mr. Richter asked about the shared driveway, and Mr. Wright said there will be an easement agreement for it.

(Mr. Comitta arrived at this time.)

Mr. Churchill asked if the neighbors had been notified of this evening’s meeting as required by the SLDO, and Mr. Diament said there had been no formal notification but he’ll do so prior to the Supervisors’ meeting. He said he’s spoken with several neighbors, and the property owner has discussed the plan with many of them. He said that James Cracas of 2110 Seven Oaks Road asked if the trees along his property line can remain, and they will accommodate him.

Mrs. Leland moved to recommend approval of the Diament application for Minor Subdivision dated 1/10/15, subject to the comments in Mr. Wrights review letter of June 5, 2015 and notification of the abutting property owners prior to the Board of Supervisors meeting of July 6th when the plan will be considered for approval. Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

(Mrs. Leland left the meeting at this time.)

General Planning Items

Zoning Ordinance Amendment to the Traditional Neighborhood Development – Special Design Standards for Garages and In-Law Suites

Mr. Allen previously circulated an email dated 6/9/15 outlining three changes for the draft ordinance amendment to add design standards and other specifications for accessory structures, specifically for garages and in-law suites as follows:

  1. Section 27-2204.3.A: change “over a 2-car garage” to “over a garage” since it applies to both 2 and 3 car garages.
  2. Section 27-2206.F.7: Add a drawing that depicts what will be acceptable as a front and rear interior finished wall at 4 feet maximum, similar to drawing A-9.5 provided by J.P. Orleans.
  3. Amend the Design Manual which specifies that “no more than 10% of the total number of detached garages shall have an accessory dwelling unit”. This should read “no more than 10% of the total number of single family detached dwellings so that it corresponds to the ordinance as was originally intended.

Mr. von Hoyer referred to Section 27-2206.F.3, stating that the first word “Any” should be changed to “Every” so the sentence reads, “Every 3-car garage shall have a second story.”

There was discussion on changing a phrase in Section 27-2206.F.11 from “may be permitted” to “is permitted” but it was decided to keep the original wording related to unenclosed covered breezeways between a house and garage.

With these adjustments, Mr. Churchill indicated he was satisfied with the ordinance amendment language, and the other members were in agreement. The matter will be placed on the July 14th agenda for a recommendation vote.

Fee-in-Lieu Status Report

Mr. Comitta updated the Commissioners on the resolution passed at the June 1st Board of Supervisors meeting to increase the fee-in-lieu charge from $2,500 to $2,666. The fee was calculated using several factors to create a formula, including the costs of the proposed improvements, an inflation rate of 4% from the previous 2013 estimate, percentage of residential land use, population trends and housing trends.

Further revisions will take place at the Supervisors’ July 6th meeting to include other future costs, including projects at the Brightside Farm, Volpi property and Charlestown Park. Adding these projects to the Recreation Plan will require another adjustment to the fee-in-lieu charge. Going forward, the Board will revisit this program annually at its reorganization meeting.

Mr. Richter asked if replacement fencing at Charlestown Park was included in the current improvement project, and Mr. Wright said he would research and respond to this question via email. Mr. Richter emphasized the need for a fence along both Township Line and Coldstream Roads.

Mr. von Hoyer asked for an updated census figure. Mrs. Csete said the U.S. Census Bureau’s last estimate in 2014 was only 10 people higher than the 5,671 count in the official 2010 census.

The Planning Commission verified that other projects were already listed on the Recreation Plan, including Jenkins Park, and therefore they had no additions to recommend to the Supervisors. Since several members were absent this evening, they’ll revisit this question at their July 14th meeting to confirm.

Wind Energy Ordinance – Assign Point Person

The Planning Commission expressed interest in revisiting a draft wind energy ordinance and assigned Bill Westhafer to be the point person for this update.

Form Comprehensive Plan Task Force

As discussed at the May 17th strategic planning session, Mrs. Leland will head a task force for the comprehensive plan update. Two additional planning commission members are needed. Since the full commission wasn’t present this evening, this will be revisited at the July 14th meeting.

Mr. Comitta said the task force’s focus is to prepare for the grant application due in September by determining the scope of the update project. Mr. Richter recommended using the structure outlined at the February 7th strategic planning session as a guide.


There being no further business, Mr. von Hoyer adjourned the meeting at 8:26 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda M. Csete
Township Manager
sheet, 6/9/2015