TUESDAY, JUNE 14, 2016


Planning Commission: Bill Westhafer, Chairman, Andre von Hoyer, Vice Chairman, Wendy Leland, Michael Allen, Michael Churchill, and Michael Richter. Andy Motel was absent.
Consultants: Thomas Comitta and Randy Patry.
Staff: Linda Csete, Township Manager, and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary

Call to Order:

7:34 p.m.


There were no announcements.

Mr. Allen asked Mrs. Csete about the removal of the redundant traffic light on Warner Lane and Mrs. Csete replied that the project was moving forward with PennDOT. She’s waiting for the revised signal plan from Paul Lutz so she can order the removal with Armour & Sons.

Mr. Churchill asked about obtaining a No Turn on Red sign at Warner Road and Route 29. Mrs. Csete said she can request a new traffic study, but that PennDOT usually denies anything that does not assist in the increase of the flow of traffic.

Approval of Minutes

April 12, 2016 Minutes

Mr. Allen moved to approve the minutes of April 12, 2016 and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor. There was no May meeting.

Plan Reviews

Conditional Use Application for Kathrine Bright

Kathrine Bright of 4004 Hollow Road was present for a review of her Conditional Use Application for a home occupation. Ms. Bright has two off street parking spaces, and will not cause noise, will not need structural changes to her house, and not need a sign for her business. She also followed all the Township rules and procedures for requesting the review and was commended by Mrs. Csete for doing so. She proposes to conduct a personal trainer business, with a one on one style. If her business changes to seeing two or three customers at a time she will look for a local site to rent for her business.

Mr. Churchill moved to recommend approval of Ms. Bright’s home occupation business and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Final Plan for Devault Village at Spring Oak

Mr. John Mostoller and Mr. Jason Engelhardt, P.E. of Langan Engineers were present to request endorsement of the Final Subdivision Plan for Devault Village at Spring Oak. Next step would be to proceed to the Board of Supervisors for Final Conditions of Approval. It proposes a mix of 72 single family dwellings, twins and townhouses on 26 acres in the TND-1 overlay of the RC Zoning District.

Mr. Engelhardt stated the NPDES permit was almost ready, the sewer planning module was in process, and the unresolved review letter points were in progress.

Mr. Mostoller began by discussing major concerns from a meeting with Advanced GeoServices, Thomas Comitta Associates, Mr. Engelhardt, and the DRC.

  1. Regarding the retaining wall along tennis courts, near lots 59, 60, and 61. They will be able to build without going onto adjacent property.
  2. Some detail on the plans is drawn to fit inside the foot print, but will not necessarily be as large as footprint.
  3. Protection of swales by easements.
  4. The handling of a small, almost square area, near the tennis court needs to be addressed.
  5. There are a few areas where grading, walkways, fences, stairs, and retaining walls, need finalizing.
  6. Walls, fences, and combinations of theses have been updated on the most recent plan.
  7. The Turnpike Wall is now a six foot high ornamental fence. Mr. Richter requested pictures for approval. Mr. Westhafer questioned the applicants on the need of an incorporated guardrail or stronger fence that would withstand some impact from cars. Mr. Allen reminded the Members that the aesthetics of a fence that is repeatedly hit is also to be considered.
  8. Mr. Westhafer is concerned about fall protection along the alleyway/east side.
  9. Mr. Engelhardt added two additional parking spots near lots 59, 60, and 61.
  10. A formal resubmission of the mail pavilion is being prepared.

Mr. Engelhardt stated that a final clean resubmission was coming. He asked the Members to consider the unresolved items on the consultant review letters, to be Conditions of Final Approval. This way, they could move forward.

The PC was hesitant to vote although the applicants agreed to comply with all issues. The Members told them to document and resolve the items before asking consultants to recommend Board final approval. They advised getting clean review letters, and documenting in greater detail, since tonight’s discussion impacted so many details in the Design Manual.

Mr. Mostoller felt penalized for working with Barton Partners on the Manual. Mr. Allen said the Design Manual still had outstanding unaddressed comments (he required a meeting to resolve these).

Members listed three things the developers had to address.

  1. Obtain a clean submission.
  2. Address Mr. Allen’s comments on the Design Manual (such as delineate free standing vs. attached garages).
  3. Then revise the Design Manual.

The applicants will return to the Planning Commission after following through on these items.

General Planning Items

Design Review Committee Updates

Design Review Committee Chairman Mr. Allen provided updates on the following projects.

Spring Oak

The biweekly meetings are helping. He is waiting for the JP Orleans site plan showing which lots get which homes. There are no current Stop Orders.

Issues to be addressed:

  1. Design of the community center– keep mail center inside.
  2. The two story structure had no internal connector stairway.
  3. Restroom design seems out of proportion.
  4. There are four yards that have unresolved or unfinished slopes of a steep grade.
  5. There are architectural details missing for the rear of a section of homes.
  6. There are manhole covers in the playing fields that need to be rectified.
Modification to P.J. Welihan’s Restaurant

The planned restaurant across from the Marriott needs ample air conditioning and the only spot for it is on the roof. This is a design challenge. Also the beer cooler that attaches to the building actually adds to the total square footage further complicating things. Lastly, the signage size is a concern. Next week they will return to the DRC for further discussion.

Sketch Plan Brochure

The Members reviewed the latest revision to the sketch plan brochure dated April 22, 2016. Mr. Comitta heard recommendations and will return with a new revision.

Review draft of Renewable Energy Ordinance

Mr. Comitta circulated a color coded draft ordinance dated April 28, 2016 and requested Member input on wind turbines, solar energy systems, and geothermal energy systems. An initial reading of the draft ordinance by the DVRPC found it to be too restrictive. For example the Township draft stated that the wind turbine should not be taller than 30 feet. The industry suggests the minimum height to be 30 feet higher than any nearby obstacle.

Mr. Comitta asked the Commission to discuss their philosophy on restrictively vs Township vision. Mr. Richter, Mr. Churchill, Mr. Comitta, and a representative from Advanced GeoServices will form a subcommittee to focus on the draft.

I/O/B District Zoning

Mr. Comitta distributed an aerial map of the Industrial/Office/Business district for a discussion focusing on the Conditional Uses in Section 27-1002.A.(3). The Board of Supervisors has given their support for drafting Conditional Use wording to define or restrict truck traffic on Phoenixville Pike.

Mr. Comitta said that the Township can repeal certain uses or determine what criteria to use to control truck and warehouse activity. Mr. Bender had suggested getting rid of certain Conditional Uses if the Township is not able to establish objective criteria to control them. Currently there is no standard or definition for this, so there is no control.

However as Members realized the lack of possible locations for such an addition, they found no further action was required.


There being no further business, Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 9:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner