Via Webex


Planning Commission:
Andre von Hoyer, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Michael Churchill, Wendy Leland, Andy Motel, Matt Rogers, Dan Walker, and Bill Westhafer. Michael Richter was absent.
Dan Wright, P.E., and Thomas Comitta.
Linda Csete, Beth Martin, Michael Allen, and Lisa Gardner.
Pete Goodman and Kevin Kuhn and one not identified via Webex for a total attendance of three.

Call to Order:

7:30 p.m.


Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. is the PRPC (Phoenixville Regional Planning Commission) Meeting for the Phoenixville Regional Comprehensive Plan Update via Zoom. Following this regular meeting is a Public Workshop. Should anyone want to join please contact Mrs. Csete for Zoom information.

Mr. von Hoyer received an update from Mrs. Csete regarding the Devault Rails-to-Trails project. At last night’s Board of Supervisors meeting, she stated that feedback was received from the joint grant application for the economic feasibility study for the proposed Devault Trail. The DCED indicated about $3,000 of the proposed in-kind match from Charlestown was disqualified. This means an additional $3,000 in monetary contribution by Charlestown will be needed to reach the 20% required match. Then, the next step is certainly the hold-up, which would be getting Norfolk Southern Railway to sell, and then being met by a responsive Chester County to purchase. Mr. Churchill estimated this to take years, but not a decade to see. Liability for the bridge is with Norfolk Southern, and Mrs. Csete may contact them as a hazardous situation was seen at the bridge.

Approval of Minutes


Mr. von Hoyer moved to approve the minutes of the September 22, 2020, Strategic Planning Session, and Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Ms. Leland moved to approve the minutes of November 10, 2020, and Mr. Churchill seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Applications –


General Planning Items

Review Recreational Fee-in-Lieu schedule

Mr. Comitta circulated a handout reviewing the fee schedule currently in place for the Recreational Fee-in-Lieu ordinance dated November 30th. The current fee schedule is only current through 2020, so if the PC recommends any adjustments, they would be considered by the Supervisors at their January meeting. Since the 2020 census results will be out next year, these recommendations will only be for 2021, then new recommendations will be set for 2022 lasting 5 years, as is the norm.

Mr. Comitta discussed the 2013 values for parks and the 4% inflation rate. On page 4 Item 16, the Fee Schedule through 2021 is listed which is in line with neighboring townships. These fees are used for recreation and parkland.

Members discussed the tradition of receiving donations of acreage or neighborhood amenities to offset the fee. Mrs. Csete will research the most recent projects with Mr. Thompson and begin to track, per development, what was provided in each plan (triggered by the Development Agreement).

Mr. von Hoyer moved to recommend the third raise of the Recreation Fee-In-Lieu as seen in Exhibit B of the 2021 Fee Schedule and Mr. Rogers seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Equestrian Use Ordinance

The Planning Commission continued its review of the proposed Equestrian Use Ordinance. Mr. Churchill edited the September draft and discussed the following key edits:

Commercial Equestrian Use-denotes a fee charged for services, and having less than 10 stalls/horses.

Equestrian Academy-events lasting one day, not involving more than 125% of the number of horses sheltered, in the FR District only as a Conditional Use.

Equestrian Event must receive a permit from the Township.

Equestrian Event Center-receiving a permit, is larger in scale than an equestrian academy but extends over more than one day, with a Conditional Use in the FR District.

Members discussed a prior request that came before the PC. This was for an equine therapy center, where a patient does not mount the horse or learn to ride but simply walks, pets, or talks with the horse as therapy. (Versus page 2 Equestrian Use [a] non-mounted instruction mentioned by Mrs. Csete.) Mr. Churchill commented that it would not be a Commercial Equestrian Use, and Mr. von Hoyer suggested adding wording to the draft to include a therapy center. However, Members decided it would not be covered in this draft since it would be considered a Home Occupation.

Parking was kept flexible, not to be seen near or on the street, and included wording from the Parking ordinance. Paved parking is required for employees, but not required beyond employees, yet needs to be accessible and safe. Mr. Comitta will add the parking and SALDO cross-reference with some minor editing. He will return with the final draft in January.

TND Amendments

As a follow-up to the September Strategic Session where an overview of the TND zoning district was presented and discussed, Mr. Comitta outlined the following suggestions to move forward with identifying areas of the TND ordinance to be amended. As an action item (Item D) he suggested discussing the middle of the chart on page 13 to obtain more green space and define necessary metrics. With this chart, the Township will have a monitoring device to help meet TND expectations.

Mr. Comitta distributed Part 22. TRADITIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT (TND) DISTRICT-COMMON TND OPEN SPACE REQUIREMENTS (and Ideas for Refining the TND provisions) dated December 2, 2020. This chart listed (previously defined) amenities for quantities and types of TND Open Space by tract size. Tracts up to 20 acres often have a NA in the chart due to their small size. The next step, suggested by Mr. Westhafer, is for Mr. Comitta to overlay the four recent Township developments and see where they rate within the chart.

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 8:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary