Announcements Mr. Churchill referred to a Devault Rails to Trails report prepared by Mrs. Csete following a Zoom meeting with the steering committee on March 4th. The County clarified their role, saying the County would be unlikely to take ownership or responsibility of maintenance of the trail, but will be supportive with regard to grant funding.
Mr. von Hoyer moved to approve the minutes of February 9, 2021, and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Jerry Miller from Hopkins & Scott, Inc. discussed the Martellucci’s proposed 2 lot subdivision of 4.734 acres at 4099 Howell Road. They propose to subdivide an existing 4.7-acre flag lot into two lots, with the existing dwelling on Lot #1. The second lot will have onsite water and sewer with shared frontage.
The following review letters were discussed. The Advanced GeoServices review letter dated 2/22/21 and the Thomas Comitta Associates review memo dated 2/23/21. Mr. Wright stated that the second lot could be created without the need for a second flag lot or a variance. Access to the second lot can be provided with an access easement on the existing driveway. Mr. Allen reminded Mr. Miller to get an easement for the second lot. Also, an updated survey is needed and Mr. Miller said it will be in the next submittal.
The tree issues will be resolved per Mr. Miller. The next step will be for the Applicant to return with a Preliminary/Final subdivision plan and obtain recommendation of approval. Then after approval and recording, the permits may be obtained.
Mr. Matthew McKeon Esq., and engineer Ms. Amanda Schneider, represented Applicants Derek and Jamie Finger of 9 South Winds Lane, presenting a Conditional Use Application. They propose the construction of a pool, walkway, and stormwater facilities in steep slopes. Neighbors were notified according to the ordinance requirements. Mr. David Benfield, a neighbor, was present but had no questions.
Mr. McKeon referenced a prior Conditional Use application for another property that proposed pool and associated construction in Very Steep Slopes which had an alternative location available. The Planning Commission found it unacceptable and the plan was revised to relocate the pool.
He contrasted that application with this pool and associated structures, which are in a 15 to 25 % slope which is not Very Steep Slope, but is Steep Slope. There will be minimal disturbance since the pool is close to the house. Mr. McKeon referred to the consultants’ review letters from Advanced GeoServices, dated 2/23/21, and Thomas Comitta Associates’ review memo dated 2/18/21. The walnut tree discussed by TCA has been removed.
Access for construction vehicles was noted on the plan, and no heavy equipment will disturb the Very Steep Slope. Applicants have already planted 8 trees and intend on planting evergreens along the edge of their property and around the pool. Also included, will be shrubs and fencing according to the Township ordinance. No neighbors will be impacted by stormwater changes from this project. There is no stormwater basin on the lot. SALDO provisions do not apply since this is not a land development project.
Mr. von Hoyer moved to recommend approval of the conditional use application for Derek and Jamie Finger, and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Ms. Alyson Zarro, Esq. was present with Mr. Wayne Druckenmiller, to review the Potters Industries, LLC Conditional Use Application for a research and development laboratory for their recycled glass business at 3222 Phoenixville Pike. She referred to the consultants’ review letters from Thomas Comitta Associates, dated 2/23/21 (will comply), and Advanced GeoServices letter, dated 2/22/21.
Ms. Zarro stated:
Mr. Rogers moved to recommend approval of the Potter’s Industries, LLC Conditional Use Application, and Mr. Richter seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Frank Boyle was present for a review of his minor subdivision plan proposing the combination of two lots, parcel # 35-4-114 and #35-4-115. He provided notification to the only abutting neighbor, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. An existing twin home straddles the two lots. The reason for the proposed plan is to obtain public sewer approval from the Valley Forge Sewer Authority, which required the property to be under a single deed. Mr. Boyle was reminded to get an easement for the second unit’s exit since it must cross over parcel #35-4-115 to access the private lane leading to Route 29. This lane was the previously vacated Longford Road.
The lots are being consolidated for sewer approval of a lower pressure main system. Mr. Boyle referred to the Advanced Geo Services’ review letter dated 3/9/21 and any question on item #2 regarding existing non-conformities was clarified by Mr. Westhafer. Mr. Allen and the Members were surprised at the path Mr. Boyle mentioned to hook into the public sewer, but PennDOT had said it was too complicated to do it any other way. He will be routing the line north to the Turnpike and hook into the sewer from Whitehorse Road.
Mr. Richter moved to recommend the subdivision plan proposing the combination of two lots, parcel # 35-4-114 and #35-4-115 and Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion and there being none called the vote. All were in favor.
Mr. Comitta said he met with members of the Design Review Committee on Feb, 16th at the Marriott Conference Room to discuss what preliminary changes could enhance and improve the TND for pedestrians and what uses should be permitted in that area. Considerations discussed were:
Mr. Boyle questioned the Members about the village vision vs allowing a 50,000 sq ft hotel into the TND. As an owner of 6 of the 10 properties in the area, he also felt he should be included in discussions regarding this area (near the Office Bar & Grille). Mr. Comitta explained that the 3000 sq ft building size was the figure taken from a prior 2200 sq ft suggestion Mr. Boyle had and rounded up, to give him as the developer, plenty of room. Also, the PC added apartment use at his suggestion. Mr. Boyle was told that following these very preliminary discussions of the TND-3 area he would be included in the process . He was told to obtain the notes from the February 16th meeting if he needed clarification. Mr. Boyle has more sketches including sizes and heights for buildings within the TND3 and he will be presenting to the PC.
Mr. Greg Richardson applauded the proactivity and inclusion of PennDOT operating procedures when envisioning the improvement of the TND-3. His main point was to keep everything as far from the traffic signal/intersection as possible.
Members asked Mr. Richardson if PennDOT might lower the speed limit on Rt. 29. He was doubtful since it is a 5-lane road, even though it is essentially going quickly from an urban to a rural environment. Discussion followed regarding more signs, pedestrian-related accidents, intersection changes, abutting property types, etc.
Mr. Richardson sent links to the Members regarding traffic and accident statistics with data from Route 29 (retrieved from web address https://gis.penndot.gov/tire).
Members want to know if the land near Atwater and the slip ramp owned by East Whiteland is available. Discussion will continue at the April 13th meeting.
Mr. Comitta began a review of the solar energy ordinance to determine if updates were needed concerning the square footage permitted for solar panels. No action was taken tonight as it was confirmed there is no specified limit. This will be reviewed in the future as industry standards evolve.
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 10 p.m.