Planning Commission: Bill Westhafer, Chairman, Andre von Hoyer, Vice Chairman, Michael Churchill, and Andy Motel. Michael Allen, Wendy Leland and Michael Richter were absent.
Consultants: Thomas Comitta
Staff: Linda Csete, Township Manager, Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary
Public: See Attached List
Mrs. Csete stated the Township purchased the Auchincloss property consisting of 58 acres on Hollow Road, on June 30, 2015.
Mr. Churchill moved to approve the minutes of July 9, 2015 and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Jason Engelhardt of Langan Engineers presented an updated (July 10, 2015) color rendered site plan that incorporates the McIntyre and Fillippo parcels into the project and allows for reconfiguration of the open space. He gave Members a handout portraying the center green and Exhibits A and B, for three discussion topics.
The Next Step: Mr. Englehardt said the project will be surveyed, and then they will formally redesign the Plan, with the newest suggestions, and prepare the revised preliminary plan submission for the September Meeting.
The main entrance had a significant change due to an additional steep slope not foreseen by the builder. Mr. Comitta explained how grading and 3 retaining walls had changed to 4 walls for the plaza area. Mr. Churchill suggested removing some of the planting to increase the new smaller size of the plaza. Mr. Comitta said the benched area did not have a high potential for use, since it was not near the homes. Many boulders are being placed nearby, Mr. Westhafer and Mr. Churchill wanted to keep plantings to soften the hard landscaped area further.
Also discussed were sitting walls, sounds, odors, and the visibility of the asphalt plant. Mr. Comitta said the builder reoriented the sitting area near the Mail Box building so that the view was of the neighborhood, not the factory. Berm plantings that screen and soften the boulder walls were being added.
Mr. Westhafer said the Planning Commission reviewed the ordinance amendment at the June Meeting and was satisfied with it, after making minor adjustments suggested by Mr. Allen. Mr. Churchill moved to recommend the Zoning Ordinance Amendment to the Traditional Neighborhood Development zoning district, adding special design standards for garages and in-law suites. Mr. Motel seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Comitta circulated the resolution adopted by the Board of Supervisors on July 6th that revises the Recreation Plan to include additional park and open space projects, as previously recommended by the Planning Commission. For tonight, Mr. Comitta reviewed more improvements suggested in June.
Mr. Churchill suggested financial consideration for the Rails-To-Trails project. Other items had no concept plan yet, such as Volpi (a ballfield, parking and two pavilions), possible connections to Yellow Springs Road, a sidewalk or multi-use path along Phoenixville Pike connecting the Oaks, local schools and the Volpi Tract to the Devault TND. Discussion included observations that certain sections of Phoenixville Pike could easily accommodate such a connection whereas other area may be more challenging. Mr. Comitta suggested these were certainly more future oriented and could be added to the next revision of the Fee-In-Lieu.
Mr. Comitta circulated two documents, excerpts of the PA MPC, Article III (emphasis on Section 301), and a draft of the technical Proposal for Planning Services: Charlestown Township Comprehensive Plan 2016, dated July 14, 2016.
He asked for Members to review the documents, especially pages 14 and 15, for a 2016 work program. He and Mrs. Leland have already discussed adding a section on energy conservation and again updating the existing Comp Plan’s plan for future housing.
Next Step: Members are to provide comments by July 24, 2015.
Next Step: Mr. Comitta will begin the process of incorporating into Charlestown’s Plan suggestions taken from proactive neighboring townships’ plans.
Next Step: Submitting the application by the deadline of September 9, 2015. The Township can be awarded up to $50,000 under the Chester County Vision Partnership Program. The total contract amount cannot exceed $75,000; therefore the Township’s contribution would need to be $25,000.
The Planning Commission continued previous discussions on what sketch plan requirements should be added to the Subdivision & Land Development Ordinance. Members discussed having a site scout, stormwater complications, an abbreviated version for smaller projects, residential vs. commercial versions, etc. Mr. Comitta will continue his research among other municipalities.
Mrs. Csete said one bid had been received for the basin beautification project in Devault as of the end of business today, the deadline being July 15, 2016 at 3 p.m.
The August Meeting for the Planning Commission may be canceled if no applications are received by July 21st.
There being no further business, Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 9:45 p.m.