Great Valley Middle School Room 154
255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern Pa


Planning Commission:
Andre von Hoyer, Chairman, Michael Churchill, Wendy Graham, and Bill Westhafer. Mike Richter, Vice-Chair, Andy Motel, Matt Rogers, and Dan Walker were absent.
Daniel Wright, P.E., and Dan Mallach.
Mike Allen, Linda Csete, Beth Martin, and Lisa Gardner

Call to Order:

7:35 p.m.


Mr. von Hoyer thanked everyone for wearing masks as required by the Great Valley School District.

Ms. Graham stated that this was her next to the last meeting as she was moving out of Charlestown into the Phoenixville Borough. She has made several contacts and would like to be considered for a seat on the Trails sub-committee with the PRPC to continue her work for the Township.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. von Hoyer moved to approve the minutes of July 13, 2021, with a minor edit, and Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Beyond Meat Update

Mr. Tim Dietrich, Esq. of Barley, Snyder, LLC, came to clarify for the Planning Commission a legal matter that has held up the progress of a Final Plan for Beyond Meat. The Plan proposed in March cannot be performed as presented. The plant cannot use the public driveway and needs to gain access to proceed. The engineers and legal team are researching alternatives. Once this is resolved, they would like to proceed with the new Plan, since it substantially helps the noise and can make them a better neighbor to the residents, most of whom have moved near the plant in the last 7 years.

Mr. Allen asked why the access is different on the 2nd plan vs. the original plan. Mr. Dietrich said on the 1st plan they have access on all of the public road. On the second plan, they must abandon a portion of the public road. Mr. Westhafer wants the plant to address the truck aisle, to prevent Devault Building parking and pedestrians from crossing through truck traffic. However, the land needed is not owned by Beyond Meat. Mrs. Csete asked for clarification of the deadline for the Land Development Plan. Also, she told Mr. Dietrich that the plant was behind in its payments to the Township. Mr. Dietrich will send an email confirming the deadline and asked for a copy of the invoices to date.

Final Plan Review

Commons @ Great Valley Lot 1 – Parking Expansion

Ms. Gina Gerber of Riley, Riper, Hollen, and Colagreco, was present tonight with Mr. Adam Loew (J. Loew Associates Inc.), Adam Brower of Edward B. Walsh & Associates, Inc., to discuss the revised Preliminary/Final Land Development Plan (dated 5/17/21). They propose expanding the parking to add 37 parking spaces adjacent to PJ Whelihan’s. He indicated that the Zoning Hearing Board granted a variance on 5/6/21 for the 61.85% impervious coverage, which exceeds the 60% maximum.

The original plan did not allow for enough parking at the peak usage time between 4-6 p.m. This usage is difficult to foresee until tenants are obtained and active.

Mr. Brower presented a plan that handles runoff better than the previous plan. He discussed landscaping, removing some parking, installing pipes underground, preserving the berm and trees, black lighting poles, and planting 20 deciduous and 11 evergreens along General Warren Blvd. Other changes include adjusting the entrance to better disseminate the traffic coming into the lot, and noting on the plan that spots held in reserve would never be used.

Mr. Brower told Members that there would be a stormwater subsystem with a clay liner. A liner is a good tool for sinkhole prone areas. The FocalPoint system captures and filters runoff with yearly inspections and certifications using a maintenance schedule. The maintenance schedule will include visits 72 hours after heavy rain to see if the water is visible. Mr. Wright said it was a very beneficial system for collecting stormwater from adjacent paved areas.

There will be some follow-up calculations and resulting notes on the Plan regarding the 5 spots that are not going to be used per Ms. Gerber. The spots are still considered in the impervious calculations to keep a conservative rate.

Mr. von Hoyer moved to recommend approval of the Land Development Plan for the Parking Expansion at the GV Commons Lot One LP subject to the consultants’ review comments and follow-up calculations mentioned by Ms. Gerber. Mr. Westhafer seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

General Planning Items

Phoenixville Regional Planning Committee Regional Comprehensive Plan

Mrs. Csete stated that there is a hearing on September 7, 2021 before the Board of Supervisors to consider adoption of the revised PRPC Comprehensive Plan, which was amended to include the newest member, West Pikeland Township. Ms. Graham stated that the revision was thoroughly reviewed and all pieces are where they should be.

Mr. Westhafer moved to recommend the adoption of the Regional Comprehensive Plan as amended, and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

Amendments to the Stormwater Management Ordinance

Mr. Wright introduced a discussion to update the Stormwater Management Ordinance (SMO) to meet MS-4 requirements. He distributed an edit of a Model Ordinance Comparison to the Current Stormwater Ordinance. It portrays what is missing from the Township’s version, and also includes what is different from the DEP’s version. Mr. Wright stated that the Township’s ordinance is comparatively good. He will be sending a draft ordinance out as a second step towards meeting MS-4 requirements and suggestions made by the Chester County Planning Commission.

There will be an addition to the ordinance riparian buffer language to satisfy the MS-4 requirements. Lastly, there will be a change from 100 to 500 sq feet for the minimum threshold for stormwater compliance to be more closely reconciled with the County figure.

Natural Resources Protection – Woodlands and Riparian Buffers

The Planning Commission discussed potential updates to the ordinances to provide better protection of woodlands and stream buffers as a result of the County Planning Commission’s presentation at the July meeting. Mrs. Csete said Ms. Griffith sent a revision late in the day on ordinance language for Charlestown and she will forward it to Members tomorrow.

Members discussed:

Mr. Mallach stated that North Coventry has a very thorough ordinance that includes:

Mr. Churchill suggested the idea of adding vegetation planting near streams used by horses in exchange for a 150-foot buffer, still providing access to the water. Mr. von Hoyer asked for data measuring the water coming into the Township vs its quality when it leaves the Township. Mr. Mallach suggested finding a horse farm that may be interested in a discussion or in trialing some new ideas for riparian buffers. He will return with a briefing of the woodland part of North Coventry’s Ordinance for discussion.

There was more discussion regarding floodplains, horses, selective enforcement, and the difficulty of enforcing vegetation.


Ms. Graham asked about a Spring Oak feature that abuts the trail. There is an area with small turning radius and the decorative guide rail is getting hit and breaking up the wood. She wondered who was in charge of fixing the wood or addressing the clearance problem. Mr. Wright said JP Orleans is responsible until the last home is in, then it is the HOA.

Mr. Westhafer asked Mr. Mallach if there was anything the Township could do to react to the U.N. releasing a Code Red warning for worsening Global Warming. Mr. Mallach said that reducing pollinator loss, allowing robust small-scale energy opportunities, setting incentives for contractors using LEED, and being careful not to inhibit opportunities, were good starts. Also, asking developers to consider innovations vs aesthetics was discussed.

Mr. Kuhn stated that the Board is negotiating a lease for a new location of the Township Office. There are no plans in the next 10 years to build.

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 8:49 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary
sheet, 8/10/2021