Planning Commission:
Andre von Hoyer, Chairman, Michael Richter, Vice Chairman, Wendy Leland, Andy Motel, Matt Rogers, and Dan Walker. Bill Westhafer and Michael Churchill were absent.
Daniel Wright, P.E., Daniel Mallach
Linda Csete, Manager, Lisa Gardner Recording Secretary.

Call to Order:

7:35 p.m.


Mrs. Csete said the next meeting is scheduled to be in the Great Valley Middle School Choral Room #154, but that may change. Watch the website for location changes until the middle school construction is finished.

Mr. von Hoyer appointed alternate Mr. Walker as a voting member in Mr. Richter’s place. He will be voting for Mr. Richter’s Conditional Use Application along with the West Whiteland Official Map review and final recommendation for the Regional Comprehensive Plan.

Approval of Minutes

June 11, 2019 Minutes

Mr. Motel asked about the September Board Hearing for changes in the Zoning Ordinance related to conditional use. He wanted to be sure the fast food section was included before it is advertised twice for the Board meeting. Mrs. Csete will verify with Mr. Thompson that it is included and recirculate the document (for review, not edits).

Ms. Leland moved to approve the minutes of June 11, 2019, and Mr. Walker seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called for a vote. All were in favor.

Michael Richter – Conditional Use for Guest Quarters

Mr. von Hoyer opened the discussion regarding Mr. Richter’s goal, to obtain a recommendation, by the Planning Commission, for approval of a Conditional Use for Guest Quarters. Mr. Richter distributed an example of a one-story floor plan, and a boundary and topographic survey, of his property at 141 Ravenhill Road in Phoenixville. He pointed out that the improvement:

  1. Adhered to setback requirements
  2. Included a stone driveway
  3. Had ≈850 sq. ft. of living space
  4. Had a total of 1,600 sq. ft.

Mr. Mitchell, a neighbor, from 151 Ravenhill Road, ask about how the property would be sold. Would it be sold as a rental property, or as one home, or two. Mr. von Hoyer stated the Use transfers with the property under 1 deed. Mr. Wright stated that the 4 requirements were met for Guest Quarters in the Zoning Ordinance.

  1. The buildings remain under one ownership.
  2. The buildings use the same metered utilities.
  3. There is no full kitchen in the Guest Quarters (in-law suite)
  4. There is less than 1000 square feet of living space

Mr. Wright stated that stone is considered impervious and Mr. Richter took with him a handout that discussed options for pervious surfaces. However, Mr. Wright stated that just from looking at the drawing, he would work with Mr. Richter to help him obtain necessary impervious estimates for the Board. Mr. Richter needs an impervious coverage percentage in accordance with the Zoning Ordinance. After this, a (1) Zoning Permit, an (2) Erosion and Sedimentation Control and Grading Permit, and a (3) stormwater management plan in compliance with the Township’s ordinance will be required.

Mr. Mallach discussed TCA’s review and noted that as the project progresses, a site visit or discussions about trees and screening for buffering a neighbor’s property may be needed, but he had no objections to the proposal.

Ms. Leland moved to recommend supporting Mr. Richter’s Conditional Use Application to the Board of Supervisors, subject to compliance with review letters. Mr. Rogers seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

West Whiteland Township - Request for Review of Amendment to Official Map:

Mrs. Csete referred to the 6/27/19 request by West Whiteland Township for a review of the proposed amendments to their Official Map as required by the PA MPC.

After viewing the proposed Official Map, the Planning Commission had no comments to relate to West Whiteland Township.

Final Recommendation on the Regional Comprehensive Plan

Ms. Leland discussed payments, made by the municipalities in the Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee. This committee is updating the Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan. The cost for this is $23,000, with an estimated coverage of 70% from the Vision Partnership Grant and 30% from the 6 municipalities in the group. The townships are already witnessing the benefits of being covered by the Regional Comprehensive Plan. This is due to recent litigation about billboards. Charlestown Township was not legally required to have billboards in the township since, regionally, there were places that did. (However, this ruling has been appealed).

As the Comprehensive Plan nears completion, West Pikeland has recently joined the group, and therefore, has not paid into the $23,000 as did the other townships. Including them will require additional updates to the Plan at additional cost. When the other municipalities gave their approvals for West Pikeland to join, they suggested a monetary payment from them rather than splitting these additional costs evenly among all members. The Planning Commission of Charlestown Township agrees with the other townships, that there should be a cost, perhaps pro rata, of West Pikeland’s joining.

Ms. Leland suggested Mr. Theurkauf call West Pikeland to see where their stance is, since Charlestown did not include a suggestion of payment with the approval of joining.

Ms. Leland moved to recommend adoption of the Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan to the Board of Supervisors, and Mr. Motel seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called for a vote. All were in favor.

Aldham Road Property

Mr. von Hoyer asked Mr. Wright for an update on a situation where a variance was sought due to a new home proposed in a Steep Slope area. Mr. Wright stated that there is now a smaller footprint home proposed outside of the slopes, so no variance is needed.

Proposed Amendments to Noise Ordinance

A brief discussion was held on the Noise Ordinance. Mr. Thompson will be invited to the next meeting. Mrs. Csete will recirculate the ordinance.

Mr. von Hoyer asked about background for the ordinance. Although Mr. Willig suggested the asphalt plant, Mr. Walker suggested it stemming from the sound barriers for the Turnpike.

Mr. Walker stated (in regard to the Noise Ordinance under review) that the Tredyffrin Township sound walls were not, per the Turnpike Commission, due to the legal attempts in Tredyffrin Township, or density. The Commission said the walls were due to the resulting data of sound studies. Tredyffrin Township had quoted that 1,080 homes had requested protection and that 1,030 homes actually obtained protection by the walls. Mr. Walker questioned how many Tredyffrin homes were actually protected by sound walls, in light of Charlestown residents hoping to obtain outcomes similar to those in Tredyffrin.

He stated that the Noise Ordinance up for review, was worded very much like Tredyffrin’s ordinance. Also, the 5-year plan for the Turnpike, does not include any sound walls for Charlestown Township’s area.

Other Items

Mr. von Hoyer complained about the dust clouds coming from the asphalt plant and Mr. Wright said he will call his contact there, and the DEP.

Mr. Wright discussed a Turnpike maintenance shed coming to Valley Hill Road with access near Yellow Springs Road. This location is very important, and the property is already owned by the Turnpike. The plans for the old building are not known.

Action Items

Mrs. Csete will recirculate the Noise Ordinance and invite Mr. Thompson to the next PC meeting.

Mrs. Csete will circulate the zoning changes to be advertised for Member review only.

Mrs. Csete will confirm the meeting location for the September 10th meeting.

Administrative Note

Any documents referred to in the minutes are available to the public upon request to the Township office.


There being no further business, Mr. von Hoyer adjourned the meeting at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary