Planning Commission: Bill Westhafer, Chairman, Andre von Hoyer, Vice Chairman, Michael Allen, Wendy Leland, Andy Motel, and Michael Churchill. Michael Richter arrived at 8 p.m.
Consultants: Dan Mallach and Dan Wright, P.E..
Staff: Linda M. Csete, Township Manager and Lisa Gardner, Recording Secretary
Public: Mark Connolly

Call to Order:

7:30 p.m.


Mrs. Leland announced former Township Supervisor and current Zoning Hearing Board member Robert Wert’s mother had just passed away at age 99.

Approval of Minutes

September 13, 2016 Minutes

Mr. Motel reviewed a number of proposed edits to the draft minutes which were accepted by the members. With those changes, Mr. Motel moved to approve the minutes of September 13, 2016 and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. Westhafer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.


Renewable Energy Ordinance

Mr. Mark Connolly, local resident and energy engineer, address the Commission tonight along with Mr. Mallach, in an attempt to finalize a draft for the Renewable Energy Ordinance. Mr. Connolly distributed a document entitled Draft-Solar Renewable Energy Ordinance Framework.

  1. Page 3 referring to Purposes - Mr. Connolly discussed properties in common ownership with more than one structure, suggesting language providing for Virtual Net Metering be added.
  2. Page 4 The topic of Conditional Use approval needed for structures placed in front yards was discussed.
  3. Page 5, J, 1 and 2 - Mr. Connolly added the acronym NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory).
  4. Page 5, I - Mr. Connolly said IFC will take precedence. Members want wording that takes into consideration that IFC data may change.
  5. Page 5, J.1 Regarding protection for first responders, he told Members to keep wording compliant to the UCC.
  6. Page 6 referring to Glare or dark matte finish - Mr. Connolly questioned the necessity of including this language or whether it would be addressed under existing nuisance provisions if a complaint came forward.
  7. Page 6 referring to Wind - Wind equipment needs to be certified; wording needs to include this and the phrase by the AWEA to Standard 9.1209.
  8. Mr. Connolly also mentioned that new battery technology allows houses to be “off the grid” and this may be a topic for future amendment of this ordinance.

Mr. Mallach thanked Mr. Connolly for his input for TCA’s November 15, 2016 version and will return next month with a final draft.

Parking Ordinance

Mr. Wright distributed a document entitled Parking Requirement Comparison. It reflected the gross floor area in square feet with regards to parking spots in Charlestown Township’s Parking Ordinance. Since New Castle County, Delaware, has a new and comprehensive parking ordinance, the Township’s figures were compared to New Castle’s.

Mr. Wright found two areas where the parking data reflected a need for ordinance revision. Category one was Restaurants, the second category was Community Facilities (schools, day cares, colleges, etc.). Mr. Wright is working on a more sophisticated formula to raise the Township’s low spreadsheet figures for the two areas.

Mr. Mallach discussed requirements and uses for parking spots, and how they may be incorporated into a draft ordinance. Mr. Kuhn raised the question, how can the Township incorporate a parking study requirement into a project that has already been approved.

Spring Oak

Mr. Westhafer mentioned a fence on Rees Road, on lot 184 that does not comply with the ordinance. Discussion followed regarding the finish on the fence, screening or the lack of, and if the Township or the HOA was the enforcing entity. Mr. Wright will visit the JP Orlean’s site before the next Planning Commission meeting.

Mr. Allen updated Members on ongoing litigation with Spring Oak.

The future of the Design Review Committee was also discussed.

Action Items

  1. Mr. Westhafer is to consult with the Board of Supervisors regarding the Design Review Committee and the ordinance that created it.
  2. Mr. Mallach is to prepare a final draft of the Renewable Energy Ordinance.
  3. Mr. Wright is to continue his research on Parking, and check on the fence issue at Spring Oak.


There being no further business, Mr. Westhafer adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary