Great Valley Middle School Room 154
255 North Phoenixville Pike, Malvern Pa
Tuesday, October 12, 2021


Planning Commission:
Andre von Hoyer, Chairman, Mike Richter, Vice-Chair, Michael Churchill (absent), Andy Motel, Matt Rogers, Dan Walker, and Bill Westhafer
Dan Wright, P.E., and Dan Mallach.
Mike Allen, Beth Martin, and Lisa Gardner
Gina Gerber, Michael Devine, and Matthew McDevitt

Call to Order:

7:32 p.m.


The Members welcomed Mr. Walker as a voting member after Ms. Graham resigned last month due to relocating outside the Township.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Richter moved to approve the minutes of September 14, 2021, and Mr. von Hoyer seconded. Mr. von Hoyer called for discussion, and there being none, called the vote. All were in favor.

General Planning Items

Informal Discussion-Adding Research & Development as a permitted use in the NC-2 zoning district via a zoning ordinance amendment

Ms. Gina Gerber began the discussion for adding research and development as a permitted use in the NC-2 zoning district. It is a Conditional Use in the B-1 and I/O districts that neighbor the NC-2 district and also neighboring townships. She is gathering information for the upcoming visit to the Board. The building is 20,000 square feet but may expand to 30,000 in about ten years. (60% being lab space and 40 % being office). She distributed the handout that included a map called Warren Avenue Investors, dated 10-2-2021

Mr. McDevitt and Mr. Devine of Warren Blvd. Investors, are hoping for a recommendation tonight. Their prospective client wants this amendment change before signing the lease. They discussed the low impact of the operations. It would not draw tractor trailer activity. Federal regulations and even the leases are very stringent on disclosing what chemicals and how much is stored in each facility.

In this facility, the chemicals would only be in small quantities as it is not manufacturing. Mr. Wright said they would obtain a non-residential occupancy permit and could not change the use without risking a violation or removal.

Natural Resource Protection Ordinance Revisions

As a follow-up to the County’s findings presented on July 13th to the Planning Commission, Mr. Mallach returned to discuss the “top 10’s” from the outline he circulated at the September meeting. Mr. Mallach distributed a handout, Tree Amendments Outline for Ongoing Discussion, dated 10-7-2021.

Item 1 (Governance of Vegetation Removal) and Item 5 (Forestry as per the MPC) were discussed simultaneously.

  1. Mentioned at a prior meeting by Mr. Kuhn, the controlled cutting of trees to remove the encumbrance of the ordinance to subdivide or develop, was mentioned by Mr. Wright. He felt it was something that could benefit the Township and should be included, going back 3-5 years. But the challenge was establishing motives.
  2. Mr. Mallach mentioned a focus on vegetation removal requirements that are clear and enforceable. But the challenge is applying the subdivision filter.
  3. When might the Township need these guidelines? How would they set a threshold? What would trigger enforcement? To how many lots does this apply? When does the Township step in regarding erosion control?
  4. Mr. Mallach said there could be a formula that estimates the number of downed trees on 2 or more subdividable acres. This could trigger the need for a permit. It would give the Township some level of control.
  5. Mr. Wright said a local permit demonstrates the owners’ plans. Just like in a subdivision plan, it can address disturbance before it happens and consider stormwater.
  6. Forestry ordinances may not unreasonably restrict forestry since it is seen as an agricultural pursuit.
  7. Mr. Mallach said Item 2 Statements of Purpose refers to the MPC.
  8. Item 4 Tree Protection Requirements links the purposes within ordinances.
  9. Mr. Westhafer thought it might be easier to just post friendly guidelines for residents planning on removing trees and discuss the impact on the neighbors/stormwater run-off.
  10. Members discussed Item 3 called the Township Tree Fund. Mr. Wright liked that the dollars would be dedicated to something. It would allow builders to plant a tree or give money to the P&R.
  11. Mr. Wright said tree clearing could be reflected in the stormwater ordinance. The discussion continued on “triggers” and “disturbances” and how to police things after the fact.
Mr. Mallach’s action items:

Budgets Items for 2022

  1. Funding for Traffic Planning and Design to visit the PC and help them plan for the future TND 2.
  2. When Beyond Meat returns to the Township, Ms. Wendy McLean needs to come to a meeting(s) and become acquainted with what the PC is working on, critique the PC, discuss obligations, best practices, and make suggestions, etc.
  3. Mr. Westhafer said that the Urban Land Institute is a body of expert planners willing to access ideas using applications submitted to them for about $10,000. The service would be worth much more than that. He will forward an email to Members, perhaps they could review the TND 2, etc.
  4. Members are going to walk the TND 2 area after the vegetation dies back.
  5. Mr. von Hoyer and Members want trailhead signage and labels.
  6. Members were asked to think of what they may want to buy to improve their presence at Charlestown Day.


Mr. Allen said Ms. Quigley was reviewing Spring Oak Village architecture and that the design manual had new minor changes. The Members would like to review the manual and drawings and asked him to email them.

Mr. Walker asked what had become of the updated language for the Noise Ordinance. He said last he remembered; Mr. Thompson had the draft but this topic has not resurfaced since the coronavirus interrupted meetings. The last bit of information he recalls was regarding Deerfield and the Turnpike’s 10-year expansion.

Mr. von Hoyer asked to have TPD at the November PC 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 9:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Gardner
Recording Secretary